Suboxone via telehealth for opioid addiction
Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) reduces opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms to help you recover from opioid addiction.
What to expect from Suboxone treatment for opioid addiction
What is Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone)?
Suboxone is a brand name for a specific medication: buprenorphine/naloxone. Buprenorphine/naloxone is one of only three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder. This medication works in the brain to alleviate dependence on heroin, fentanyl, prescription pain relievers, and other opioids.
How does Suboxone work?
Buprenorphine, the primary medication in Suboxone, works in the brain by partially activating opioid receptors. (Other opioids—like heroin, fentanyl, and pain pills—fully activate those receptors.) This partial activation allows buprenorphine to relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings caused by opioid addiction, with a lowed potential for misuse than other opioids.
Many people say Suboxone and other forms of buprenorphine/naloxone help them get their life back while dealing with an opioid use disorder. This makes it easier for an individual to break their addictive habits without feeling sick or having cravings.
Learn more: How does Suboxone work?
What are the risks and concerns about Suboxone?
Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is indicated for the treatment of opioid dependence in adults. Suboxone should not be taken by individuals who have been shown to be hypersensitive to buprenorphine or naloxone as serious adverse reactions, including anaphylactic shock, have been reported. Taking Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) with other opioid medicines, benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants can cause breathing problems that can lead to coma and death. Other side effects may include headaches, nausea, vomiting, constipation, insomnia, pain, increased sweating, sleepiness, dizziness, coordination problems, physical dependence or abuse, and liver problems. For more information about Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) see Suboxone.com, the full Prescribing Information, and Medication Guide, or talk to your healthcare provider. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Can I get addicted to Suboxone?
Any drug, or really anything that affects your brain chemistry, has potential to be addictive. Suboxone’s potential for misuse, or abuse is lower than that of other opioids when taken as directed under medical care and coupled with a program of therapeutic support. When on the right dose of Suboxone (or another buprenorphine/naloxone medication), most individuals find that they no longer have the cravings or obsession which typically defines addiction to other drugs.
Read more: Is Suboxone an Opiate?
Will Suboxone show up on a drug test?
The short answer: It depends on the type of drug test! If it’s a standard 5-panel drug test (like the type an employer might use), buprenorphine medications typically won’t show up on a drug panel. However, if you are being tested as part of your treatment program, they may be testing you specifically to ensure you’re taking the medication that they’re prescribing. In this case, the test will likely be specifically looking for the buprenorphine in Suboxone. Read more: Suboxone might show up on a drug test.
How long do I have to be on Suboxone? Will I need it long-term?
The length of your Suboxone treatment is entirely up to you and your medical care team, but the evidence does show that long-term buprenorphine treatment can be beneficial. You should look for a Suboxone doctor who listens to your requests and honors your needs to continue, discontinue, or change your medications.
Where can I get Suboxone treatment?
Workit Health clinicians prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone treatment in select states. Workit’s telemedicine Suboxone treatment program is 100% virtual in many states. If you aren’t in our area, learn other strategies for finding a Suboxone Clinic near you. The NAABT also has a directory called Treatment Match which will connect you with providers in your area.
I have more questions about Suboxone treatment.
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1. Buprenorphine. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions/buprenorphine. Accessed November 2021.
2. Davis, C. S., & Samuels, E. A. (2021). Continuing increased access to buprenorphine in the United States via telemedicine after COVID-19. The International Journal on Drug Policy, 93: 102905. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102905
3. Does Suboxone show up on a drug test? Drugs.com. https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/suboxone-show-drug-test-3535355/. Accessed November 2021.
4. Fiellin, D. A., Moore, B. A., Sullivan, L. E., Becker, W. C., Pantalon, M. C., Chawarski, M. C., Barry, D. T., O’Connor, P. G., & Schottenfeld, R. S. (2008) Long-Term Treatment with Buprenorphine/Naloxone in Primary Care: Results at 2–5 Years, American Journal on Addictions, 17:2, 116-120, https://doi.org/10.1080/10550490701860971
Our pages are medically reviewed and fact-checked by accredited medical professionals to ensure that all statements about medical conditions, symptoms, treatments, procedures and tests, standards of care, and typical protocols are accurate and reflect current guidelines as well as the latest research. However, please remember that the information on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. Workit Health, Inc. and its affiliated professional entities make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided on this page. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.