Suboxone is a prescription drug, often used in the treatment of opioid addiction. It contains a combination of buprenorphine (an opioid) and naloxone. Ironically, the drug is an opioid, and for that reason, it has its own risks for addiction. While Suboxone can be addictive, the drug might be of benefit to those who cannot or are not ready for complete opioid detoxification. It is also a good replacement option for more harmful drugs, like heroin.
Although a safer option for some, buprenorphine drugs do have a high potential for dependence and addiction and an exit plan should be available. As with all other opioids, Suboxone withdrawal produces similar withdrawal effects when suddenly discontinued.
Suboxone withdrawal timeline varies in length of time, degrees and symptoms. If a person starts taking Suboxone regularly, the body adapts to its presence (physical dependence) by changing essential functions. When a sudden interruption occurs, suboxone withdrawal is likely to happen. Like any other opioid drug, withdrawal can produce side effects that are quite uncomfortable and sometimes extremely painful.
Most Common Withdrawal Symptoms
- Stomach pain and diarrhea
- Nausea and vomiting
- Physical weakness
- Bone aches and muscle cramping
- Hot or cold flashes
Severe Side Effects
- Irregular or difficult breathing
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Pale lips, fingernails, or skin
- Lower side or back pain
- Trouble or pain urinating
If you experience any of these possibly dangerous side effects, you should contact your doctor or an emergency health provider immediately.
Opioid withdrawal can affect someone physically, as well as emotionally. The physical distress often leads to extreme anxiety, depression, and irritability. Most of these emotional and physical issues are preventable when adequately managed in a medical facility.
It is essential to realize that abruptly quitting Suboxone can cause the same symptoms as a withdrawal from any other opioid drug. For those who choose to detox outpatient or go for Suboxone treatment, is an idea of what a Suboxone withdrawal timeline looks like.
Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline
Withdrawal is a very individual process. Although most physical symptoms subside within 1 to 2-weeks, it is impossible to accurately estimate the timeline and symptoms of each individual
Within the first 72 hours is when the most physical symptoms occur. Suboxone withdrawal symptoms vary in severity and duration. It depends on how long Suboxone has been taken as well as the dosage.
During that first week, the most challenging symptoms to overcome are mood swings, body aches, pain, and insomnia but often subside by day 5 to 7. However, the emotional and physical state of the person can become problematic at this time.
At this point, depression often kicks in. While the general aches and pains in the body subside, insomnia and physical exhaust can lead to depression. After the second week, depression is the most significant symptom. Anxiety and mood swings are also frequent as the body readjusts. After one month, users will likely still be experiencing intense cravings and depression. This stage of depression can last until the end of the first month.
While most of the stronger physical and mental symptoms will begin to subside, depression and craving for the drug might still be intense. After one month, users will likely still be experiencing these symptoms. It is important to remember that this is probably the most delicate time after stopping Suboxone use, as users have a high potential for relapse.
After the 1st Month
Although the most significant physical symptoms are most likely to cease after the first 30 days, psychological symptoms can go on for several months. One of the best non-addictive medications available for opioid cravings is Naltrexone or Vivitrol.
This suboxone withdrawal timeline represents the most common reports, but it usually differs from patient to patient.
Preventing Relapse from Suboxone
First and foremost, it is crucial to understand that opioid use disorder is often a consequence and not the primary issue. It is essential for the well-being of the person to have the central problem professionally diagnosed and treated. A full understanding of the individual’s issues is crucial in creating an effective and successful treatment plan.
Once the person is fully opioid-free and emotionally present, seeing a therapist on a one-on-one basis can provide significant relief from past issues and current challenges.
Participating in any type of exercise, even something as peaceful as a morning walk can get the blood flowing and the mind on the right track to start the day. One of the most important things to do is to have a healthy social life, for motivation and distraction. Continually thinking of our issues and body is exhausting and can increase cravings. Friends can act as a support group by getting a person’s mind in the right place and leading them to a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, the activities that they enjoy can improve mental health and reduce depression.
Suboxone Treatment: Easiest Way to Come
Suboxone withdrawal may be a complicated process to get through without proper medical assistance. It is essential to remember that withdrawal is a temporary condition.
If you would like to learn more about medically assisted suboxone detox or rapid detox, give us a call. Let a detox specialist know your questions, concerns, and needs. Ask about available treatment options and get help determining the best treatment option for you.
About the Author: Clare Waismann
Clare Waismann is a certified addiction treatment counselor and the founder of the Waismann Method of Advanced Treatment of Opiate Dependence, a facilitator of medical solutions for those suffering from opioid dependence. Clare has over 20 years of experience working with top treatment professionals and her institute has nearly a 100% success rate in achieving opioid detoxification using a rapid detox method.