Using Suboxone Recreationally: Why This Is a Bad Idea, and How to Stop

Suboxone-recreationally

Are You Or A Loved One Using Suboxone Recreationally? It’s A Bad Idea

Recreational drug use has been a common thing for many years. In fact, using drugs recreationally dates back over 50,000 years ago were a Neanderthal burial site found in Iraq, contained high trace amounts of an herbal stimulant known as ephedra. Ephedra gives an experience of hallucinogens and historians believed it was being used as a recreational drug in Europe and Africa at the time. Although common recreational drug use doesn’t always lead to addiction, using any drug recreationally comes at risk; and sometimes a grave one.

Suboxone Drug Use: What Is It And What Is It Used For?

Suboxone is a drug manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. Suboxone is prescribed to treat those with an addiction to opioids. Included in this class of drugs are opium, painkillers (codeine, morphine) and heroin. The drug was originally designed to be used in combination with other addiction treatment and therapies including but not limited to psychological and social counseling. 

Suboxone combines two different types of chemicals: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a synthetic opioid that has a higher binding affinity to neural receptors than other drugs like heroin or opium. This property causes the reduced pleasurable effects that opioid drugs have on the human brain by blocking the receptors. It also limits the negative and painful effects of withdrawal symptoms. When you combine buprenorphine and naloxone, the result is it acts to block the effects of opioids and can counter the symptoms of overdose. Naloxone was added to assist in discouraging addicts from using the drug recreationally with other opiates.

Using Suboxone Recreationally: The Facts

Suboxone can be addictive. Many people use it recreationally to experience a “high” that is similar to taking other illicit drugs. When someone is using suboxone recreationally, the drug is typically taken either by strips under the tongue, injected or snorted for a euphoric feeling; getting “high”. The effects of buprenorphine will wear off and sometimes only after a few strips over a short period of time. 

The manufacturer of suboxone attempted to decrease people from using suboxone recreationally. As previously mentioned, they combined naloxone with buprenorphine (original buprenorphine was the only chemical ingredient). The combination of these two chemicals, it decreased the chances of someone abusing suboxone other than by its common prescribed manner of placing strips under the tongue. If it is injected, naloxone will block the euphoric effects of buprenorphine and immediately cause the addict to experience immediate withdrawal. Even when you use suboxone in its prescribed manner, the addict may still experience a small high. The effects are usually temporary and are far less effective to an abuser of opioids, but it still gives way to a chance that the person could become addicted to using suboxone. Hence the need for medically assisted detox

Not everyone that is using suboxone recreationally does so with the intent to get high. Since suboxone is well known as an addiction treatment drug within the opioid community, it is common for an addict to attempt to self-medicate, in an attempt to gradually wean themselves off of their opioid addiction. This is a dangerous method because you are left unsupervised and it is designed to be used only under doctors’ orders and supervision to keep the addict safe while reducing the intake of the drug. A lot of people fear addiction treatment detox centers and because it is a readily available street drug sold by drug dealers everywhere (most common in the US, UK, and Australia) sadly, using suboxone recreationally is not uncommon.

Using Suboxone & Alcohol: A Lethal Combination

When you use recreational drugs, you’re taking a lot of serious potential health risks. Drugs can be very dangerous, and even deadly if use them along with other substances like alcohol. This is especially the case when you combine the use or both suboxone and alcohol. 

As I previously mentioned, suboxone contains the active ingredient naloxone. Suboxone and alcohol abuse is considered somewhat uncommon because naloxone is used to block the pleasurable effects of alcohol and for this reason alone, makes mixing suboxone and alcohol a potentially lethal mix.  Because naloxone blocks the pleasure receptors, some addicts and/or alcoholics may continue to drink because they don’t “feel the buzz” which could lead to alcohol poisoning and/or drug overdose resulting in death.

Suboxone: The Side Effects

Using suboxone as an addiction treatment drug during detox under medical supervision is safe, but it is still known to cause minor side effects in some addicts using the drug.

Possible Minor Side Effects of Using Suboxone Include:

  • Lack of sleep (Insomnia)
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Constipation
  • Numbness, redness and mouth pain
  • General numbness or tingling sensation
  • Drowsiness (feeling sleepy or tired)
  • Stomach pain
  • Feelings of intoxication (feeling drunk)
  • Trouble concentrating (lack of focus)

Possible Severe Side Effects of Using Suboxone Include:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Yellow eyes and/or skin
  • Delayed or slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Labored or shallow breathing
  • Urine dark in color
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Swollen ankles, feet and/or hands

Using Suboxone Recreationally: How To Stop

No one sets out to be addicted to drugs, including those that use suboxone recreationally. Some addicts don’t realize that they can get help to stop using suboxone and other drugs by participating in detoxification (detox), or they may be too embarrassed or afraid to ask for help. A drug detox program helps you do that in a safe, comfortable way. In the old days, people had to go through detox and withdrawal on their own. This was not only unpleasant but in many cases unsafe and sometimes resulting in death. Thankfully, insurance companies now consider drug addiction to be a disease and this has safely created these types of addiction treatment centers. 

Drug detox programs are there to help you detox from drugs in a medically supervised setting that is welcoming, compassionate and committed to helping you feel better. Going to drug detox ensures that you will be safe while detoxing from drugs, and also get the emotional support you need throughout the process. If you or someone you love is struggling with drugs, it is important to know that you are not alone and that addiction is a treatable illness that can be overcome with support, understanding and professional help.

When seeking detox through addiction treatment programs from using suboxone patient health, safety, comfort, and privacy are priorities to these types of facilities. In addition to safe, effective medically supervised detox protocols, patients can expect to experience a variety of addiction treatment services and amenities. Most detox programs offer soothing holistic treatment therapies, clinical counseling, nutritious prepared meals, comfortable living areas, and rooms, as well as tranquil surroundings that help bring peace and a sense of calm while going through the many stages of opioid detox and continued addiction treatment all while maintaining your privacy. These programs give addicts a real chance by ridding the body of the suboxone and/or opioid use and then assisting with a specially designed addiction treatment plan. 

Opioid Detox Programs: Will Your Health Insurance Pay For Detox?

The answer is usually, yes. However, most insurance companies require policyholders to choose from an approved provider list, and typically there will be some costs associated with these types of programs like co-pays or cost-share insurance programs. Finding out what kind of health care insurance policy the patient has or what exactly is covered is important so contacting your insurance agent is one way to determine what you can afford. 

In addition, opioid detox programs have medical professionals on staff who are highly trained to assist you while dealing with insurance companies, and they can answer questions about coverage quickly and efficiently and even assist you with getting the approvals.

Coastal Detox: A Florida Program Ready to Provide the Help You Need To Stop Using Suboxone

If you need treatment for drug addiction from the use of opioids or synthetics like suboxone, Coastal Detox, in sunny South Florida, is eager to help you fight and win the battle over substance abuse. They have a long-trusted reputation within the addiction treatment industry and truly understand how valuable it is to have all the information you need for recovery. 

At Coastal Detox, providing the best care possible for their clients is the ultimate goal. Every person suffering from the holds of drug addiction can rest assured that our drug detox program is prepared to provide the best path towards your freedom from addiction. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; Coastal Detox located in Stuart, Florida will help you along your journey as they have for thousands of others. For any and all inquiries, please call Coastal Detox today at (877) 406-6623 to speak with our addiction specialists.

References:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9924-timeline-drugs-and-alcohol/

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/street-drugs-risks#1

https://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction-treatment/suboxone/

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.