Do I Need Rehab for Suboxone?

Opioid addiction and dependence are major issues within our society. It is difficult for many individuals to manage opioid abuse and can lead to many harmful consequences physically, mentally, and socially.

Suboxone rehab can help individuals with opioid addiction however, it does come with risks and it is not a guarantee against relapse.

Keep reading to find out about how Suboxone works as a treatment and the dangers of becoming dependent on Suboxone!

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication that is used to treat opioid dependence and addiction. It comes in the form of a film to place under the tongue. This film will dissolve in your mouth and be absorbed into the body.

This medication is a part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) when trying to treat opioid abuse in individuals. MATs work to reduce cravings and other opioid withdrawal symptoms within an individual.

MATs typically work together alongside addiction treatment and so they are able to support individuals by allowing them to be more engaged during addiction treatment. As opioids are very intensive and harmful drugs to an individual, it is important for there to be proper treatment available to these individuals.

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How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone is able to reduce cravings and help diminish withdrawals because of two main ingredients called buprenorphine and naloxone. These two ingredients work together to stimulate the same receptors as other opioid drugs such as heroin or fentanyl.

Now this effect may seem concerning to someone hoping to find relief with this medication however, Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist. A partial opioid agonist is a type of opioid that stimulates the same opioid receptors as other opioids at a much lower intensity.

Heroin and fentanyl are both pure opioid agonists with much more intense effects compared to Suboxone. Stimulating the effects of opioids without the intense harmful drawbacks allows individuals with opioid dependence to find comfort in utilizing this medication in conjunction with addiction treatment.

Why Is Suboxone Used For Opioid Addiction?

Considering Suboxone works by attaching to the same receptors as other addictive drugs, you may still have concerns as to why Suboxone is used for opioid addiction treatment. There are a variety of reasons why Suboxone is used as in MATs.

Suboxone is a core component of opioid addiction treatment. Suboxone allows individuals to manage their withdrawals and intense cravings through their daily experience. Despite this, a common misconception with opioid medication is that these medications are simply changing one addiction to another.

This is not the case. Individuals struggling with opioid addiction are physically dependent upon opioids to maintain proper bodily functions and can make managing withdrawals increasingly difficult.

Suboxone and the Ceiling Effect

Even with the negative effects of Suboxone, the risk of addiction and overdose with this medication is greatly lowered. As Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, it also has a “ceiling effect” for how much it can activate the opioid receptors.

This ceiling effect also works against the euphoric effects. While Suboxone does still have the capability to produce euphoric effects, due to the ceiling effect, these effects are diminished.

Suboxone is also typically utilized alongside other forms of addiction treatment services such as behavioral therapy or other individualized therapies. As individuals struggle through withdrawal symptoms, they are unable to be properly engaged and retain the full value of addiction treatment.

Medications can help with moderating these uncomfortable withdrawals and create an experience that allows them to be fully present during therapy or other treatment forms.

Overall, Suboxone is utilized as a treatment due to the lowered risks and increased benefits of assisting individuals through their withdrawals and better managing their experience.

Dependence vs Addiction

Dependence and addiction are often referred to as the same thing but they are different. Dependence upon a drug or medication is a form of reliance upon it to maintain proper bodily functions.

Addiction is characterized as a complex relapsing disorder in which an individual is constantly searching for a drug or medication despite negative consequences. Although dependence can be seen within an addiction, addiction is not always seen within the dependence.

Someone who is only dependent upon the drug will follow their dosage instructions and work with their medical provider when requiring changes in their dosage. Someone struggling with an addiction or abusing the medication can include:


  • Altering the method of ingestion
  • Adjusting the dosage amount
  • Taking someone else’s prescription
  • Requiring more medication sooner than necessary


If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, it is important to get help.

What Are The Side Effects Of Suboxone?

A man suffering Side Effects Of Suboxone

As with many forms of prescription medication, there are side effects with Suboxone. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the side effects of Suboxone include:

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Mouth numbness
  • Tongue pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Back pain

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms are one of the biggest reasons that individuals face relapse in substance use. It can be very difficult for individuals to manage withdrawals and even intense cravings. Some of the Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability


Suboxone withdrawal symptoms are moderate to severe forms of opiate withdrawal and occur with a rapid or sudden succession of stopping the drug. When suddenly stopping Suboxone use, an individual is likely to face withdrawals. To avoid this, individuals slowly lower their dose to stop use. This tapering way of stopping use is very helpful for physical dependence in individuals.

Is Suboxone Addictive?

Yes, Suboxone is addictive. Suboxone is a medication used in opioid addiction treatment but it does have the potential for abuse. As buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, it has a much lower capacity for abuse when compared to pure agonists.

The severity of someone’s opioid abuse or addiction will determine the form of treatment they will receive. In cases of severe opioid abuse, an individual is likely to be given a stronger opioid medication such as methadone.

The lowered opioid response from Suboxone allows it to be utilized to treat opioid addiction in more mild cases of opioid addiction. Despite being utilized in cases of opioid addiction, it is still able to be abused and can lead to addiction or, in worse cases, overdose.

The ceiling effect within Suboxone assists many individuals who have been addicted to more potent opioids; however, an individual who has not used any opioids is likely to become addicted.

To safely avoid dangerous situations such as addiction or overdose, it is important for you to follow the dosage prescribed to you by your doctor. Misusing this medication can quickly lead to addiction or relapse.

Can Someone Overdose On Suboxone?

Overdose On Suboxone

Yes, it is possible for someone to overdose on Suboxone. Despite this, it is unlikely for an individual to overdose on Suboxone. Due to the ceiling effect, an individual is able to avoid the dangerous situations that other opioid medications and other opioid drugs come with.

It is also less dangerous to overdose on Suboxone. With the diminished levels of effects, severe adverse effects and potentially life-threatening situations are not as likely to arise.

An individual may have been given naloxone in case of an overdose. Suboxone does have naloxone within it however, a higher amount of naloxone is required to support an individual overdosing.

The signs of a Suboxone overdose include:


  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty responding
  • Slow breathing
  • Unable to wake up


If you or a loved one are experiencing these signs, it is important to call emergency medical services for immediate medical attention.

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What is Suboxone Addiction Treatment?

There are many effective treatments for opioid addiction an individual can undergo. When you or a loved one are struggling with Suboxone addiction, it is important to get the proper care. Suboxone treatment centers will have many treatment options to provide the proper health care these struggling individuals need.

Drug addiction or substance abuse treatment in general addresses both the issues with substance abuse as well as the individualized needs of the individual. They will make their own comprehensive treatment plan alongside a treatment provider at a rehab facility.

What To Expect In Suboxone Rehab

Group therapy session for suboxone rehab

A Suboxone addiction treatment program will include both treatments for opioid addiction treatment and treatment for the needs of an individual. It is important for an individual to receive treatment for their specific issues and needs.

Leaving their issues untreated can result in an individual being susceptible to relapsing. Suboxone addiction treatment will provide individuals with many different forms of therapy including:


These forms of therapy support individuals in abstaining and recovering from substance abuse and, in this case, Suboxone addiction. Behavioral therapy is a major supportive therapy in most addiction treatments.

Behavioral therapy helps individuals with overcoming addiction treatment by teaching individuals the pros and cons of substance abuse, providing individuals with techniques for managing intense emotions and stress, or rebuilding lost skills such as social skills.

These methods allow individuals to learn how to manage their experience on their own. Group and family therapy help rebuild the social structures within an individual and allow them to feel connected to others which they very much need during recovery.

Having this community to return to and safely communicate with allows individuals to feel comfortable in their own homes. Individualized therapy helps just as much by allowing individuals to better understand how they function.

In drug abuse and addiction, every individual will be struggling with their mental health in some aspect and can benefit from this form of treatment.

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What Does The Addiction Treatment Process Look Like?

The addiction treatment process for opioid addiction will begin with a phase of drug detoxification. This allows an individual to safely and comfortably remove a drug from their system.

This phase can range from 3-5 days to up to 2 weeks in cases of a long-term dependence on opioids. After this drug detoxification, an individual is ready to transition into a drug treatment program.

These treatment programs will typically last 90 days but can go longer depending on your needs. During this time frame, an individual will take on treatment for their addiction as well as address other personal issues they may have within themselves.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is a drug detox treatment in which an individual lives on-site to undergo this process. Medical staff is available 24 hours a day to allow individuals to receive assistance through administering medication.

This helps make intense and uncomfortable withdrawals more manageable as well as provide a safe and comfortable experience. For detoxing from Suboxone, the withdrawal symptoms experienced are much milder than withdrawal symptoms in other opioids. An individual may undergo a partial hospitalization program instead of medical detox.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

A partial hospitalization program, or PHP, is a form of intensive outpatient treatment in which an individual receives treatment for the majority of the day while returning home after receiving treatment. PHPs can be utilized for individuals struggling with mild to moderate withdrawals.

As Suboxone withdrawals are mild withdrawals, an individual will be more likely to undergo this program rather than a medical detox.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is a form of treatment in which an individual lives on-site at a treatment center to receive care. This allows individuals to be removed from their current home environment which may be relapse-provoking.

It is important for individuals to have a stable and safe environment to best recover and maintain recovery from substance abuse. This allows them to rebuild the many functions lost in opioid addiction.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient Treatment Session for Suboxone Rehab

Outpatient treatment is a form of treatment in which an individual can receive treatment during the day and return home after receiving treatment. This allows for an individual to maintain outside responsibilities such as work or school while also receiving treatment.

This form of treatment is also not as costly as inpatient treatment and provides a better financial option for individuals struggling with their finances. Outpatient treatment will often be provided as aftercare after inpatient treatment. This helps reinforce and maintain recovery after receiving the majority of addiction treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long Should Patients Take Suboxone?

The treatment for suboxone will typically range from 3-6 months but can also continue up to 2 years. This does not mean that two years are the maximum. Every person is different and how well this treatment works for you versus someone else can vary. Someone may prefer to use this medication long term. Work with your provider to determine a proper treatment in long term management.

Does Suboxone Rewire The Brain?

In a way, suboxone does rewire the brain. Suboxone assists with restoring the proper brain functions that have been harmed as a result of addiction. This enhancing of brain functions supports the engagement during addiction treatment which, in turn, will also allow the brain to better recover from addiction.

What Does Suboxone Do To Your Brain?

Suboxone works as a partial opioid agonist which means it attaches to the same opioid receptors within our brain that opioids do. This allows for withdrawals and intense opioid cravings to diminish with the use of suboxone.

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Find Suboxone Addiction Treatment Here

Suboxone addiction is harmful to the recovery of an individual and can lead to relapse back into more intense opioid drugs. Here at Find Addiction Rehabs, we can help make finding addiction help easy!

Whether finding a treatment center in your location or connecting you with recovery tools and resources, our hotline is available 24/7 to make sure you can get the help you need, anytime you need it.

If you or a loved one are seeking addiction treatment, call us today and we can help find you the right treatment for you!