Suboxone is a drug used in Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs. Individuals who are addicted to opioids, whether street or prescribed, can use Suboxone to assist them in reducing cravings and withdrawals during their process getting sober.
Suboxone is found to be very effective when used in combination with other behavioral supports including therapy, case management, trauma processing, and other supports depending on need.
But, Suboxone isn’t a forever solution. It is intended to be a temporary solution to allow someone to get sober. What they do once they’re sober is up to them. This is why it is so necessary to be engaged in ongoing recovery supports such as Narcotics Anonymous and working a 12-step program. Most individuals who fail to remain sober are not changing their life to be sober-friendly. You can’t get sober if you’re around a lot of other people who are using it. It’s just less likely to be effective that way.
There are long-term effects of Suboxone if it’s used over time.
First, getting off of Suboxone can be equally as difficult as getting off heroin. It tends to last longer in the body than heroin or Oxycodone or other opioids. If can stay in the boxy for up to several weeks, which brings issues with withdrawals from the Suboxone.
Ironic, right? Therefore, when reducing Suboxone use, one could notice physical and psychological symptoms.
Long-term use can be dangerous. Long-term use can cause symptoms when withdrawal occurs such as anxiety, depression, night sweating, lack of motivation, and even psychosis.
Again, these symptoms can last weeks. This makes it very difficult for individuals to function in their everyday lives.
General Suboxone use, not including withdrawal, can have negative symptoms as well. These include being drowsy, also being depressed and having anxiety, disorientation, constipation, withdrawal from friends and loved ones, vomiting or nausea, and a decreased pain tolerance. Because of these symptoms, individuals may be at a higher risk of relapsing because they want to turn back to their original drug, where they feel safe and know what to expect. Sometimes familiarity feels better to individuals when they’re in the midst of the pain.
All of these side effects and withdrawal effects mean only one thing: a comprehensive treatment program is absolutely necessary. An addict cannot simply be taking Suboxone. They need to be taking it in combination with primary care and a counselor who can oversee these symptoms and provide support accordingly. Being sick will be mentally and emotionally draining and people need support. They need tools for navigating this and remembering that if they can get through the worst of it, recovery will, in fact, be worth it.
Please note that there are also severe side effects of the drug that can be fatal such as breathing issues, liver problems, heart problems, and other organ issues. Again, the answer is always ongoing and comprehensive treatment programs. Support is necessary for sobriety.