Learning the effects of suboxone and what makes suboxone unsafe and understanding the risks of detoxing can spare you from serious risks. A drug with short-term benefits can have long-term risks. Suboxone is one such substance that users should recognize its potential for becoming harmful.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone and is used by placing it under the tongue where it dissolves. Buprenorphine helps lessen symptoms of opiate withdrawal during detox. Its effects, including euphoria and respiratory depression, are similar to other opiates, yet the drug is milder than methadone. Naloxone is typically used to help with the recovery process after an overdose of opiates. When combined, this pair blocks withdrawal symptoms and provides a milder version of euphoria.
Suboxone’s Value Short-Term
For someone with severe opioid cravings in detox, suboxone provides some short-term value. It reduces cravings, provides some pain relief, and gives a person a mild sense of euphoria. As a long-acting opioid, its effects also last up to several days. Medications with a slower release reduce the appearance of adverse side effects.
Suboxone Side Effects
Although there is value to short-term use, suboxone can produce unpleasant side effects. They include constipation, nausea and vomiting, and fever. A person taking suboxone also may experience aching muscles, insomnia, and a feeling of irritability.
The Cons of Long-Term Suboxone Use
Suboxone is not intended to be a long-term solution to end substance use. Instead, it’s one tool used in detox facilities to transition a person away from opioid misuse. The use of suboxone in a long-term manner becomes a greater health risk for several reasons..
Overdose is one outcome of using suboxone for a long time. Increasing the amount used to achieve the same effect is one cause of an overdose. Another is mixing suboxone use with other substances, including alcohol or benzodiazepines, the effects of mixing suboxone with other drugs can be deadly.
Long-term users of suboxone face the risk of developing hepatitis. This condition is an inflammation of the liver, often caused by medications. Among its severe side effects are dark urine, jaundice, lack of appetite, light-colored stools, and nausea.
Allergic reactions can develop with the long-term use of suboxone as the body becomes saturated with it. Signs of a suboxone allergy include itching, hives, and severe rashes. A more severe body response is anaphylactic shock, that can be deadly if left untreated.
High serotonin levels building up in the body can lead to issues, too. Serotonin syndrome appears in physical signs, including agitation, dilated pupils, diarrhea, increased body temperature, increased reflexes, sweating, and tremors. It’s potentially life-threatening as well.
One outcome of long-term suboxone use affects men primarily. As the result of androgen insufficiency, a male suboxone user will experience decreased sexual desire, a loss of muscle mass and bone density, lower energy levels, and a change in psychological well-being. Men may also notice a difference in the distribution of body fat.
Tapering Off Suboxone
Tapering off suboxone should be done under the care of a medical professional. The daily dosage can be reduced steadily until a person reaches a point where no more suboxone is taken. Without time to taper off its use, quitting suddenly will lead to a wide variety of uncomfortable and potentially harmful withdrawal symptoms.
Quitting suboxone use suddenly can set a wide variety of withdrawal symptoms in motion. Symptoms peak in severity in the first 72 hours. Withdrawal symptoms within a week may include body aches and pains, insomnia, and mood swings. Discomfort such as cravings and health risks such as depression can linger for as long as a month.
Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms
- Concentration difficulties
- Digestive distress
- Drug cravings
- Muscle aches/Body Aches
Suboxone Detox is Safe and Sensible
Safely quitting suboxone is possible through medical detox. In a detox facility, a patient can be monitored round-the-clock while withdrawal symptoms are managed. In addition, detox for co-occurring substance use disorders, including alcohol or benzodiazepines, can happen at the same time.
Restored Path’s Solution
Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.