Suboxone Withdrawal Treatment

Suboxone, also known as Subutex, Bunavail, and Zubsolv, is often prescribed for the treatment of opioid dependence. Known colloquially as ‘Subs’, Suboxone contains two active ingredients:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Naloxone

1. Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. Its job is to deliver small amounts of opioid doses to a patient who is currently addicted to a stronger opioid, like heroin for example. Buprenorphine allows for an individual to gradually wean or taper off of a pre-existing addiction while minimizing the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting an opioid dependence.

2. Naloxone

Naloxone is a pure opioid antagonist. It works by blocking pure agonists from reaching the brain’s opioid receptors. Naloxone intercepts the signals that the receptors send to the nervous system, and can even reverse the effects of opioids already in the system. For this reason, naloxone is also used to treat opioid overdoses.

Naloxone’s function of shutting off opioid receptors can cause withdrawal symptoms in someone who is currently using an opioid such as heroin. Side effects of withdrawal can include:

  • Intense mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Painful muscle cramps

Chronic users of full opioid agonists, such as heroin, are at risk for developing potentially fatal seizures and respiratory failure when administered naloxone on its own.

Suboxone treatment for opioid addiction

Due to the risks naloxone carries as a stand-alone drug, it is combined with buprenorphine to create Suboxone. This provides an option to assist addicts in weaning off of stronger opioids more easily. Suboxone can be used to manage the symptoms of withdrawal, whether for prescription opioids like painkillers, or illegal opiates such as heroin.

When used as prescribed, Suboxone is generally safe, although side effects are not uncommon. Suboxone for opioid withdrawal treatment is considered a type of medication therapy and has been proven effective for many as a form of harm reduction, albeit not without risk.

One of the greatest risks of taking Suboxone for your opioid addiction is becoming addicted to Suboxone itself. When a person becomes addicted to Suboxone, they’ve effectively swapped one addiction for another.

Suboxone effects

By understanding how Suboxone works in the brain, we can gain insight into why it can become addictive instead of helping in recovery.

Suboxone binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. Effectively, it takes the place of opioids, satisfying the brain’s need for those substances. As a result, it minimizes cravings and other symptoms of drug withdrawal.

At the molecular level, Suboxone is exceptionally ‘sticky’. It remains attached to the brain’s opioid receptors for several days. As a result, it makes it difficult for other opioids to attach to these endorphin receptors. Even if a person relapses they will not be able to experience the same ‘high’, as there will be fewer receptors available to bind with. This can present a danger as someone who relapses might believe they need a higher dosage of their drug of choice, which can lead to overdose.

As touched upon earlier, Suboxone is a ‘partial agonist’. This is different from other opiates, such as prescription painkillers, fentanyl, or heroin, which are ‘full agonists’. In other words, when taken as prescribed, Suboxone does not provide a feeling of being high. Instead, it simply satisfies the brain’s craving for the drug, by binding with the endorphin or opioid receptors.

Suboxone does not lower your respiratory rate as much as full opioid receptor agonists. Reduction in breathing is the number one cause of deaths from opioid overdoses. With a full agonist, the more of the drug you take, the more your breathing is slowed. Suboxone, on the other hand, has a ‘ceiling’. It can only lower your breath to a certain extent. When used as prescribed, the risk of a Suboxone overdose is very low.

Side effects of Suboxone abuse

Buprenorphine, sold under the brand name Subutex, among others, is an opioid used to treat opioid use disorder, acute pain, and chronic pain. It can be used under the tongue, in the cheek, by injection, as a skin patch, or as an implant.

Like any medication, Suboxone comes with side effects. While most of these side effects are not severe and will subside within about a month, some may persist if the drug is taken for an extended period of time. Many individuals experience milder, but ongoing opioid withdrawal symptoms while taking Suboxone, including:

  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach pain
  • Headaches
  • Aching muscles
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation

While less common, there are some more severe side effects of Suboxone that can indicate serious health risks. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Your urine is darker than usual.
  • Your stool is lighter than usual.
  • You lose your appetite for several days.
  • Your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow.
  • You develop hives, swelling, or wheezing (this can indicate an allergic reaction).
  • You experience faintness, dizziness, or mental confusion.
  • You experience stomach pain.
  • Your breathing is slower than usual.

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms

As with any opioid, quitting Suboxone can cause unwanted withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may be more severe if you quit Suboxone suddenly, rather than tapering off under medical supervision or receiving withdrawal treatment at the ANR Clinic.

The withdrawal symptoms are similar to opioid withdrawal symptoms, they include:

  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or restlessness
  • Muscle aches
  • Tremors or twitching

Other side effects of quitting Suboxone are mental, rather than physical. Without the aid of an opioid agonist, you may experience mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

While these symptoms of withdrawal are completely normal, they are often uncomfortable and always undesirable. Seeking withdrawal treatment at the ANR Clinic can allow you to stop using Suboxone while bypassing these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline


Suboxone withdrawal timeline

When quitting Suboxone, some treatment methods are faster than others and withdrawal symptoms are generally at their worst during the first 72 hours. The suboxone withdrawal length depends on the dosage and how long the patient has been taking the drug.

Days 1-3Patients may experience any or all of the symptoms of withdrawal listed above. Nausea and vomiting are common, as is diarrhea. Cravings can become severe, and tremors are to be expected. Sweating and intense anxiety are also normal.

Days 4-7Most of the more severe symptoms generally subside after the first 72 hours. You can still expect to experience aches and insomnia. Due to the fact the brain’s opioid receptors are no longer being stimulated, mood swings are likely.

Days 7+As you move closer to the two-week mark, most physical symptoms will subside. It is likely you will begin to experience cravings and depression if you have not already. After the first month of withdrawing from Suboxone, the cravings and depression will tend to be at their worst. As a result, many people relapse after a full month of sobriety.

Suboxone risks and detox efficacyIn theory, taking the prescribed amount of Suboxone would give just the right amount of opioids to bind with receptors and create a balance in the brain. However, abusing and misusing the drug to try and achieve a high or satisfy a stronger craving, renders this mechanism obsolete. The more your brain is exposed to an opioid, the more receptors are created to bind with the chemical. Using Suboxone at higher doses than prescribed, fuels the brain’s imbalance further.

Detoxing from Suboxone (quitting cold-turkey) would still leave your brain’s endorphin-receptor system in a state of imbalance as the receptors in your brain will remain, but will not have opioid endorphins to bind with.

There is an underlying physical reason for your initial opioid dependence and a subsequent Suboxone addiction. The answer to this cyclical problem can be found in the brain. The endorphin-receptor imbalance that drives dependency and cravings needs to be resolved in order to not only treat, but beat, Suboxone dependence. Accelerated Neuro-Regulation can help you do just that.

Suboxone addiction treatmentCurrently, maintenance or medication therapy with Suboxone is the default treatment for treating heroin addiction. Suboxone is often prescribed to inhibit cravings and prevent relapse. Unfortunately, Suboxone has only between a 40-60% ‘sobriety’ rate after one year. It can also be used and abused recreationally or as a means of ‘chipping’, which is when the drug is taken in between heroin uses in an attempt to avoid becoming clinically dependent on heroin. This behavior is dangerous as it can lead to both dependency and addiction to Suboxone.

If you find yourself addicted to Suboxone, know that it is not your fault and that help is available. However, any treatment that fails to address the endorphin-receptor imbalance in the brain of the addicted individual is not taking the root cause of opioid dependency or addiction into consideration. It is nearly impossible to live a normal, fulfilling life when the brain is left in a state of chemical unbalance.

Fast & rapid Suboxone detoxDr. Andre Waismann, the founder of the ANR Clinic and treatment method, helped create the foundation for opioid detox treatment with the development of ‘Rapid Detox’ almost 30 years ago.

While it was a breakthrough treatment at the time, further research and the desire to achieve better patient outcomes led Dr. Waismann to build upon rapid opioid detox. He was able to develop a new, more effective treatment known as Accelerated Neuro-Regulation treatment, or ANR. ANR operates on the principle that detoxification is an initial step of recovery, but not a comprehensive treatment for opioid dependence, or Suboxone withdrawal treatment.

Some ‘Rapid Detox’ programs claim that they can help patients quit after three days of abstinence under medical supervision. Unfortunately, this is generally ineffective and can even be dangerous.

Although ‘Rapid Detox’ is popular among patients trying to overcome withdrawals, it is not as advanced or comprehensive as Accelerated Neuro-Regulation (ANR). ‘Removing’ drugs from the body does not treat the underlying endorphin-receptor imbalance that is present in the brain of someone who uses and abuses opioids such as heroin. Physical changes in the structure and function of the brain as a result of prolonged drug use can be long-lasting and can remain even after a traditional detox from Suboxone. As long as the endorphin-receptor is left in this state, cravings and the urge to use will stay.

If the endorphin-receptor system is left in a state of imbalance, even after detox, relapse will likely occur. The physical imbalance of the brain’s endorphin-receptor system is the key to why individuals cannot control cravings, relapse, and sometimes even begin abusing medication such as Suboxone. Treating this imbalance is key to the ANR opioid withdrawal treatment.

Advanced Neuro-Regulation operates on a neurobiological level to restore balance in the brain, effectively returning the patient’s brain to a state of pre-drug use in terms of the endorphin-receptor system. The ANR Clinic method of treatment is the new standard of care for Suboxone dependency and addiction.

ANR Suboxone withdrawal treatment and its benefits

ANR promises patients freedom from Suboxone dependence through a clinically proven method of withdrawal treatment. Every person’s endorphin-receptor balance is different, which is why ANR evaluates and treats each individual on a case-by-case basis.

Suboxone withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable to endure. With the ANR treatment method, clients can not only avoid discomfort but save time. Typically, withdrawal symptoms will linger for months after stopping and cravings will begin to ramp up once again.

The ANR treatment method can be done in a single weekend. You do not have to miss work, leave your family and friends, or uproot your entire life to overcome your addiction to Suboxone. Thanks to modern medicine, ANR can restore your brain to a state of balance and give you a new lease on life.

With ANR, over 24,000+ patients have been successfully treated for opioid and opiate dependency worldwide. By introducing ANR in the United States, Dr. Waismann and the ANR Clinic are changing the stigma surrounding those struggling with addiction and the field of addiction treatment. Post-ANR treatment results are consistently positive and further support the use of Accelerated Neuro-Regulation as being the most advanced solution in addiction treatment backed by modern medicine.

Suboxone withdrawal treatment at the ANR Clinic

The ANR treatment method is completed at Landmark Hospital in Naples, Florida. It takes bout 5 hours for the procedure itself and about 30 hours of hospital stay at the ANR unit.

On the day of your treatment, you will be admitted into the hospital’s ANR unit. All patients undergo an evaluation, a lab screening, and a medical exam in order to personalize the treatment for the best results.

After being administered pre-medication for maximum comfort, and under the supervision of Dr. Waismann, the patient will be put under sedation and cared for by intensive care nurses and anesthesiologists for 4 – 5 hours.

Opioid receptors will be cleansed and blocked using naltrexone, in order to achieve the desired result: endorphin-receptor balance, without the painful side effects which normally accompany opioid withdrawal treatment. Sedation is stopped once the physician determines balance has been restored in the brain and the recovery will begin as soon as the patient regains consciousness.

During the recovery time, patients will continue to be closely monitored and encouraged to continue their daily living activities. Upon discharge, clients leave with the peace of knowing that they are no longer dependent on Suboxone or any other opioids, and can begin living a life free from fear of relapse or drug cravings.

The ANR program is designed not just for Suboxone addiction, but for addiction to heroin, fentanyl, methadone, and any other opiates. ANR is effective in all of these cases as it addresses the fundamental neuro-pathophysiologic issues caused by opioid and opiate addiction.

There are two distinct advantages ANR has when compared to other treatment methods:

No withdrawals, no cravings

With ANR, the patient is under deep sedation when the withdrawal is medically induced. This helps to avoid the worst of the withdrawal symptoms, as patients will be blissfully asleep while being treated.

Solving the underlying problem

ANR is the only treatment that treats the root of the dependency and not only the symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal. It is a treatment method that physically alters the brain so that the endorphin-receptor imbalance no longer drives the urges and cravings for drugs

Why choose ANR for Suboxone withdrawal treatment?

The ANR method of treatment has been performed hundreds of thousands of times with incredibly positive outcomes. Accelerated Neuro-Regulation is the most effective and efficient treatment for dependency and addiction to opioids, including Suboxone.

If previous attempts at recovery from drugs such as heroin or Suboxone, ended in relapse, it is essential to know that you still have options and that achieving sobriety is possible. Addiction treatment at traditional rehab facilities focuses largely on Suboxone withdrawal symptom management and has ignored the mechanism behind opioid dependency: an imbalanced brain.

Dependence and addiction are manifestations of brain changes resulting from prolonged use and exposure to drugs. As long as the endorphin-receptor imbalance remains in the brain, you will continue to experience a life of dependency and addiction, as well as a probability of recurring relapses. ANR addresses the underlying cause of your need to use and abuse drugs and can help you overcome your Suboxone dependence for good.


  1. Fudala P.J.; Bridge, T.P.; Herbert, S.; Williford, W.O.; Chiang, C.N.; Jones, K.; Collins, J.; Raisch, D.; Casadonte, P.; Goldsmith, R.J.; Ling, W.; Malkerneker, U.; McNicholas, L.; Renner, J.; Stine, S.; and Tusel, D. for the Buprenorphine/Naloxone Collaborative Study Group. Office-based treatment of opiate addiction with a sublingual-tablet formulation of buprenorphine and naloxone. The New England Journal of Medicine 349(10):949–958, 2003.
  2. Fiellin, D.A.; Pantalon, M.V.; Chawarski, M.C.; Moore, B.A.; Sullivan, L.E.; O’Connor, P.G.; and Schottenfeld, R.S. Counseling plus buprenorphine/naloxone maintenance therapy for opioid dependence. The New England Journal of Medicine 355(4):365–374, 2006.

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