Suboxone addiction can be a risk when treating opioid addiction. However, the effects of Suboxone are much less damaging than that of other opioids, and, according to the National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment, the risk of addiction is low. It’s used as part of medication-assisted treatment programs (MAT), and if patients start showing indications of addiction, they’re tapered off.
However, some users may experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, including headaches, muscle pain, and nausea. However, tapering down the dosage of Suboxone with supervision can mitigate this risk and aid in recovery. Because Suboxone has a “ceiling effect,” users may develop a tolerance, but larger dosages will not increase the potency, and therefore, the risk of addiction is low.
Suboxone is an integral part of treating opioid addiction, helping reduce cravings and ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. It combines two active ingredients, Buprenorphine which reduces cravings and withdrawals, and Naloxone, which blocks the effects of opioids in the brain.
Side Effects of Suboxone
Although Suboxone is quite effective for treating opiate addiction, it does have side effects. Many aren’t serious or life-threatening, but they can be uncomfortable. Many people may experience feelings of anxiety or depression, as well as dizziness, fatigue, cramps and muscle aches, and nausea.
However, when people using Suboxone drink alcohol or take benzodiazepines, they can have serious side effects, including:
- Respiratory distress
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Dependence on the substance
- Withdrawal symptoms
Some people may experience an allergic reaction to Suboxone, which can include swelling in the throat or trouble breathing.
Can I Overdose on Suboxone?
While many people may not take enough Suboxone to overdose, the potential remains. It often happens if people misuse the medication. Injections have the highest risk of overdose, but all forms have overdose potential. Plus, everyone is different, and there’s no way to tell how much Suboxone will lead to an overdose.
Too much Suboxone makes it harder for the body to metabolize it, and can slowly poison the user. Indications of a Suboxone overdose include:
- Blurry vision, slurred speech, and loss of coordination
- Drowsiness and confusion
- Dizziness or fainting
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
If Suboxone causes respiratory distress, the lack of oxygen to the brain can cause brain damage. Prompt medical treatment can help mitigate the chances of a coma or death, so if you note the signs of overdose, contact 911 right away. While there is no permanent cure for Suboxone addiction, the right treatment program can help people find lasting recovery and sobriety.
When is Suboxone Addiction Treatment Needed?
Long-term use of Suboxone, or taking it in larger doses than your treatment provider recommends, can result in addiction. Your brain may become dependent on the substance and unable to function properly without it. If users attempt to stop without help, then withdrawal symptoms can develop.
Withdrawal symptoms can last up to a month and may even lead to opioid cravings for some people. If you’re trying to detox at home, without a solid treatment program, then you may have a higher chance of relapse.
If you’re worried about your Suboxone use, or that of a loved one, there is hope and help from Hickory treatment Centers. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment, including outpatient therapy and family counseling which can help you rebuild relationships. Contact us today for a confidential assessment.