Suboxone is a popular brand name medication that consists of the active ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone. It’s used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorder (SUD), especially for opioids like heroin and painkillers. However, MAT should combine medication with behavioral therapy and counseling to be valid as a comprehensive treatment.
Although low, Suboxone can cause side effects, such as dependency and potential addiction. Naturally, some people express concern when evaluating the possibility of using Suboxone for treatment.
Let’s explore the possibility of “getting high” on Suboxone, addiction, symptoms, and what options people have if they become addicted.
Can you “get high” with Suboxone and become addicted to it?
Even though Suboxone is used for tailor-made treatment plans against opioid dependency, it can “get you high” and create dependency if misused.
Taking higher amounts than prescribed or taking the drug for non-medical reasons can lead to tolerance or dependence, just like with any other drug.
Inappropriate ways of consuming Suboxone, which may lead to dependency and physical harm, include:
- Taking it in any of its forms without a prescription.
- Taking it more frequently than prescribed or in higher amounts.
- Crushing it, injecting it, snorting it, or suddenly stopping its use can lead to the feeling of “getting high,” followed by withdrawal symptoms and the chance of developing an opioid disorder.
- Buying it and consuming it as a street recreational drug. Not only is it illegal, but if obtained through means other than prescription, you never know what you are taking and run many health risks, including death.
- Providing it to other people in any of its forms. It is illegal and could harm others.
However, when prescribed by a professional, Suboxone shouldn’t get you high if used as directed. If anything, it will help with opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms to help you maintain your recovery efforts. Any other way of using it is risky and may lead to dependency and withdrawal.
What are the dangers of abusing Suboxone?
Abusing Suboxone can lead to many health risks, particularly among those who use it recreationally. Signs of a Suboxone overdose include:
- Blurry vision
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
In addition, many people take Suboxone with other drugs, such as benzos and alcohol. Mixing these drugs is particularly dangerous and can lead to uncomfortable side effects such as:
- Respiratory distress
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Withdrawal symptoms like shaking, body aches, and nausea
The dose needed to overwhelm your body’s ability to process Suboxone changes from person to person. The best way to avoid an overdose is to use it safely by following your doctor’s orders.
Also, keep in mind that even when used safely according to your doctor’s order, Suboxone has potential side effects: anxiety, depression, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and fatigue, sweating, and more. Because of this, Suboxone is only prescribed under medical supervision.
If you are experiencing unusual symptoms, inform your doctor and get treatment immediately.
Getting help for Suboxone addiction
If you continue to abuse Suboxone or use it in combination with other substances, you can become addicted to it and face withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use.
Some people try to manage withdrawal at home, but the symptoms can become overwhelming and push them to relapse. Treatment facilities offer a variety of services and levels of intensity. It is important to find the option that suits your needs.
Some of the treatments available include:
- Inpatient treatment: patients live in a specialized facility and receive care 24/7. The staff helps them overcome the cravings and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Occasionally, patients might still need medication-assisted treatment, but they’ll do it in a supervised environment.
- Outpatient treatment: a less intense form of treatment used mainly by patients who have already undergone inpatient treatment. It allows patients to receive treatment while integrating back into their normal lives, like working and going to school. Different forms of outpatient therapy are applied depending on each patient’s needs.
If used appropriately, Suboxone can be safe and effective, but if used in excessive amounts, too frequently, or in any other way that doesn’t comply with the treatment, it can get you high, lead to dependency, and withdrawal symptoms. If you are prescribed Suboxone, take it only as your doctor instructs you to and relay any concerns you may have with them. Suboxone addiction can be devastating, but there are many options to find the help you need to find the right course for recovery.