Medical Suboxone Detox
Suboxone Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

The initial step on every journey of addiction recovery is admission to a medically assisted detoxification center. Those who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for any period of time almost always undergo some degree of withdrawal upon abrupt cessation of use. More often than not, the symptoms of withdrawal will lead a person back to substance use before the detoxification process is over. This is part of the reason why entering into an inpatient detox program is so important. At Immersion Recovery Center we provide a comprehensive detox program; one that focuses on more than a safe, pain-free drug and alcohol withdrawal. In addition to providing around the clock medical care, we actively prepare our clients for the next appropriate stage of their personal recovery journeys. During Suboxone detox, we conduct an individualized, in-depth evaluation, which helps us determine the length of our clients stay, what kind of medical intervention is necessary, and the next step for each client once they become physically stabilized.

If you or someone you love has been suffering from a Suboxone use disorder, detox is an important initial step, and we are available to help. At Immersion Recovery Center we effectively treat the physical and psychological symptoms associated with Suboxone withdrawal, making the entire detox process as comfortable as possible from start to finish. We utilize a combination of evidence-based medications, therapeutic practices and holistic treatment methods to provide the most integrated and effective care available. To learn more about our program of Suboxone detox or to learn more about our multi-staged addiction treatment program as a whole, contact us today.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is made from a combination of naltrexone and buprenorphine, and is most commonly used to treat moderate or severe cases of opioid addiction. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of more dangerous opioids like heroin, prescription painkillers and fentanyl. If a person takes an addictive opioid while there is naltrexone present in the bloodstream, they will experience intense and unpleasant side effects. Buprenorphine, on the other hand, is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it mimics the effects of an opioid narcotic without getting the user high. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states, “[Buprenorphine] has a ‘ceiling effect’ so the opioid effects level off even with further dose increases which reduces the risk of misuse, dependency, and side effects. Buprenorphine lowers the effects of opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings to use opioids without having full opioid potency or effects. This helps people who take the medication abstain from other opioids.”

A person might be prescribed Suboxone in a detox or addiction treatment setting in order to eliminate the symptoms of withdrawal while improving overall treatment outcomes. In addition to minimizing the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal, Suboxone helps reduce the drug cravings that often lead a person back to using within the first several months of sobriety. However, it is important to note that Suboxone can be addictive in and of itself.

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Can Suboxone Be Addictive?

Suboxone is typically used during the maintenance stage of addiction treatment, in conjunction with intensive psychotherapy and in a residential or outpatient treatment setting. If a person uses Suboxone while they are in rehab, or if they continue with a Suboxone maintenance program once they move to a lower level of care, there is a very small risk of misuse. However, buprenorphine is susceptible to abuse and dependence when taken other than as prescribed. The U.S. Department of Justice states, “Buprenorphine is a synthetic opiate and produces the euphoric effects sought by opiate abusers; therefore, it is susceptible to abuse in both of the forms approved for treating opiate addiction. Suboxone also can be diverted and abused; however, it is more likely to be abused by individuals who are addicted to low doses of opiates since it can precipitate withdrawal symptoms in high doses. The naloxone in Suboxone guards against abuse by causing withdrawal symptoms in abusers who crush and either inject or snort the drug; however, law enforcement and pharmacist reporting indicates that Suboxone is being abused successfully when snorted.” If you or someone you love has been misusing Suboxone, there is help available, and medical detox always comes as a recommended first step on the road to recovery.

Signs & Symptoms of Suboxone Addiction

If you believe you or someone you love has been suffering from a diagnosable Suboxone use disorder, there are several signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) outlines a list of diagnostic criteria used to identify the presence of a substance use disorder. If you answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions, seeking professional help from a medical detox center is likely a good idea.

  1. Do you sometimes end up using a higher dose of Suboxone than you originally intended, or do you use Suboxone more frequently than you intend to?
  2. Have you wanted to cut back on your dose or quit entirely, only to find you were unable to do so for any significant period of time?
  3. Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining Suboxone, using Suboxone and recovering from its effects?
  4. Do you often think of using Suboxone/do you ever experience intense cravings?
  5. Has your drug use interfered with your ability to fulfill personal obligations or negatively impacted your performance at work or at school?
  6. Have you experienced interpersonal problems as a direct result of your Suboxone use?
  7. Have you given up activities which were once interesting or important to you in order to engage in Suboxone use?
  8. Have you been engaging in risk-taking activities more often than normal, like driving while under the influence of Suboxone or combining Suboxone with other substances like alcohol or illegal opioid narcotics?
  9. Do you continue to use Suboxone despite physical or psychological health concerns directly related to the prescription medication?
  10. Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning a higher dose is required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
  11. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when Suboxone use is stopped abruptly?

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Suboxone Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

Even if you have been using Suboxone for the treatment of an opioid use disorder, you are liable to experience mild withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to quit using the medication cold-turkey. It is always a good idea to taper off of the medication slowly, under the close supervision of a licensed medical professional. The symptoms associated with Suboxone withdrawal are similar to the symptoms associated with heroin or painkiller withdrawal, though they tend to be more mild.

Symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal and Suboxone detox

Because buprenorphine is a long-acting opioid, symptoms can take several days to develop. Physical and psychological symptoms typically resolve within one week.

The Physical Symptoms of Suboxone Withdrawal

The most common physical symptoms associated with Suboxone withdrawal include:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Stomach cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms, including watery eyes, runny nose, night sweats and chills
  • Excessive yawning
  • Restlessness/an inability to sit still

The Psychological Symptoms of Suboxone Withdrawal

The most common psychological symptoms associated with Suboxone withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depressed mood
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Intense drug cravings

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline

In most cases, the symptoms associated with Suboxone withdrawal begin two or four days after the final dose and resolve completely within one week. The duration of withdrawal might be longer depending on whether or not Suboxone was being combined with another chemical substance like alcohol, what dose of Suboxone the person was taking on a daily basis, and the presence of any underlying, pre-existing conditions.

Is Suboxone Detox Always Necessary?

Even though attempting to detox from Suboxone on your own might seem safe, it is important to note that the related drug cravings often lead a person back to use before the withdrawal process has come to an end. Additionally, symptoms of withdrawal are always unpredictable. Physical and psychological symptoms can be severe and should always be treated in a medical detox center.

Treatment Options for Suboxone Withdrawal

The most effective treatment option for Suboxone withdrawal is tapering, which typically takes place over the course of several weeks. During the tapering process the dose of medication being taken is slowly reduced over time, so that the central nervous system does not go into shock. Medications used for Suboxone withdrawal include over-the-counter pain relievers and non-addictive sleep aids.

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Long-Term Suboxone Addiction Recovery

At Immersion Recovery Center we break our medical detox program down into three distinct stages: evaluation, stabilization and preparation. Upon admission to our Suboxone detox program each client undergoes a detailed and in-depth addiction assessment, or evaluation. We ask a series of pertinent questions, including:

  • What type of substance/substances were being used, and for how long?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed or treated for an underlying mental or physical condition, such as a mental illness or chronic health concern?
  • Have you undergone treatment for a substance use disorder in the past?
  • What dose of Suboxone were you consuming on a daily basis?

The questions we ask during the initial assessment help our clinical and medical team determine which detox methods are the most appropriate for each unique case. Next, we focus our attention on physical stabilization. Clients are able to relax in their private or semi-private bedrooms, and they have the opportunity to participate in group workshops and behavioral therapy sessions if they are feeling up to doing so. The physical and psychological symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal are treated as soon as they develop, seeing as our team of licensed medical professionals are available 24-hours a day. Our main priority is making the Suboxone detox process as comfortable as possible. Once physical stabilization has been achieved, clients make a smooth transition into the next appropriate level of clinical care. In most cases, this means transitioning into a residential inpatient treatment center. At Immersion Recovery Center we offer a multi-staged program of recovery, which includes:

  • Medically monitored detox
  • Residential inpatient treatment
  • Partial hospitalization (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP)
  • Aftercare

Long-term Suboxone addiction recovery is possible. With an individualized and effective treatment program in place, even the most severe cases of addiction can be overcome. Contact us today to learn more or to get started with our simple and straightforward admissions process.

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Immersion Recovery Center provides a licensed, individualized and integrated detox program to people of all ages who have been struggling with addictive disorders of all types and severities. We offer a step-down curriculum of clinical care, designed to help our clients make a smooth and seamless transition from medical detox into the next level of care, and eventually back into independent living. We understand how difficult it might seem to choose the best drug and alcohol detox in Florida for your unique personal needs. Fortunately, we are available to help make the decision easier. The moment you contact us, either directly through our website or over the phone, you are put in touch with one of our experienced and compassionate Treatment Advisors. They ask a short series of questions, ultimately helping you determine which level of care is the most appropriate for your unique case. If we believe our program is a good fit we conduct a free, no obligation insurance benefit check and facilitate local travel to our Delray Beach, Florida treatment center. Contact us today to begin.

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