The Ugly Truth about Suboxone Withdrawal

Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.

Published on May 21, 2015 | Rehab Treatment Options

Suboxone Withdrawal

Getting off Suboxone stinks. That’s the simple truth about coming off this opioid. Suboxone withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant and last for longer than “normal” opioid withdrawal. Subutex withdrawal isn’t much better (I explore the differences between the two below).

I say this as a former addict and someone who now works in addiction treatment. You’ll get a lot of opinions about Suboxone withdrawal. There’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I think it’s important to emphasize the bad and the ugly, as well as the good, to give everyone an accurate picture of what buprenorphine (Suboxone’s chemical name) withdrawal is really like.

So, let’s get right into it. Find out the truth about the Suboxone detox below.

Why are more & more people seeking buprenorphine treatment in the ER?

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms aren’t pleasant. Truth be told, many addicts continue using simply to avoid the pain of detox. I know that was a driving force for me. After starting Suboxone and Subutex for “management” of my addiction, I found myself just as physically hooked as when using heroin.

Personal experience aside, find a list of various Suboxone withdrawal symptoms below. Remember though, everyone reacts differently to drugs. You may not experience all of these Suboxone detox symptoms.

Common Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms include:

• Insomnia

• Irritability

• Sweating & Shaking

• Nausea & Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Restless Leg Syndrome

• Anxiety & Depression

• Muscle, Joint & Bone Pain

• Raised Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

• Raised Heart Rate (Tachycardia)

The best advice I can give for helping manage the above Suboxone withdrawal symptoms is to seek professional help! This can be from a doctor, a hospital, a detox, or an addiction treatment center.

Remember, the actual Suboxone detox is only your first step towards recovery. There’s much more introspection and self-searching that needs to be done. Don’t suffer alone. Help is only a phone call away!

Suboxone vs. Subutex Withdrawal

There’s an important distinction to make between Suboxone and Subutex withdrawal. Although these two drugs sound similar, and in fact are very similar, they have slightly different chemical makeup and detox symptoms.

Suboxone is a brand name pill made up of a mixture of buprenorphine and the opioid antagonist naloxone (commonly referred to as Narcan). The combination of an opioid and an “anti-opioid” is to deter abuse. Suboxone is available as a tablet, an injectable solution, and a sublingual film.

Subutex, on the other hand, is pure buprenorphine. It contains no other active chemicals. This makes it slightly more addicting than Suboxone, as well as, in theory, harder to detox from.

We’ve laid out common Suboxone withdrawal symptoms above, but what about Subutex withdrawal? How does it compare to its chemical cousin? Does it produce a worse detox or a milder one?

Well, having abused both AND used both to help wean myself off heroin, I can safely say that Subutex withdrawal is milder than Suboxone withdrawal. 

I experienced fewer symptoms during Subutex withdrawal and it was shorter. Probably the most notable difference was my anxiety level. On Suboxone, and detoxing from it, my anxiety was through the roof. With Subutex, on the other hand, I had minimal anxiety. This was true even during the soul-crushing period us addicts call detox.

I couldn’t tell you why. Better minds than mine may be able to. All I can offer is my experience, strength, and hope. Speaking of hope, let’s shift our attention to how to get off Suboxone once and for all!

How to Get Off Suboxone For Good!

Having explored common Suboxone withdrawal symptoms and the difference between Subutex and Suboxone detox, the only area left to cover is how to get off Suboxone.

While this question may seem like a no brainer, it’s a bit trickier than simply detoxing and calling it a day. Addiction, be it to Suboxone, heroin, cocaine, or anything else, requires time and treatment to overcome. It requires a physical care component, a mental health component, a life skills component, and a spiritual health component.

In short, it requires something called Comprehensive Addiction Treatment. Thankfully, that’s the banner that we operate under at Lighthouse Recovery Institute. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment in a gender-specific setting. This allows for mental and emotional growth that’s unparalleled.

Do you want to know how to get off Suboxone? Simple – seek out the best professional help available. Will that make getting off Suboxone easy? Nope. It will, however, make it possible. And possible, ladies and gentlemen, is the first step towards health and happiness. Remember, we can all change!

Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Cite This Article
Lighthouse Editorial Team. "The Ugly Truth about Suboxone Withdrawal." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on May 21, 2015, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/suboxone-withdrawal-symptoms/.

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