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

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.” The half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of Suboxone, ranges from about 28 to 37 hours, which is equal to a day or a day and a half. When abused, or even taken as directed for a prolonged period quitting Suboxone cold turkey can produce similar withdrawal effects to other opioids. Therefore, undergoing a medically supervised detox is recommended for those struggling with Suboxone abuse to ensure safety throughout the entire detox process. The entire withdrawal process from Suboxone can last for as long as a month, and in some cases longer. 

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline

Most of the physical withdrawal symptoms typically dissipate within a month, however, according to American Addiction Centers, psychological withdrawal symptoms can take longer to subside. The Suboxone withdrawal timeline is often divided as follows:

  • Days 1-3 after the last dose: This is the most physically intense part of withdrawal, as the physical withdrawal symptoms usually begin between six to twelve hours after Suboxone has completely left one’s body. Common physical withdrawal symptoms can include stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, runny nose, fatigue, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and more.
  • Days 4-7 after the last dose: This is when certain psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as severe anxiety, depression, and/ or restlessness may begin to manifest. 
  • Days 7-14 after the last dose: The physical withdrawal symptoms become more manageable, though some symptoms may persist (e.g., muscle aches and pains, insomnia, anxiety, drug cravings, etc.) and depression may set in or worsen during this time. 
  • Days 14-28 after the last dose: The physical withdrawal symptoms have likely improved greatly, and/ or become fully resolved during this time. It is also the most common time for individuals to relapse, as Suboxone cravings may be at their strongest. 
  • Day 30 and beyond after the last dose: Suboxone cravings can last for months, and in some cases years, after stopping the medication. Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia can also last beyond the first month. 

Withdrawal symptoms will vary in duration and severity from person to person as they will depend on the personal health history of the individual, how long he or she had been taking Suboxone, and the dosage of the medication taken.

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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