Subutex Abuse: Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Subutex Abuse: Effects, Signs & SymptomsWhile developed as an early-stage remedy for opioid withdrawal, Subutex is also sometimes targeted as a substance of abuse and addiction. Do you suspect that you or your loved one have problems related to this medication? If so, the information in this brief guide can help you find the most efficient path to effective treatment and eventual recovery.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Subutex Addiction

Subutex1 contains the active ingredient buprenorphine, a medication designed to help you recover from opioid addiction or overlapping symptoms of addiction and non-addicted opioid abuse. However, while weaker than substances such as fentanyl, heroin and oxycodone, buprenorphine is also an opioid. This means that the medication itself can trigger addiction if you use it too often and/or take in excessive amounts. In the U.S., doctors treat all forms of opioid-related abuse and addiction as aspects of a single condition known as opioid use disorder2.

Opioid use disorder related to the misuse of Subutex produces symptoms that include:

  • Loss of control over your level of medication intake (this can mean taking Subutex in excessively large doses and/or taking it at a rate faster than your doctor intended)
  • An inability to quit misusing the medication despite multiple efforts to stop
  • Recurring intake of Subutex in circumstances that put you or others in danger
  • A level of medication misuse that leaves you unable to fulfill your school, work or household duties
  • Failure to heed objections from family or friends regarding your Subutex misuse
  • Opioid tolerance that leads to rising levels of medication intake
  • Failure to stop misusing Subutex after it produces obvious physical and/or mental harm
  • Prominent cravings for Subutex between episodes of use
  • A shift toward medication misuse and away from your favorite options for recreation

Signs of Subutex Misuse

You may also notice other signs of problems in suspected cases of Subutex misuse. Examples of likely changes include3:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unusual bouts of low energy
  • The extreme feelings associated with panic
  • A reduced ability to make wise decisions
  • A reduced ability to make your muscles work together
  • Frequent or unusual fluctuations in your mood
  • Unusual lack of interest regarding hygiene or other daily concerns
  • Episodes of depression
  • Episodes of unusual irritability

As a rule, doctors only prescribe Subutex during initial stages of opioid withdrawal. In this context, it helps prevent the onset of strong withdrawal symptoms. Later, doctors switch to another medication, Suboxone, which combines buprenorphine with an anti-opioid medication called naloxone. When given in proper amounts to a person used to taking stronger opioids, Subutex doesn’t provide enough of an effect to support ongoing addiction. However, the medication can trigger addiction in people who have no history of opioid use. Inexperienced users are also at-risk for a potentially fatal opioid overdose.

Reach Out For Help

We provide holistic care and treatment using an individualized approach specifically tailored to your needs. Our holistic care and treatment is based on the best scientific evidence available. Secondly, we help you lead a healthy, substance-free life with adaptive coping and problem-solving skills. Don’t let Subutex addiction control your life. Our addiction professionals can help you get on a path of recovery, significantly changing your life. Contact us today for more information on our certified staff of professionals, as well as our first-rate facilities.

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Subutex
    https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/020732s006s007lbl.pdf
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Substance Use Disorders
    https://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use
  3. American Academy of Family Physicians: Opioid Addiction
    https://familydoctor.org/condition/opioid-addiction/?adfree=true
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