Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline, Detox & Symptoms
When a person attempts to stop using an addictive substance, they may experience withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal can be uncomfortable, mimic illness, and generally leave the person feeling exhausted.
Withdrawal is affected by many factors, and everyone experiences withdrawal differently.
What Is Suboxone?
In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration approved Suboxone as a treatment to help people suffering from opioid addiction taper off the substance and become sober. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, which blocks the uptake of large amounts of opioids in the brain.
Since this medication was approved for prescription use, however, there have been more reports of Suboxone misuse—either being used recreationally or diverted (sold illegally for illicit use). Even when used as directed, people can develop a dependence on Suboxone.
Suboxone is intended to be used as part of a comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program that uses Suboxone to detox from the opioid being misused. It is not sufficient to simply take Suboxone and hope to recover from opioid addiction. The standard of care typically involves a combination of evidence-based therapies, including counseling and treatment medications for opioid addiction.
Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms
Suboxone is designed to ease withdrawal symptoms for people working to overcome opioid addictions. When use is supervised by a medical professional and therapy is also given, Suboxone can be effective at reducing cravings and lessening the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline
Buprenorphine, one of the two active ingredients in Suboxone, has one of the longest half-lives for partial or full opioid agonists. The fact that it lasts so long in the body is a benefit when used as a prescription, because it helps to reduce cravings for stronger opioids for longer periods of time.
However, for a person addicted to Suboxone, the longer Suboxone half-life means withdrawal can take longer.
Buprenorphine’s half-life is 37 hours. By comparison, full opioid agonists, like morphine, typically have a half-life of 2-7 hours.
While this means that Suboxone withdrawal symptoms will not begin the same day, it could impact how long the drug takes to leave the body.
Other factors that can impact how long withdrawal from Suboxone takes include:
- How much of the drug the person took to get high.
- How long the person misused the medication.
- Age and body fat composition.
- Liver function. (Suboxone is not recommended for people with reduced liver function.)
- Urinary pH. (A person with low urine pH typically excretes Suboxone more quickly.)
- Presence of other drugs in the system, like alcohol or cocaine.
Suboxone metabolites can remain in the body for up to 2 weeks, but generally clear completely after that point.
Psychological Suboxone withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and cravings, can last longer and potentially reappear years later. Psychological withdrawal is a large part of the reason why a medically supervised Suboxone detox and subsequent individual and group therapy treatment are so important.
Can You Quit Suboxone Cold Turkey?
If a person has been misusing Suboxone, professional help may be needed to detox from the medication. Medical oversight is critical during the Suboxone withdrawal process, since people who need to withdraw from Suboxone generally have a history of opiate misuse.
Quitting Suboxone “cold turkey” at home can have dangerous consequences, such as withdrawal complications. Supervised medical detox programs help to ensure the patient is as safe and comfortable as possible. Medical professionals can monitor the risk of any severe Suboxone withdrawal symptoms or complications, and treat them if needed.
People who attempt to quit Suboxone “cold turkey” are also more likely to relapse. This can be especially dangerous if individuals have flushed all Suboxone from their systems, and then take the same dose they once used to get high. Because the body is no longer tolerant of the drug, this behavior increases the risk of an overdose.
Suboxone Misuse Treatment
At Recovery First Treatment Center, we offer several levels of addiction treatment, including medical detox for opioid addiction, alcohol, and many other substances. For more information about the quality programs at our drug rehab near Miami, contact us today at .
Caring admission navigators are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about the treatment admissions process, how to pay for rehab, or using insurance to pay for rehab. You can also quickly and securely now.
Opioid addiction is treatable. Let us help you begin the path to recovery.