Detoxing from suboxone
The United States is currently in the middle of the worst drug crisis that it has ever faced. The opioid epidemic is like nothing that our country has ever battled. Over the past ten years, nearly a half million people have lost their lives due to an overdose related to this drug class. Most of these deaths can be linked to heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers; all of which are classified as opiates. Without the help of an opiate detox center, breaking free from the powerful grip of these substances is far from easy. The goal of most opiate detoxes is to help the struggling person overcome withdrawals with the help of medication and medical supervision. More often than not, detoxes will give clients Suboxone or Subutex to help with the withdrawal pains.
These medications can work wonders when taken properly and for a short period of time, but if one is to take them for an extended period of time, they can find themselves hooked on a whole new drug. The withdrawals associated with Suboxone are nearly identical of those attributed to heroin and other opiates, the biggest difference is how long the withdrawal symptoms last. Withdrawals from heroin, Percocet, Vicodin, fentanyl, and Hydrocodone typically last around 5-7 days. The first signs of withdrawal will be felt by the user around 12-24 hours after their last use, over the next three days symptoms will become more severe and far less tolerable. After day four or five, symptoms will begin to become less intense, but will still be present. After two weeks most symptoms will no longer occur, though some users may still have some mild post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
The withdrawals from Suboxone last far longer than that of heroin, Percocet and other opiates. The first stages of withdrawal may take up to 72 hours to be felt, this is due to the long half-life associated with Suboxone. Most opiates are fast-acting, meaning that their mood and mind-altering effects are felt quickly and fade quickly. Suboxone is not a fast-acting opiate. The effects of the drug can take thirty minutes to an hour to be felt and can last for about 24 hours. As the effects of the drug begin to fade, withdrawals will slowly start to occur. They will start mild and increase with severity as time passes. Unlike other opiates, these withdrawals will not cease after two weeks. Some people who have developed a physical dependence on Suboxone can experience withdrawals for over a month with post-acute withdrawals occurring for several months to follow.
Withdrawal Symptoms from Suboxone
Withdrawal times will vary from substance to substance and from person to person. Even people who are using the same mood and mind-altering substances will experience different detox lengths. This is the case for most substances, including Suboxone. How long it will take to detox from Suboxone is determined by a few main factors:
- How many milligrams of Suboxone that person was using on a regular basis
- How long that person has been using Suboxone
- Age, height, and weight of the user
As mentioned earlier, the withdrawal symptoms associated with Suboxone are nearly identical to those of heroin, fentanyl, and other opiates. The first signs that a person is beginning to withdrawal can be hard to notice if you are not the one experiencing them. An increase in anxiety and an overall feeling of restlessness will occur. This can be accompanied by mild sweating and achy joints. These are typical withdrawal symptoms and will occur for the first 24-72 hours. As time passes and the struggling individual does not use more Suboxone, the symptoms will become more severe. Mild sweating will become more and more profound. The mild increase in anxiety can become severe and the person will no long be able to sit still as their skin gets an intense crawling sensation and their mind races with thoughts of using again. Insomnia, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, restless legs, watering eyes, and frequent sneezing are all very common Suboxone withdrawal symptoms.
All of these physically painful and mentally draining symptoms will occur while the struggling individual returns their body back to normal. On average, a Suboxone detox will last around two to three weeks. Without proper medication, one will have to face these symptoms head-on, which often results in a relapse.
Prior to entering a Suboxone detox program, it is typical for the person seeking out help to do an over the phone assessment and intake with that program. This allows the staff at that Suboxone detox to confirm that the potential client will be a good fit for that specific medical detox facility. If the potential client is approved to enter that program the staff will begin designing a treatment plan based on that client’s specific needs. Nothing is set in stone until the client actually enters the facility and completes their intake in person. They will undergo a series of simple intake assessments and tests, including a urine test, blood analysis, a biopsychosocial, and an in-person assessment with a therapist. After completing these steps the medical staff will be able to design a treatment plan around that individual’s specific needs. They will give the client the medications necessary to ensure a safe and comfortable detox. When someone leaves an inpatient detox center they are often not discharged with a prescription for any type of narcotic medication.
A Better Option, But It’s Not Harmless
Some people who struggle with opiate addiction would seek out help from a Suboxone clinic. These are not the same as Suboxone detox centers. A Suboxone clinic will give the struggling individual a prescription for Suboxone which they can fill at a local pharmacy. Not just anyone can wander into a Suboxone clinic and leave with a prescription. They will have to pay a small fee, undergo an assessment, and submit a urine analysis to prove that they are struggling with opiates. They will then be on their own to take the medication as prescribed and to not abuse it. Thankfully, Suboxone doesn’t create a feeling of euphoria for someone who has become dependent on opiates, it will simply allow them to function.
Many of the people who seek help from a Suboxone clinic are deep in the pit of addiction are looking for a way out. They are sick of waking up and having to figure out ways to support their heroin or pill addiction. Suboxone will allow them to avoid the physical withdrawal symptoms while not having to dedicate the time to enter an inpatient detox facility. Sadly, when someone enrolls in a Suboxone clinic, they will easily find themselves physically hooked on the Suboxone and unable to go more than a day or two without taking it. The taper put into effect by the facility can take months or even years to complete. While this is still a better option than using heroin on a daily basis, it is not foolproof and it is far from harmless.
Getting Help for Substance Abuse
If you or someone you care about are struggling with opiate addiction and would like to learn more about Suboxone detox options near you, please call our toll-free line today. A specialist is always standing by ready to help you through this difficult time in any way that they can. Whether you just have some general questions regarding how long it takes to detox from Suboxone or about some of the warning signs of addiction, we are here to help. We can even help you find a detox that fits your specific needs. Calls are always free fo charge and completely confidential. A better life is possible, please do not wait, call today.