Suboxone for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Medications for substance use disorders can both save and improve the lives of people in recovery.1 Suboxone is used to help people with opioid use disorder (OUD) manage cravings and can be used during medically supervised withdrawal from opioids and for maintenance purposes.2

This article discusses using Suboxone to treat opioid addiction, Suboxone side effects, and options for opioid addiction treatment in Florida.

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat addiction to opioids (e.g., heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone). 2,3

Suboxone is usually taken as a tablet that dissolves under the tongue or between the gum and cheek.2

The 2 active ingredients contained in Suboxone are:

  • , which is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it binds to opioid receptors without producing the full effects. Partial opioid agonists such as buprenorphine produce a “ceiling effect”, meaning buprenorphine will produce a certain degree of euphoria and pain relief, as well as decreasing withdrawal symptoms, urges and cravings, but these effects will wear off and not have an effect at higher doses. This means the risk of respiratory depression, sedation, and overdose is much lower compared to “full” opioids such as heroin or morphine.4
  • Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, and therefore it fully blocks the effects of opioids in the brain and as a result, discourages misuse by stimulating withdrawal in people if they were to misuse Suboxone (dissolve and inject the medication).5

Because naloxone is an opioid antagonist and blocks the effects of opioids, if Suboxone is given to an individual when opioids are in their system, the individual will exhibit immediate withdrawal effects, especially if Suboxone is misused. As a result, Suboxone is given when the individual is experiencing moderate opioid withdrawal effects which is a sign that opioids are no longer in their system.5

Using Suboxone to Treat Opioid Addiction

If a doctor determines that Suboxone is safe and appropriate for a patient, it will be administered after withdrawal symptoms begin.5

Suboxone is initially taken once a day, but this may change to once every other day as someone progresses in recovery.5

The use of medications like Suboxone for OUD has been shown to:1

  • Increase the likelihood someone will stay in treatment.
  • Decrease illicit opioid use and criminal activities.
  • Lower a person’s risk of contracting HIV or Hepatitis C.
  • Improve birth outcomes in pregnant people with OUD.
  • Increase the likelihood of securing and maintaining employment.
  • Extend a patient’s life span.

How Long Are Patients Prescribed Suboxone?

How long Suboxone will be prescribed depends on the patient; someone may remain on Suboxone for weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime.1

Tapering off Suboxone—if appropriate—is a process that depends on the individual’s needs and their doctor’s recommendations.1,6

Suboxone Side Effects

Patients sometimes experience side effects from Suboxone. Suboxone side effects may include:2

  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Problems with coordination.
  • Difficulty breathing (when used with other substances like benzodiazepines, other opioids, or alcohol).
  • .

Is Suboxone Covered by Insurance?

Nearly all health insurance plans are required by law to cover addiction treatment,7 which often includes Suboxone or other medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). However, the extent of coverage and out-of-pocket expenses will depend on the specific health insurance policy.

It is helpful to check with your insurance provider before entering a treatment program or trying a new medication such as Suboxone to gain a better understanding of what is covered under your plan. You can verify whether your insurance covers treatment at Recovery First using the .

Suboxone for Opioid Detox in Florida

If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid use, Recovery First—American Addiction Centers’ (AAC) inpatient rehab near Miami—is here to help.

Our facility offers several different levels of addiction treatment, including:

Call to start the admission process. Our admissions navigators can answer any questions you have about paying for addiction treatment and insurance plans that cover treatment.

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When contemplating the costs of addiction treatment for yourself, child, or loved one, consider the costs, or consequences, of “things as they are now.” What would happen if the substance abuse or addiction continued? Contact Recovery First, and we will help you or your loved one get the treatment needed to stop the dangerous, progressive effects of addiction.