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Suboxone is a brand-name drug that is comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 exclusively for the treatment of opioid dependence and opioid addiction.

It is an opioid partial agonist that acts on the central nervous system. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist which means it works by partially binding to one’s opioid receptors, expelling any existing opioids, and prohibiting any others from attaching. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist and works by counteracting the effects of opioids on one’s brain and nervous system. According to American Addiction Centers, Suboxone is “an induction agent to stabilize someone in withdrawal during the medical detoxification process as well as for maintenance treatment to promote recovery from opioid use disorder.” Suboxone is classified as a Schedule III Controlled Substance, which according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is defined as “drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” While the risk of becoming addicted to Suboxone is significantly less than the risk of becoming addicted to other opioids when abused it is possible to develop an addiction to Suboxone.

Suboxone Addiction

There are many ways Suboxone can be abused. People who are prescribed Suboxone may ingest more than prescribed in an attempt to experience an opiate high. Sometimes, people will procure Suboxone illegally and take it recreationally. However, data suggests that most people who abuse Suboxone are either attempting to stop using stronger drugs or to treat physical or psychological pain. How quickly an individual can get addicted to Suboxone will depend on several contributing factors (e.g., weight, age, substance abuse history, health history, etc.). Habitual abuse of any substance can lead to increased tolerance, meaning an individual will require more of the substance (e.g. higher dosage, frequency of use, etc.) to achieve the same feeling. When an individual is unable to stop using Suboxone without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, he or she has some level of dependence. The development of a substance use disorder is an inevitable consequence of ongoing Suboxone abuse, as it is an addiction-forming, narcotic drug. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At Upwell Advisors, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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