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Suboxone: a lethal drug abused by drug addicts

10-28 | By CSAA Team

Suboxone: a lethal drug abused by drug addicts

Suboxone is a drug made by intermixing buprenorphine and naloxone and it is used to treat the addiction of heroin and other opiates. Buprenorphine is used to prevent the withdrawal symptoms of opiates, and naloxone blocks the euphoric effects of the opiates. However, suboxone can become addictive when used without a prescription or in a manner that is not prescribed by a doctor.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provides the following statistics regarding suboxone:

  • In the U.S. there are fewer than 16,000 physicians who are permitted to prescribe Suboxone, as of 2013.
  • In 2012, more than three million prescriptions were written for buprenorphine, which includes the combination of suboxone and buprenorphine, the single medication that is known as Subutex.
  • Buprenorphine-related emergency room (ER) visits quintupled in the period from2006 to 2011.

Suboxone is a useful medication to treat opioid addiction, but it may prove to be destructive when used as a drug of abuse. The drug was approved for opioid addiction treatment in 2002, but almost as soon as it arrived on the market, it began to be abused.

Signs and symptoms of suboxone abuse

It can be difficult to know whether a person is abusing suboxone. It is available only by prescription. Abuse of suboxone may be accompanied by the following:

  • Appearance of random packages at one’s home or workplace
  • Finishing the medication much before the intended prescription schedule
  • Unusual behavior with friends and family members
  • Strained relationships

A person who is abusing suboxone may show the following effects of the drug:

  • Euphoric feelings.
  • Decreased feelings of physical pain
  • Reduced need of other opiates

The side-effects of suboxone abuse may include nausea, insomnia, attention problems, blurred vision, constipation, hypotension (low blood pressure), sweating, dizziness and fainting, and respiratory depression.

Suboxone overdose

An overdose of suboxone is fatal and occurs often when the drug is used with other drugs or substances. It is important to note that one should seek immediate medical help if any one or more of the following signs appear:

  • Profound drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Intermittent loss of consciousness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Vision problems
  • Slowed breathing
  • Sluggish reflexes

Treatment of suboxone abuse

Like other opioids, suboxone abuse treatment is dependent on the individual needs of the person under treatment. The first stage of the treatment is detox, where the body is cleansed of  toxic substances and all remaining use of drugs is withdrawn.

Counseling and therapy are provided following detox. Counseling explores the underlying causes of addiction. It also offers various psychological tools and coping skills to prevent relapse. Counseling is often provided in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This treatment, is available in most outpatient substance abuse treatment centers in Colorado. Each of these facilities offers treatment depending on the specific needs of each individual.

Following treatment, a person in recovery will be referred to join peer support groups that provide encouragement during recovery. Support group settings offer  mentoring, fellowship and share experiences in common that are helpful in relapse prevention.

Suboxone abusers

A person abusing suboxone is likely to have abused opiates earlier, over a lengthy period. The user may choose suboxone to prevent the withdrawal symptoms from heroin or other opiate addiction. The user may also wish to get high or be curious about the effect of the drug. By 2011, the most significant rates of seizures due to buprenorphine-containing drugs occurred in Maine, Massachusetts, New York and West Virginia.

Save your loved one

Suboxone is a lethal drug and anyone can get addicted to it. The best way to  stop suboxone is by receiving treatment at substance abuse treatment centers in Colorado. If you want to learn more about the best facilities treating suboxone abuse, contact the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors.

You may get in touch with us via our 24/7 substance abuse helpline (866)-300-5857 or chat online with our treatment advisors to learn about the most advanced substance abuse treatment programs in Colorado.


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