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Can Suboxone make you feel high?

There are over 2.5 million Americans who are struggling with substance abuse disorders with relation to prescription painkillers and opioid drugs like heroin. The statistics come directly from the American Society of addiction medicine. With this widespread prevalence of addiction there are many people in the American public that are seeking ways to overcome addiction as well as reduce the side effects of their withdrawal process.

According to the substance abuse and mental health services administration in 2002, two types of buprenorphine products have been approved for treatment with patients who suffer from an opioid dependence. The two main medications which are commonly used in treatment include Subtex and Suboxone.

Suboxone is a mixture of both buprenorphine and naloxone. It is a refined formula based off of the original Subtex that offers support to individuals who have experienced issues with severe or critical dependence on opioid medications.

In order to understand what suboxone can provide to individuals struggling with opioid addictions, we have to understand one of the main agents that makes up the medication which is Buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine and its uses:

Buprenorphine is a partial opiate agonist and a drug with a particularly long half-life when compared to other types of opiods. Unlike some early types of opiod response medications like methadone, it is classified as a class III substance which is considerably less addictive than the class 2 version.

Buprenorphine generally stays in the bloodstream between 24 up to 72 hours and it is an opioid that will work somewhat similarly to the same experiences a patient can have on prescription painkillers. It blocks pain receptors and also induces a mild euphoria but generally it does not provide the same type of intense experience as some other types of medication unless very large doses are taken. After an extensive dose of buprenorphine however no effect will be had on patients which can ruin its effectiveness for many people suffering with addiction.


Suboxone contains Buprenorphine but also Naloxone which acts as an abuse deterrent. Other types of medication that contain Buprenorphine can still continue to produce euphoric effects especially when they are injected and taken in mass quantities. The advantage of adding Naloxone means that the medication will act as an opioid agonist. When the drug is taken as directed the naloxone can fill up the receptors that would normally be activated and ensure that they remain completely dormant. This means that no matter the way that the drug is altered or taken the antagonist will continue to block the opioid receptors remaining completely dormant. The only way to truly experience a state of euphoria with this drug is to alter it and then inject or snort it. When the drug is significantly altered to reduce the effects of naloxone however it’s possible that it can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone can be used by individuals that are battling addiction and it works to counteract the effects of a short acting drug like heroin. By using the medication to stop the process of withdrawal symptoms from kicking in, this medication can be extremely helpful for medical assisted withdrawal. Suboxone is often known as subs on the street because it substitutes for the ability to get people high. The medication produces a very mild euphoric affect but allows the brain to create a flood of dopamine to the brain which is less intense and much more natural than other types of opiods. By eventually controlling the dose of Suboxone it is possible for someone to continuously reduce their chemical dependence on opiates to eventually reach a state of complete sobriety. Withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be difficult especially when overcoming addiction to a drug like heroin but Suboxone can significantly in proof the recovery process.

Suboxone is designed primarily to be used as a component of drug abuse treatment programs. The monitoring of Suboxone for patients still needs to occur as there is a chance that they can also become addictive.

Detox and withdrawal with Suboxone:

Suboxone can sometimes cause withdrawal especially if a person has been taking it for a long time to cope with their opioid withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone addiction can actually be a mild risk especially with the chances that a patient may have to take Suboxone over a long period of time. Even if you are going to be recovering from opioid addiction it is advisable to eventually get off of Suboxone so that your body can continue to heal and get back to a place where it no longer relies on chemicals to feel the symptoms of calm.

Some of the most common physical symptoms of detoxing from Suboxone as you begin to reduce your dose can include:

  • Cravings for the drug: even though the drug works to fill up receptors in the brain which are responsible for creating symptoms of euphoria, ongoing cravings for the drug even with its mild euphoric effects will continue. Your body gets used to Suboxone and having it in your system as well as having the various receptors responsible for the euphoric feelings filled or activated.
  • Insomnia: is your body begins to remove Suboxone from your system which has a significantly longer half-life than other opiods, you will experience symptoms of insomnia as well as ongoing tiredness.
  • Cold and hot flashes: problems with temperature regulation as well as ongoing hot and cold flashes are intense effects that many people start to feel after they start to reduce their dose. The brain often has difficulty regulating temperature and a cold and clammy feeling can be a regular occurrence for many Suboxone users experiencing withdrawals from the drug.
  • Abnormalities with skin: feeling a constant state of itchiness or developing regular goosebumps and skin abnormalities can be a common complaint amongst those who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone.
  • Problems with muscle discomfort: regular muscle aches and discomfort as well as pain throughout your body can often manifest during the withdrawal process. Many people experiencing withdrawal have attributed this feeling as being close to the way you might feel during severe flu. With many of your muscles aching and a feeling that your body is much heavier, it can be difficult to enjoy being physically active.
  • Nausea and vomiting: vomiting and nausea can be extremely common throughout the early stages of drug withdrawal. Even with a prescribed medication like Suboxone, the brains opiate receptors will have a significant impact when withdrawing from drugs and this can cause ongoing vomiting and nausea symptoms. An extreme loss of appetite can also come along with the nausea as it will be very difficult for you to consume any type of food.
  • Diarrhea: diarrhea can be a common symptom of Suboxone withdrawal and it goes hand-in-hand with the nausea that you might be experiencing regularly. The other unfortunate aspect of consistent nausea and diarrhea is that you can become dehydrated very quickly.
  • Dehydration: staying hydrated can be very difficult especially when you are in withdrawal symptoms. A good reason to consider medically assisted withdrawal is to have people available and monitoring you in case you may need an IV drip to restore fluids and improve your hydration preventing negative health effects.

It is important to remember that Suboxone can help you to experience mild euphoric feelings but it is mostly meant as a deterrent or an assistant to help you get off of opiod medications. The withdrawal symptoms from regular use of Suboxone can be less than some other opiods but it is important to use caution as the symptoms will eventually manifest especially if you have become a heavy user of Suboxone.