How to Get Off Suboxone

A Guide to Recovery

For many buprenorphine dependent patients, it’s more difficult to quit Suboxone than heroin. We know this because we field calls everyday, from disillusioned patients who realize they can’t get off Suboxone. Ironically, now they need a “DETOX” to get off Suboxone.

The opiate addict career

Your typical opiate addict starts off on pain pills. Graduates to heroin. Tries to quit with Methadone or Suboxone. Goes back to heroin or pain pills, and around and around they go. In hindsight, the opiate addict career is a circuitous state of cross addiction. We now know that any solution that perpetuates opioid use is subpar to complete abstinence.

Why people choose to end Suboxone therapy

Besides physical dependence and the negative feelings that dependency creates, there are at least five other reasons why Suboxone patients choose to end Suboxone therapy.

  1. Lack of sex drive
  2. They want to become pregnant
  3. It makes them constipated
  4. They have to see a doctor all the time
  5. Whenever they forget to take it they feel sick

Suboxone Doctors

Who really makes the decision?

Okay, think about this for a minute. Suboxone patients are typically opioid addicts. Suboxone is an opioid. That means the choice of whether or not to stay on Suboxone is really the doctor’s decision, and not the opioid addict’s. The opioid addict patient would never have needed Suboxone in the first place if he or she could have made that choice on their own.

How Suboxone doctors are trained

There is an inherent conflict-of-interest that Suboxone doctors have with Suboxone patients. That conflict is money. Doctors are consciously or unconsciously motivated to keep their patients on Suboxone. Heck, the manufacturer of Suboxone trains and encourages doctor’s to keep patients on it indefinitely. At Suboxone training seminars we’ve listened to third party representatives from the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry teaching doctors that they could keep patients on it for LIFE.

“Doctors who enable addicts betray their profession,”
– Nick DiGiulio

Is Suboxone bad for you?

If it’s used properly, Suboxone is a great recovery tool, but the problem arises when easily persuadable addicts are urged to stay on it indefinitely. The truth is that Suboxone doctors don’t know enough about the long-term effects of Suboxone to make that call with any certainty.

Suboxone may be dangerous

What Suboxone doctors do know is frightening. Opioids negatively affect sex drive, sexual activity and sexual reproductive health. Additional evidence shows dysfunction of the bladder, kidneys, and adrenal glands. Doesn’t that sound like a few good reasons to limit Suboxone use to detoxification only, but doctors continue to use it as a maintenance drug.

Ending Suboxone Therapy

Here is something else to think about. We know few physicians who are well versed in detoxification protocols. Consequently, they’re disinclined to help patients get off Suboxone. That being said, many patients are left to quit Suboxone on their own. The result is often “withdrawal followed by relapse”. On the upside, if detoxification is conducted properly it can be done without major discomfort. If you want a smooth comfortable way to get off Suboxone all you have to do is call us. We’re here to help.

Why is Suboxone Withdrawal Different?

The bottom line is that Suboxone withdrawal lasts about twice as long as many other types of opioid withdrawal. There are a few other anomalies as well, such as pins and needles atop and below the surface of the skin, as well as unique digestive distress.

The evidence suggests that suboxone withdrawal symptoms are different than other opioid withdrawal symptoms because Buprenorphine, which is the opioid within Suboxone, is somewhat different than most other opioids:

“Unique Actions of Buprenorphine”

  1. At higher doses, Buprenorphine is “less potent” than morphine, but at low doses, Suboxone, is many times “more potent” than morphine.
  2. Of the body’s three main opioid receptors, mu (μ), kappa (κ) and delta (δ), Buprenorphine ONLY exerts significant actions at the mu opioid receptor (MOR). The problem being that MOR’s are the most powerful of all the opioid receptors.
  3. Third, the elimination half-life of Buprenorphine is 37-hours, which is much longer than most other opioids, such as heroin, which has an elimination half-life of 3 – 5.5 hours.

Buprenorphine Recovery

Know this, that with all addictive disorders, the sooner you get into treatment, the greater the likelihood of success.

For you, we offer cutting edge treatment that’s safe, effective and comfortable. Our detoxification program bridges the gap between wanting to quit Suboxone and actually quitting. We are committed to ensuring that you receive the highest caliber of care at the best value, without compromising quality. These are just a few of the many reasons why Orange County Detox is recognized as one of the World’s leading Buprenorphine dependence recovery centers.

Keys to Getting Off Suboxone

What not to do

Do not detox yourself. The downside of cold turkey Suboxone detox is typically a return to Suboxone. It’s never a good idea to detoxify without professional help. We’ve seen the results of those who insist on doing it their way and it’s ugly. But if detox is handled by healthcare professionals who are well versed in Suboxone withdrawal treatment it does not have to be a messy affair.

What you should do

It’s important to listen to your body during your recovery from buprenorphine dependence. If you know what to expect, you can help your physician make accurate assessments. Make certain to report all adverse reactions to your physician or nurse. Physicians continuously adjust medications, which is part of the process of getting off Suboxone.

Start sooner rather than later

You may be uncertain about ending Suboxone treatment. But as with Buprenorphine dependence, the earlier your treatment begins, the greater the likelihood of a positive outcome. More importantly, getting into treatment early is simply a much better plan than delaying the process.

Postpone Solving Personal Problems

You may suddenly decide to handle a host of personal problems during detox. The truth is, while detoxifying, you are not mentally prepared to solve significant life problems. You should defer all these personal problems until later. You will have plenty of opportunities to handle these issues after treatment.


Suboxone safety concerns

Safety Points Explained “Prior to Starting” Suboxone Therapy

  • Patients should be advised that SUBOXONE sublingual film contains an opioid that can be a target for people who abuse prescription medications or street drugs. Patients should be cautioned to keep their SUBOXONE in a safe place, and to protect them from theft.
  • Patients should be informed that SUBOXONE sublingual film can cause drug dependence and that withdrawal signs and symptoms may occur when the medication is discontinued.
  • Patients should be instructed to keep SUBOXONE sublingual film in a secure place, out of the sight and reach of children. Accidental or deliberate ingestion by a child may cause respiratory depression that can result in death. Patients should be advised that if a child is exposed to SUBOXONE sublingual film, medical attention should be sought immediately.
  • Patients should be advised never to give SUBOXONE sublingual film to anyone else, even if he or she has the same signs and symptoms. It may cause harm or death.
  • Patients should be advised that selling or giving away this medication is against the law.
  • Patients should be cautioned that SUBOXONE sublingual film may impair the mental or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially dangerous tasks such as driving or operating machinery. Caution should be taken especially during drug induction and dose adjustment and until individuals are reasonably certain that buprenorphine therapy does not adversely affect their ability to engage in such activities.
  • Patients should be advised not to change the dosage of SUBOXONE sublingual film without consulting their physician.
  • Patients should be advised to take SUBOXONE sublingual film once a day.
  • Patients should be advised that if they miss a dose of SUBOXONE they should take it as soon as they remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, they should skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the regular time.
  • Patients seeking to discontinue treatment with buprenorphine for opioid dependence should be advised to work closely with their physician on a tapering schedule and should be apprised of the potential to relapse to illicit drug use associated with discontinuation of opioid agonist/partial agonist medication assisted treatment.
  • Patients should be cautioned that, like other opioids, SUBOXONE sublingual film may produce orthostatic hypotension in ambulatory individuals.
  • Patients should inform their physician if any other prescription medications, over the counter medications, or herbal preparations are prescribed or currently being used.
  • Women of childbearing potential who become pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, should be advised to consult their physician regarding the possible effects of using SUBOXONE sublingual film during pregnancy.
  • Advise women who are breastfeeding to monitor the infant for drowsiness and difficulty breathing.
  • Patients should inform their family members that, in the event of emergency, the treating physician or emergency room staff should be informed that the patient is physically dependent on an opioid and that the patient is being treated with SUBOXONE sublingual film.
  • Patients should be warned that it is extremely dangerous to self-administer non-prescribed benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants with Suboxone.


Drug testing for SUBOXONE

These days, when a man or woman applies for a job the employer often requires a drug test as part of the hiring process. You could easily add in a dozen or more random drug tests throughout an employment career. The question that often comes up is, “ Am I protected by hippa laws for Suboxone?” The answer is no. The lab does not say whether or not you passed or failed a drug test. The lab only gives results. If you take Suboxone, your blood or urine will indicate the presence of Buprenorphine, which is the main active ingredient in Suboxone.

A savvy employer will know what the presence of buprenorphine indicates, which is a history of substance abuse with opioids. It’s unlikely that you will get a job as a pilot, train conductor, bus driver or nurse with buprenorphine in your system. If you want that type of career you will improve your odds by getting off SUBOXONE.


Cold Turkey Opioid Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawal is like swimming into the ocean and getting bit by a 10 foot shark. Suboxone withdrawal is like swimming into the ocean and getting bit by a 6 ft shark. Then as you’re swimming back to shore you get bit by another 6 foot shark. Which detoxification is better? You cannot say for sure. But know this, they’re different.