If you’re ready to wean yourself off of Suboxone and have been thinking about what symptoms might come up, you’ve probably started looking into withdrawal timelines. If you’re wondering how long Suboxone withdrawals last and what to expect, you’ve come to the right place. While many factors influence how long your Suboxone withdrawal timeline will be, the best thing you can do is prepare for the process ahead of time and know what to expect when it happens. Let’s dive in!
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a medical approach to treating opioid use disorder (OUD). MAT uses FDA-approved medications and counseling, and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders like OUD. This means that in addition to receiving counseling or psychotherapy, patients may also receive one of several approved drugs for drug addiction.
Most patients in MAT programs are prescribed either methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone). Buprenorphine and methadone can reduce cravings for other opioids, treat withdrawal symptoms, block withdrawal symptoms, and improve mental health. Studies have shown that these medications—along with counseling and behavioral therapies—can help people recover from OUD.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a drug used to treat individuals addicted to opioid drugs such as prescription painkillers and heroin. There are many types of Suboxone, with slow-release formulations designed to help addicts taper off their opioid addiction.
The drug works by suppressing withdrawal symptoms while eliminating cravings, but it’s not a long-term solution. Although Suboxone is intended to be used over several months, many addicts attempt to stop taking it abruptly and experience serious withdrawal symptoms, including intense cravings, nausea, sweating, and anxiety.
How Long Does it Take to Detox From Suboxone?
A lot of people tend to underestimate how long suboxone detox can last. It’s important to consider your mental and physical state when determining your estimated time for treatment. In most cases, you should start with a week or two as an initial estimate; that way, you won’t be caught off guard if it takes longer than expected.
While there are certain strategies you can use to reduce your withdrawal symptoms, it will take a little time for them to take effect. While detox is most often an unpleasant experience, you should remember that you’re only going through it once and that it’s a necessary step towards maintaining sobriety.
What are the Symptoms of Withdrawal From Suboxone?
Just like any opioid withdrawal, when you stop taking Suboxone, you’ll have some withdrawal symptoms. The problem is that most people who are addicted to opiates take them in combination with another substance—usually, something that alters their perception of pain or emotional state, such as alcohol or benzos. Once you stop taking one substance (say Suboxone), you’re going to need some time to adjust to life without it before you add anything else back into your system.
The symptoms of withdrawal from Suboxone are similar to other opiate withdrawals, but some side effects may be more specific to Suboxone. For example, some people taking suboxone report increased anxiety and insomnia—this may be because of something in Suboxone or a combination of other factors.
When Can I Start Tapering Off of Suboxone?
If you decide that Suboxone is right for you, your doctor will help you determine how long to stay on it before tapering off. It’s typically recommended that people remain on Suboxone for a few months. This gives your body time to stabilize and begin building a tolerance towards opiates again. In some cases, patients have stayed on Suboxone for a year or more before gradually reducing their dosage. This allows their body to repair itself from any damage caused by long-term drug use.
Is it Safe to Go Off of Suboxone Too Quickly Without a Doctor’s Supervision?
When people attempt to wean themselves off Suboxone without their doctor’s supervision, they run into many potentially dangerous issues. They are running on their own, without anyone there to monitor them and ensure they can safely manage withdrawal symptoms when they go off of Suboxone. Going through withdrawals without a doctor present is risky because you are at risk for complications or possibly other side effects.
No one should ever attempt to wean themselves off of Suboxone on their own. Instead, see your doctor or a medical professional and allow them to help you through withdrawal. You’ll be much safer if you find a specialist in substance abuse treatment, as they can help monitor your progress and make sure you don’t experience any side effects.
Will Tapering Off On My Own Put Me at Risk For Relapse?
If you’re tapered off of your Suboxone under medical supervision, you’ll be receiving enough to keep your withdrawal symptoms at bay. But if you suddenly stop taking them, it can make all of those symptoms come back with a vengeance.
When you stop taking Suboxone suddenly without medical supervision, you could end up back at square one—you could be suffering from physical withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings, too. That’s why it’s so important to taper off Suboxone under a doctor’s care. That way, your body can adjust to lower doses over time so that when you stop taking them entirely, your body can go through a much more gradual withdrawal process.
How Recovery Connection Can Help
Getting through Suboxone withdrawal is one of our main focuses at Recovery Connection. We offer a holistic approach to treatment and help patients every step of their recovery journey. Our network of counselors can guide you through your first steps, including how long suboxone withdrawals last, how to start recovering from suboxone dependence, and what resources are available.
We know that recovering from suboxone dependence is an individualized process and that no two cases are alike. We help patients make informed decisions about treatment through our counseling and medically-assisted detox program, giving you a personalized plan for your recovery journey.
With locations throughout New England, Recovery Connection can offer treatment to patients across the region. Whether you’re looking for medication-assisted treatment or an outpatient program with additional recovery support services, we can help you find a drug rehab program that is right for you. Contact us today to learn more about how long suboxone withdrawals last and what options are available to you!