Sooner or later, the question “How to get off Suboxone?” crosses the mind of anyone taking this medication.
While some people take it for months, years, and even decades, the truth is that you don’t have to rely on such drugs your entire life to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. Anyone can return to an opioid-free life, and so can you.
So, if you’re wondering how to stop taking Suboxone, look no further.
This article will explain how to get off Suboxone safely and effectively and what you should not do if you’re thinking of quitting this medication.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is an opioid-based combination medication commonly used in opioid addiction treatment that consists of:
- Buprenorphine. This long-acting partial opioid agonist is the main active ingredient in Suboxone. Buprenorphine may be prescribed either to alleviate moderate-to-severe pain or to treat opioid use disorder (OUD).
- Naloxone. As an opioid antagonist, naloxone blocks the effects of other opioids and can reverse an opioid overdose if administered promptly.
Suboxone comes in the form of a sublingual tablet or a sublingual film. It is also marketed under the Zubsolv and Cassipa brand names and can be purchased as a generic drug.
Suboxone works by gradually releasing buprenorphine into the system, relieving withdrawal symptoms from other opioids without inducing euphoria.
Risks and Dangers of Suboxone Dependence
Even though Suboxone is FDA-approved for the treatment of opioid addiction and can help people get off stronger or illicit opioids, it can cause dependence. Therefore, it is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance and should be taken strictly as recommended by a doctor.
Taking Suboxone as prescribed isn’t likely to lead to addiction. Nonetheless, all opioids, without exception, affect brain chemistry over time. As such, you may become dependent on it. Suboxone abuse also dramatically increases the risk of a potentially fatal Suboxone overdose.
Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms & Timeline
If you discontinue Suboxone use “cold turkey”, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms as your body begins to readjust to the absence of the drug.
Since Suboxone is an opioid, it causes the body to stop producing endorphins while also
stimulating the production of opioid receptors, which causes Suboxone dependence.
Eventually, your body can become accustomed to Suboxone to the point where it can’t function normally without it. This leads to withdrawal symptoms similar to those of other opioids, like morphine.
Typical Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:
- Flu-like symptoms (fever, runny nose, etc.)
- Appetite loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Body aches
- Sleep disturbances
- Trouble focusing
Most people will struggle with Suboxone withdrawal for about a month. Usually, withdrawal symptoms start within the first 48 hours after the last dose and are most severe during the first three days of Suboxone withdrawal.
The withdrawal timeline for Suboxone is often relatively long because it is a long-acting opioid. Various factors, such as age, metabolism, and the extent of your Suboxone use and dependence, can also influence it.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms, including those of Suboxone, can be not only hard to bear but also dangerous due to the risk of potentially life-threatening complications. For this reason, you should never stop taking Suboxone without medical supervision.
How to Get Off Suboxone
While there are several ways to get off Suboxone, not all of them are safe and effective. You may put your health—and even life—on the line by quitting Suboxone the wrong way.
With that in mind, let’s discuss three different methods of getting off Suboxone: quitting it “cold turkey,” tapering off, and the ANR treatment.
#1. Quitting Taking Suboxone
While it may seem like the easiest way to get off Suboxone is to just stop taking it, this is the last thing you should do. Quitting Suboxone “cold turkey” is not recommended under any circumstances, as this can be extremely dangerous.
Suboxone withdrawal symptoms tend to be slightly milder than those of full opioid agonists like oxycodone. However, abrupt discontinuation of Suboxone can put a lot of strain on your body, increasing the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms.
Worse yet, quitting Suboxone “cold turkey” can lead to potentially life-threatening complications that may require immediate medical attention, such as seizures. Vomiting and diarrhea are particularly dangerous, as they could cause severe dehydration and electrolyte loss. For this reason, you should only quit Suboxone under the supervision of a medical professional.
Relapse is another significant risk people who suddenly stop taking Suboxone face. If you take Suboxone or another opioid to relieve withdrawal symptoms, you may accidentally overdose on it due to reduced tolerance to opioids. Without prompt medical help, this can be fatal.
#2. Tapering Off Suboxone
Tapering off Suboxone refers to the process of gradually reducing the Suboxone dosage over a specific period until you can safely stop taking it. This allows the body to slowly adapt to lower doses of the drug, which may reduce the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms.
You should never attempt to taper off Suboxone on your own. Your doctor can create a tapering schedule for you based on your health, the extent of your opioid dependence, and other important factors. It may take anywhere between a week and several months, or even longer, to taper off Suboxone. When done correctly, it should lead to little to no withdrawal symptoms.
However, most people still struggle with opioid cravings since this method doesn’t address the root cause of opioid dependence.
A study comparing a 7-day taper group with a 28-day taper group found that lengthier buprenorphine tapering schedules don’t increase the chances of recovering from opioid dependence. Only 12% of participants in the 7-day taper group and 13% of those in the 28-day taper group provided opioid-free urine samples three months after tapering off Suboxone.
The bottom line is that gradually getting off Suboxone could still put you at risk of relapse, regardless of the length of your tapering schedule.
#3. ANR Treatment
Accelerated Neuro-Regulation (ANR) is an ultra-modern opioid dependence treatment that can help you get off Suboxone within a matter of days by restoring your brain to its pre-dependence state.
Unlike other methods, ANR acknowledges and treats the neurobiological cause of opioid dependence. As such, it eliminates cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, negating the risk of relapse.
The therapeutic goal of the ANR treatment is neuro-regulation achieved by modulating and re-regulating the endorphin-receptor system to its normal levels. By reversing the damage opioid exposure causes to the central nervous system, ANR helps you make a lasting recovery from opioid dependence.
Moreover, a study on the safety profile of ANR found that patients “demonstrated hemodynamic and pulmonary stability” both during and after the treatment. This means that the ANR treatment is both highly effective and very safe.
ANR also negates the risk of side effects and can be safely performed even on those with complex health issues like heart disease, as it is tailored to each patient’s medical history and needs. It is also carried out by highly experienced, board-certified healthcare professionals in an ICU setting of accredited hospitals rather than clinics.
How Long Does It Take to Get Off Suboxone?
How long it takes to get off Suboxone varies from person to person, depending on how long you’ve been taking Suboxone and at what doses, among other factors.
Whether or not you’re undergoing any treatment for Suboxone withdrawal and dependence can also impact how long it takes you to get off your medication.
Without any treatment, you can expect to struggle with physical withdrawal symptoms for about a week. However, psychological symptoms—including cravings—may last about a month and sometimes even longer.
With the ANR treatment, you can get off Suboxone within just a few days without experiencing any discomfort associated with withdrawal symptoms. The average hospital stay for ANR patients lasts only 36 hours!
ANR as the Most Effective Opioid Treatment Program
ANR is the only opioid treatment program you need to overcome Suboxone dependence for good. As of today, this revolutionary treatment has helped more than 24,000 people break free from the chains of opioid dependence!
The effectiveness of ANR is unparalleled because it is the only treatment that tackles the underlying causes of opioid dependence and not just its symptoms.
Not to mention, ANR is designed with your safety in mind. As such, it doesn’t involve any potentially addictive opioid replacement drugs like methadone.
Ready to return to the life you led before opioids? Contact us now!
We hope this article helped you better understand how to get off Suboxone safely and successfully.
Let’s reiterate the key points we covered:
- Suboxone is an opioid-based drug used to treat opioid addiction, but it can also lead to dependence.
- Suboxone withdrawal symptoms tend to last longer than those of short-acting opioids, such as oxycodone or morphine, and quitting the medication “cold turkey” may exacerbate them.
- The ANR treatment is the fastest, safest, and most effective way to get off Suboxone because it targets the deep-rooted cause of opioid dependence.
How to Get Off Suboxone FAQ
Tapering off Suboxone isn’t very effective because it doesn’t treat the root cause of opioid dependence. While it can help mitigate withdrawal symptoms, it doesn’t eliminate the risk of relapse; many people continue to struggle with cravings after tapering off opioids like Suboxone.
When done correctly (i.e., under the supervision of an experienced doctor), tapering off Suboxone is relatively safe. It allows your body to adjust to lower doses of the drug gradually. Still, it may lead to relapse, which increases the chances of a potentially fatal overdose.
If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor to get off Suboxone safely. They’ll examine your health condition, opioid use, etc., and recommend the best course of action for your unique situation.
Yes, relapse can happen while you’re tapering off Suboxone. Since this method doesn’t repair opioid-induced changes in brain chemistry, you may still experience cravings or other withdrawal symptoms, increasing the risk of relapse.
You should never stop taking Suboxone without professional help. Quitting Suboxone on your own is very dangerous and may lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, dangerous complications, relapse, and even death.