Effects of Suboxone use, an opioid agonist for opioid addiction recovery
Suboxone (buprenorphine + naloxone) is an opioid replacement drug most commonly prescribed to help manage the withdrawal symptoms in those addicted to opioids.
Developed as an option to methadone, Suboxone is frequently prescribed for those addicted to heroin or other opiates as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
Although Suboxone is considered an opioid, it doesn’t produce a “high” similar to those found in other opioids, therefore has less potential for abuse.
Due to being a long-acting opioid, Suboxone has the potential to stay in a patient’s system much longer than short-acting opioids.
Regardless of its usage or whether given as a prescription medication, Suboxone is still a dangerous opioid with the potential for addiction, and patients must take this into consideration before starting Suboxone. Addiction treatment programs can also treat users who become addicted to Suboxone.
Tests for Suboxone
Drug screening and drug tests can detect suboxone following consumption of the prescription drug and after the user is no longer feeling the opioid effects.
The detection window for each type of test is as follows:
- Blood: up to 2 days
- Saliva: up to 24 hours
- Urine: up to 10 days
- Hair: up to 90 days
The half-life of Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone)
A drug’s elimination half-life refers to the length of time a substance remains active in the body, which is half the duration of time the drug is actively working.
Suboxone’s half-life is approximately 37 hours, meaning this is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of Suboxone to leave a person’s system. This is due to the buprenorphine component (the primary opioid medication in Suboxone), which has an extremely long half-life in comparison to the half-life of naloxone components.
It will take between 20-70 hours to remove half of the Suboxone from the system. However, this can take significantly longer for those who are long-term users of the drug.
Drug tests and false positives
Urine testing, saliva, blood, and hair tests can detect Suboxone in a person’s system.
Testing blood samples can detect Suboxone up to 2 days following ingestion.
Suboxone is detectable in saliva samples for up to 24 hours following ingestion.
Hair follicle tests
Suboxone can be detected in hair samples up to 90 days following ingestion.
Suboxone is detectable in urine samples and urine screenings for up to 10 days following ingestion.
Factors that determine how long Suboxone stays in your body – Suboxone dosage and liver function
There are many factors that influence how long Suboxone takes to completely leave the body, and this varies from person to person.
Traces of Suboxone can be detected for longer periods if a user has a drug addiction, or uses strong opioids like high-dose morphine. If someone has been consuming Suboxone by taking high doses for a long period of time, it will take longer for the drug to leave your system as Suboxone is a long-acting opioid.
Individual factors that affect how long it takes Suboxone to be metabolized in the body include:
- Body’s metabolic rate
- Kidney and liver health
- Body mass index (BMI) & body fat content (percentage of body fat)
- Quantity of Suboxone consumed
- Duration of Suboxone consumption
Risks of Suboxone when used for opioid use disorder – Suboxone abuse
Although prescription medication is most often used as a treatment for opioid abuse by preventing them from activating pain receptors, there is still a risk for addiction and drug abuse. The risk of overdose increases when mixing substances.
As the liver metabolizes Suboxone, individuals with liver issues such as poor liver function will have higher levels of Suboxone in their system until the body processes the substance.
Treatment for Suboxone addiction can be facilitated at a suitable drug rehab center.
Suboxone treatment: detox treatment programs for substance abuse
Medical professionals or your healthcare provider can suggest addiction recovery centers for substance use disorder treatment. The types of treatments offered encourage sober living and relapse prevention.
Addiction treatment centers offer professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment options such as medical detox, inpatient rehab, and intensive outpatient programs to overcome addiction and withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment center options are also suitable for dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders including the following:
- Alcohol abuse
- Opiate addiction
- Opioid dependence
- Mental health treatment (bipolar disorder, behavioral therapy)
Check if your insurance covers rehab costs for Suboxone treatment.
Suboxone addiction treatment through ANR
Accelerated Neuro Regulation(ANR) is an extremely effective opioid addiction treatment. ANR is the only form of medical treatment that works to re-regulate the critical endorphin-receptor imbalance, tackling the root cause of addiction in the brain. Unlike traditional detox treatment, ANR works on a deeper level and targets the physiologic mechanism behind dependency. After treatment with ANR, patients can go back to their daily lives without ongoing pain or the constant fear of relapse.