Suboxone is a medication commonly used for the treatment of heroin and opioid addiction.
Suboxone is a long-acting opioid medication used in drug replacement therapy due to its long duration of effect and ability to block other opioids from having an effect on the individual.
While Suboxone does not have the same high associated with the narcotics it replaces, it does produce a strong physical dependence that can lead to a severe prolonged withdrawal syndrome.
Here we discuss Suboxone withdrawal and treatment for Suboxone addiction and dependence.
Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms and Duration
While the withdrawal syndrome from Suboxone is typically not as severe as that of most other opioids of abuse, it is typically much longer.
This is due to the long half-life (37 hours) that the drug has compared to most other opioids, which means it takes much longer to be completely eliminated from the body.
The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal syndrome closely parallel that of other commonly abused opioids. These symptoms include the following:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Sneezing and flu-like symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drug cravings
The Suboxone withdrawal syndrome typically begins around 48 hours after the last dose. These symptoms peak around the third day and last approximately two to three weeks.
Once the acute withdrawal phase is over, another period withdrawal typically begins known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
Suboxone PAWS is the continuation or reoccurrence of withdrawal symptoms that can last for up to a year after the initial withdrawal period.
Treatment for Suboxone Withdrawal and Addiction
Despite having less severe withdrawal symptoms than most other opioids, the long duration of Suboxone withdrawal makes it extremely difficult to overcome. In fact, some users report the withdrawal is actually worse than heroin and other opioids due to its long duration.
It is therefore highly recommended and very common for individuals addicted to Suboxone to attend a professional detox. Professional detoxes can provide the patient with medical care that can ease the severe early symptoms characteristic of Suboxone withdrawal.
They also provide a safe environment for the individual to begin to recover during the phase of recovery in which relapse rates are the highest.
Recovery from Suboxone addiction does not simply occur once the physical dependency has lifted from detoxing. While the most intense effects of Suboxone withdrawal typically subside in about 2-4 weeks, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and mental obsession can persist for many months after.
Thus, an in-patient period in a treatment center is highly recommended for those seeking recovery from Suboxone addiction.
This provides a safe environment while the brain begins to heal, and helps to integrate the patient into a recovery program that will help them achieve long-term sobriety from substance abuse.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.