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How long does Suboxone stay in your system?

As a semisynthetic opioid Suboxone is one of the most commonly used formulas containing buprenorphine. In most cases Suboxone is used for the treatment of addiction to opioids. More recently it has been one of the most popular treatments for it reducing the symptoms of withdrawal from heroin addiction or hydrocodone.

Suboxone was first developed as a main alternative to methadone as well as the other buprenorphine withdrawal medications. Although methadone has a long-term history with treating heroin addiction, it still offers the chance for abuse as a manipulation of methadone can often bring about the same effects as a dose of heroin. Suboxone contains buprenorphine which also has a possibility for abuse but it is one of the only withdrawal medications it’s available with a safeguard on board.

Suboxone does not create the same type of intensive high they can be found from prescription opiates or heroine. It is a light opioid agonist and it has a much longer release time. Ultimately Suboxone is designed to prevent withdrawal symptoms as well as satiate the cravings that a person might have for opioids as they are going through the withdrawal and detox stages.

Suboxone is not as addictive as some other types of medication and that makes it much more desirable and use of treatment. It is important however to keep some caution was Suboxone as it is still addictive with the opioid qualities that it possesses. It often won’t have much effect for individuals who are addicted to opioids with a significant tolerance or those who eventually build up a tolerance to Suboxone itself. This rate of tolerance changes the way that Suboxone is metabolized over time.

How is Suboxone metabolized?

The buprenorphine that can be found in any dose of Suboxone is designed to have an extremely long half-life when compared to other types of opioids. Buprenorphine has a half-life in the body for up to 37 hours and this generally means that Suboxone can sometimes take up to eight days to completely clear from a person’s body. In most cases with the way that this drug is metabolized, many doctors recommend a once a day treatment dose to ensure that the levels remain the same and that cravings can be satiated.

The period of time that it takes everyone to metabolize Suboxone however depends on a number of different factors and this can make actually finding a dose as well as tapering doses off in rehabilitation difficult for medical professionals.

Some of the top factors that can influence the way that Suboxone clears from the body include:

  • The speed of metabolism
  • The amount of time that someone has been abusing opioids
  • The overall health of a person’s liver
  • Their fitness and fat content
  • Their overall weight and height
  • The age of the person

and the size of the last dose of opioids they had.

The overall process for metabolizing Suboxone through the liver will create metabolites that can stay in the body longer than the drug actually has effects on a person. In most cases doses of Suboxone are recommended every 24 hours but drug tests can reveal the signs of Suboxone for up to eight days. In most cases drug screening panels will not directly test for buprenorphine but if testing is enacted for the medication it can continue to reveal for up to eight days after the person has taken their last dose. Suboxone detection is not something that heavily used especially in workplace testing were addiction testing. This is mostly because the drug is prescribed as a method to assist with addiction. In the event that a person may be abusing Suboxone through extended use however, testing may be used to check into signs of its metabolites.

Some of the main testing methods used for Suboxone:

  • Blood tests: a blood test is one of the most invasive ways to detect Suboxone use shortly after ingestion. As most people who would be abusing Suboxone would be taking it at least once a day, blood test may be effective in detecting the dose shortly after it’s been ingested. Buprenorphine in the blood can generally be detected for a few days but it’s important to complete bloodwork at least two hours after the last dose. In some cases Suboxone can present in a blood test for up to a week after the last dose depending on a person’s ability to metabolize the drug.
  • Urine tests: a urine test does not commonly check for buprenorphine but it can become detectable in specialized testing. The signs of Suboxone can actually be found in the urine just 40 min. after the last dose and in tests for up to two weeks after Suboxone has been taken. Urine tests are generally targeted to check for Buprenorphine in the urine and this can also be highly effective in finding individuals that are abusing other drugs containing this compound.
  • Hair tests: specialized care tests can detect the signs of buprenorphine in a hair follicle for between 1 to 3 months. This unfortunately is not the most reliable type of drug testing as it’s very difficult actually zeroed in on the time that the person took their last dose. In most cases a dependence of Suboxone can occur at any time through the withdrawal stage and at the highest risk one month after Suboxone and opioids have been ceased.

Although Suboxone addiction may not be one of the most common types of addiction disorders it can occur just as readily as other types of opioid addiction. Whether a person is receiving Suboxone as a method to mitigate withdrawal symptoms during their detox or they have developed a dependence of Suboxone by staying on the medication for too long, the dangers of addiction are just as real with this medication as any other opioid.

There are a number of specialized facilities and programs that can help with the process of Suboxone and other opiate addictions. Working to treat this disorder and getting medical help with the symptoms of withdrawal is essential to retaining health.

Suboxone can cause withdrawal symptoms just like any other opioid and although it was designed to manage these withdrawal symptoms, when addiction to Suboxone is present it’s extremely important that a person seek medical attention as the withdrawal symptoms of cutting off suboxone addiction will need to be supervised. In most cases Suboxone doses will be slowly tapered off over time. It’s extremely important a person never try to quit Suboxone cold turkey as this can cause some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms.