Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline

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Fears about what may occur during the Suboxone withdrawal timeline can keep people trapped in active addiction. When you are able to separate the myths from the facts, you will be better prepared to make the best decisions about treatment, recovery, and your healthier future.

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is the brand name of a prescription medication that is often used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs for people who have become addicted to opioids. Suboxone earned FDA approval in 2002 for use in opioid addiction treatment programs. 

Suboxone has two primary active ingredients, buprenorphine and naloxone:

  • Buprenorphine is classified as an opioid partial agonist. This means that it interacts with receptors in the central nervous system that are also affected by heroin, prescription painkillers, and other opioids. Taking buprenorphine allows a person to stop using opioids without developing the intense cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that would otherwise quickly occur. 
  • Naloxone is categorized as an opioid antagonist. This means it can block or reverse the effects of opioids. When someone tries to use heroin or another recreational opioid while they are taking naloxone, they won’t experience the high that they expected, but they may develop withdrawal-like symptoms.

How Is Suboxone Typically Used?

As noted in the previous section, Suboxone is typically incorporated into Medication-Assisted Treatment programs for opioid addiction. In addition to medication, MAT programs also offer therapy to help people address the social and behavioral aspects of addiction and recovery.

When Suboxone earned FDA approval in 2002, it was taken in pill form. Suboxone pills have since been discontinued in the United States and replaced by a sublingual film. Today, people who take Suboxone in the U.S. ingest the medication each day by placing a small dissolvable substance beneath their tongue.

After MAT patients have demonstrated their ability to adhere to all requirements of their treatment program, they may be given take-home doses of Suboxone. This means that they don’t have to visit a clinic or doctor’s office every day to get their medication. 

Using any prescription medication, including Suboxone, can expose a person to certain dangers. In the case of Suboxone, these potential dangers include abuse and addiction. If someone becomes dependent on Suboxone, they can develop withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the medication. 

As we will discuss in the next few sections, the Suboxone withdrawal timeline can include both physical and psychological pain.  

What Are the Symptoms of Suboxone Withdrawal?

The symptoms that a person experiences during the Suboxone withdrawal timeline can be similar to what they would endure if they were withdrawing from heroin, morphine, fentanyl, prescription painkillers, and other commonly abused opioids.

The physical component of the Suboxone withdrawal timeline can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia

Suboxone withdrawal can also include psychological symptoms such as:

  • Powerful drug cravings
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Anxiety and depression

What Is the Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline?

Symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal don’t all develop at the same time, and they can vary from one person to the next. In general, though, the Suboxone withdrawal timeline usually occurs as follows:

  • Initial symptoms often begin to become evident about 24 hours after a person’s last dose. Flu-like physical symptoms are usually the first to occur, followed by anxiety, depression, and other mental health effects.
  • The first three days (or 72 hours) of the Suboxone withdrawal timeline are typically the most intense. During this time, a person may experience severe physical and emotional distress.
  • Though these symptoms usually begin to dissipate after about 72 hours, they can persist in a somewhat weakened form for as long as 10 days. 
  • Psychological symptoms such as drug cravings and depression often endure the longest. It’s not uncommon for a person to continue to struggle with these symptoms for several weeks or months.

Benefits of Detox for Suboxone Withdrawal

The intensity and duration of the Suboxone withdrawal timeline can pose a significant obstacle if you are trying to stop using this drug on your own. Knowing that you can alleviate your symptoms simply by taking more Suboxone, you may quickly find yourself forced back into active Suboxone abuse.

To avoid this negative outcome, it can be extremely valuable to begin your recovery journey in a detoxification, or detox, program.

Here are a few of the many benefits of completing the more severe parts of the Suboxone withdrawal timeline in a detox program:

  • Detox programs are highly supervised environments where you won’t have free access to Suboxone or other dangerous drugs.
  • During detox, the professionals who provide your care may offer medical support to ease some of your withdrawal symptoms.
  • While you’re in detox, you may also be able to participate in therapy sessions. Therapy can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms. During these sessions, you can also begin to develop the skills that will support your successful recovery.
  • Successfully completing detox can help you understand that you are capable of more than you may once have believed. This confidence boost can serve you well throughout your recovery.
  • Once you’ve finished your detox program, you can transition directly into the next phase of your treatment. This promotes continuity of care and minimizes your risk of immediate relapse.

Find Treatment for Suboxone Addiction in Nashville

If you have become addicted to Suboxone, other prescription medications, or other opioids, Nashville Treatment Solutions may be the perfect place to begin your recovery journey. In addition to detox, our opioid addiction treatment center in Nashville, Tennessee, also offers multiple levels of outpatient care, including a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), and an outpatient program (OP).

In each of these programs, you can expect to receive customized care from a team of skilled and dedicated professionals. With our help, you can end your Suboxone use for good and build a framework for successful, long-term recovery.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Admissions page or call us today.