Suboxone Abuse

Prescription medications can seem safe to use and non-threatening. After all, they’re created in laboratories. People who abuse prescription drugs may believe that they’re doing something safe, since they’re not buying a drug from a dealer on the street. The truth is this is a serious risk.

Suboxone is a prescription drug that might be a target for drug users. It’s an ironic choice, as this medication was developed to help people recover from addiction. It seems that some people find the drug just too enticing to resist. While the drug is dangerous, those families that spot the addiction can provide the help a person needs in order to leave the addiction behind.

Does Everyone Get Addicted?

the dangers of suboxone addictionSome medical experts believe Suboxone has a low potential for abuse. However, the element buprenorphine has the potential to cause an addiction issue. It affects the same parts of the brain as heroin. For those who use opiates like heroin or opioids like OxyContin, Suboxone can be a lifesaving medication. When users take this drug, they don’t feel the overwhelming need to obtain and abuse their drug of choice. Suboxone is also attractive because it’s available in a take-home form. This allows people to get the care they need without leaving home for multiple appointments.

Research suggests that many people can, and do, get better with the aid of Suboxone. For example, a study suggests that people addicted to prescription painkillers can dramatically reduce their illicit drug use when they’re provided with take-home prescriptions for Suboxone.[1]

How Addictive Is Suboxone?

Even though manufacturers claim that Suboxone cannot be abused, evidence suggests the opposite. Rather than taking the correct dose at a specific time and chasing down each pill with a glass of water, people:

  • Crush the pills and snort them
  • Mix crushed pills with water and inject the substance
  • Chew the pills and swallow the paste
  • Take many, many pills at once

Flooding the body with so many chemical signals just seems to bring about a sense of happiness and a high that the experts didn’t think were possible.

Some people choose to abuse the drug when it is given as a prescription. Others take a much different path. They buy the drug from dealers or receive the substance from people they know.

For example, in Ohio, prison officials suggest that Suboxone pills are being passed to prisoners during family visits. In Wisconsin, law enforcement officials admit that young people can buy the drug from dealers. These aren’t people who have a medical diagnosis of addiction. They’re just taking the drug for the fun it can provide.

What Happens to People Who Are Addicted?

Even though Suboxone isn’t pleasant for all users, some continue to abuse the substance. It’s a powerful substance, and the brain tends to respond with each and every hit. In time, those responses might be harder to control, unless the person provides larger amounts of Suboxone. These users may transition to a harder drug like heroin.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also suggests that buprenorphine can cause liver damage.[2] Those who take the drug medically need regular liver tests, so professionals can treat any issues that arise.

What Are the Warning Signs?

People who engage in a Suboxone addiction have very little time for other activities.

Everything they do, from dawn to dusk, involves either obtaining or using drugs. They may begin to withdraw from all social activities, disappearing for hours on end. Drug addicts may also develop an intense need for money so they can buy yet more drugs.This may lead them to borrow, steal or both.

Since people who abuse Suboxone often use needles, they may wear long-sleeved shirts and pants even when the weather is very warm outside. The drug can also make people seem drowsy and sleepy. If the person does not awake, a call for an ambulance is in order. Suboxone is a depressant, which means it can make people breathe so slowly that their bodies just shut down. Often medical attention can be reverse the side effects with medication.

If you or your loved one needs help with substance abuse, please know you can contact one of our admissions specialists at The Canyon. We create a customized treatment plan to meet all of your specific needs. You can get sober and live a life without substance abuse. We are committed to giving you the highest quality care available in a beautiful, peaceful setting. Please call now and let’s start the healing process today.


[1] https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/painkiller-abuse-treated-sustained-buprenorphine/naloxone Painkiller abuse treated by sustained buprenorphine/naloxone.

[2] http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA09-4442/SMA09-4442.pdf Facts about Buprenorphine

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