Suboxone Withdrawal: Symptoms, Signs, and Detoxification

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as 36 hours after your last dose. Learn more about Suboxone withdrawal and the correct way to detox.

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Suboxone is an opioid given as medication to treat opiate addiction. The proper use of Suboxone blocks the effects of other opiates on the patient’s body. This blockage helps during the withdrawal process. If the patient uses Suboxone long-term or stops its usage rapidly Suboxone withdrawal can occur.

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms from quitting its use can begin with 36 hours of the last dosage and last for several weeks. Some of these symptoms include muscle cramps, leg kicking, insomnia, diarrhea, sweating, anxiety, and depression. Because of the discomfort caused by the withdrawal, many patients return to Suboxone use to stop the symptoms. A period of medically assisted detoxification can help to relieve many of the symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal.

There are two methods of detoxification used for Suboxone users. The first method consists of rapid anesthesia detoxification. Under this treatment, a patient is given anesthesia that places them asleep as the drug is flushed from the body. In this way, the patient avoids most of the severe withdrawal symptoms. The second method is slower. It involves slowly tapering the patient off the drug by reducing dosages consistently until they are no longer administered.

Treatment for Suboxone Withdrawals

Withdrawing from Suboxone without medical help can be a long and uncomfortable process. A Suboxone withdrawal treatment program with medical assistance can help you through this process though, with significant relief from any withdrawal symptoms experienced.

The first 72-hour period of Suboxone withdrawal is a crucial time for seeking help. The withdrawal symptoms both start and peak during this period. Without treatment, this peak period can make a relapse into full use tempting. While all treatments are personalized to the patient, general treatment methods consist of a detoxing period followed by opiate blocking medication and psychological therapy.

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

Since Suboxone overdoses can be fatal, it is highly advised that those trying to get clean from Suboxone seek medical help rather than a home remedy or alternative medicine for symptom relief. Rehabilitation centers have proven methods to ease the detox process and relieve symptoms as much as possible in a safe, natural way.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Suboxone?

Proper detoxification can take up to 5 days. The duration of any detoxification period depends on the length of usage.

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Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery

The detoxing period has no set schedule for the Suboxone user. Its length depends primarily on the severity of drug use. Whether you choose rapid detox or drug tapering, most treatment occurs in an addiction treatment rehab facility. The rapid detox is on an inpatient basis, but tapering can be done both on an inpatient or outpatient basis as desired.

If you choose rapid detox, you can greatly shorten the detoxification period. Rapid detox begins with a medical pre-screening to determine your medical condition and drug use history. The pre-screening includes a complete physical exam and can take as long as 24 to 48 hours to complete. During this period, medication is sometimes given to stabilize the patient before the detox can occur.

After the pre-screening, the patient is placed under anesthesia for up to two hours. During this period, an accelerated neuro-regulation protocol is performed, which uses non-opiate based medications to cleanse the patient’s opiate receptors. When the patient awakens from the procedure, there is no longer a physical dependency on the opiates, though a psychological dependency may remain.

A monitoring period lasting between 24 to 48 hours follows the rapid detox. During this period, medical personnel watch for any side effects from the treatment. After release, the patient is prescribed a non-addictive medication that removes physical cravings for the Suboxone. The medication also prevents opiates from providing a physical high when taken. A short period of psychological therapy usually follows the treatment to help the patient deal with any psychological cravings for the drug.

The second method of detoxification is a more traditional tapering off from the drug. Using this method, doctors administer constantly lowering doses of Suboxone to the patient until the patient’s body is no longer dependent on the substance. While the tapering method does not eliminate the withdrawal symptoms, it does lessen them significantly. This decrease in the severity of the withdrawal removes some of the incentive to return to full use of the drug.

After the tapering ends, the patient receives blocking medication and psychological therapy to deal with any lingering psychological cravings.

Choosing a program that can provide help for Suboxone withdrawal as soon as possible is vital for stopping the use of the drug on a long-term basis. Speaking to a trained professional can help to guide you in the right direction for help.

Call to speak to someone who can provide you with the answers you need about Suboxone withdrawal and treatment. The call is confidential, and the phone lines are staffed 24 hours a day by us here at American Addiction Centers. A leading provider in American addiction treatment.

More About Suboxone:

Suboxone Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Buprenorphine
  • Generic Name Variations: Naloxone HCl dihydrate
  • Chemical Name:
  • Brand Name: Suboxone
  • Brand Name Variations: Subutex
  • Cost/Price:
  • Used to Treat Addiction? Yes
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Treat Opioid Dependency
  • Function or Use at High Dose: N/A
  • Chemical Makeup: N/A
  • System: N/A
  • Duration of Action: Several hours
Form, Intake, and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Film, tablets, serum
  • Administration Routes: Administered orally, injected
  • Dosage: 12-16 mg per day
  • Overdose: More than 16 mg per day
  • Alcohol Interaction: Adverse effects can occur
  • Illicit Drugs: N/A
  • Prescription Medications: Reduced dosage should be taken with other analgesics, sedatives, or depressants
  • Contraindications: N/A
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Headaches, pain, constipation, insomnia, sweating, rhinitis
  • Long-Term: Depression, withdrawal symptoms, infection, fatal if overdosed
  • Risk of Substance Abuse:
  • Signs of Abuse: Withdrawal symptoms, mood swings, irritability
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: 12-24 hours after the last dose
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, cold or flu symptoms
  • Tolerance: Users can develop tolerance
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: Possible
  • Psychological Dependence: Possible
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule III