Suboxone is a medication commonly used to treat opioid addiction, dependency, and withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, Suboxone has a high risk of misuse, and developing an addiction to Suboxone is not as uncommon as you may think. Detox is the first step to begin treating Suboxone addiction, as well as any other substance addiction. Having the proper knowledge and information about Suboxone detox and Suboxone withdrawal symptoms beforehand can better prepare you for what addiction treatment will be like.
Questions like “What are some withdrawal symptoms?” and “What is detox like?” are common among people that are considering seeking suboxone addiction treatment, and rightfully so. As the first step in treatment, Suboxone detox is also the most important.
Withdrawals are common among those who engage in detox, and they occur as a result of attempting to stop the intake of a drug, either via cold turkey or tapering. It is important to note that both of these methods can cause withdrawal symptoms, but quitting cold turkey almost always results in more uncomfortable and severe withdrawal symptoms.
Many withdrawal symptoms, physical and psychological, are experienced throughout detox, and many people that have been dual diagnosed find difficulty in treating both of their disorders.
Thankfully, treatment centers are the perfect answer to these problems. In the detox stage, doctors use medications and methods to help treat the withdrawals you may experience. By ignoring professional treatment, someone refuses themselves the help that they truly need to treat their withdrawals, often resulting in relapse and the development of addiction again.
Many of the withdrawal symptoms associated with Suboxone withdrawal are physical, such as:
Other physical symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal can include diarrhea, loss of appetite, insomnia, fatigue, hot/cold flashes, small convulsions such as shivering, and muscle discomfort such as cramps or other acute pains.
The psychological symptoms of suboxone withdrawal can include the following:
Other psychological withdrawal symptoms can include the development of anxiety, depression, or a number of other mental health disorders.
In the case that a patient is already dual diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, the effects of their mental health disorder may be significantly amplified. Whereas a patient with Suboxone addiction and depression may feel sad or isolated, withdrawals can amplify the depression into potential feelings of self-harm. This is why it is extremely important to partake in medical detox as opposed to at-home detox; the help of an expert can easily mean the difference between relapse and recovery.
To prepare yourself for Suboxone addiction treatment, the addict should be aware of the potential withdrawal symptoms they will encounter, and when they begin/wear off. We have constructed a timeline to better show what exactly an addict will experience as they begin their Suboxone detox.
Because suboxone generally takes longer to affect the user than other opioids, the withdrawal symptoms tend to start slowly and last a bit longer than usual, making Suboxone detox a bit more difficult. It is important to note that this timeline refers to the general withdrawal symptoms associated with Suboxone detox.
As mentioned before, all cases are different, and some of these may not apply to you or any other individual.
The first three days of Suboxone detox are commonly viewed as the most physically strenuous and unpleasant. Within six to 12 hours of complete Suboxone detox, withdrawals such as cramps, nausea, and diarrhea begin to affect the user. Thankfully, there are many medications that treatment centers commonly use to treat these withdrawal symptoms.
By day four, it is likely that the insomnia withdrawal symptom has begun to affect the patient. With insomnia comes other psychological symptoms, generally starting on days five, six, or seven, such as anxiety and agitation.
After the first week of Suboxone detox, a patient will become susceptible to the depression symptoms associated with suboxone withdrawal. This is also when cravings are commonly viewed as the most intense, causing people to relapse. During Suboxone withdrawal in a medically-supervised environment, doctors and therapists provide any resource or medication (such as antidepressants) you may need to endure these uncomfortable psychological withdrawal symptoms while also preventing relapse.
By the start of the second month of Suboxone withdrawal, relapse prevention becomes a key asset. While Suboxone will now be out of your system, drug cravings are still very real and very apparent. Suboxone, a long-acting drug, can actually cause cravings years after detoxing, though this is uncommon.
It is also important to note that the greatest chance for relapse when it comes to Suboxone detox happens after the first month, further strengthening the need to engage in medically-supervised detox.
As a medication that contains opioids, Suboxone can cause unpleasant flu-like symptoms during withdrawal. However, it’s not known to cause life-threatening symptoms such as central nervous system depressants can. Though opioids and depressants can both have sedating effects on the brain, they work differently in the body and produce different effects during withdrawal.
Opioids bind to opioid receptors all over the body, and during detox, you may feel full-body pain and discomfort. However, you won’t experience seizures or other symptoms that are dangerous during a depressant withdrawal. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good idea to go through withdrawal on your own.
Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and powerful drug cravings will compel you to use the drug again. In many cases, this compulsion is as difficult to resist as it is to resist drinking water when you’re thirsty. Going through withdrawal on your own is likely to lead to relapse. Opioid relapses can lead to an overdose in some cases, especially if you’ve started to lose some tolerance and then use the same dose as before.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can sometimes lead to serious complications. Symptoms like fever, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to serious medical complications and even death if you don’t get enough water. In most cases, people going through withdrawal are able to drink when they’re thirsty. But if you are unable to hydrate yourself or if you don’t have free access to fluids, you might experience potentially deadly complications.
Opioid withdrawal also puts your body under a considerable amount of strain. Otherwise, healthy adults can usually get through it without serious complications, but people that might be vulnerable to that level of strain might be vulnerable to withdrawal. Withdrawal can elevate your heart rate and blood pressure temporarily, which can be potentially dangerous for people with hypertension, heart disease, and other heart-related conditions.
Medical detox or detox in a hospital setting are the safest ways to get through opioid withdrawal. In 24-hour medical detox, you’ll be able to go through withdrawal with the help of medical professionals. Your safety will be a top priority, but your uncomfortable symptoms may also be eased as much as possible.
In medical detox, your withdrawal symptoms can be treated with medications, and your condition will be monitored at all times to avoid dangerous complications. In some cases, you may not need medications, but if you do, medical professionals will be available to treat your symptoms. Detox typically lasts for a week to ten days before you are able to move on to the next level of care.
Engaging in healthy habits is among the easiest and most effective ways to help free your mind from Suboxone withdrawals during detox. Exercising is a great way to exert any stress you may have built up from constant Suboxone cravings, and exercise is a healthy, natural way for your brain to start producing more dopamine by itself, completely independent from Suboxone.
A healthy diet is also key to maintaining a positive outlook during detox. There have been many studies conducted that prove that eating healthy fruits and vegetables not only improve your physical health but your mental health and happiness also.
Another thing you can do to help you get through Suboxone detox is socially engaging with people when you get the chance. Although “medical detox” generally lasts between three to five days, detoxing from Suboxone can cause withdrawal symptoms months after detox is completed. After detox is complete, many people will withdraw and isolate themselves from social interaction to avoid the stigma surrounding drug addiction.
As the opioid crisis continues to be a problem, the negative feelings toward addiction and the people that struggle with it will slowly dissipate.
Post-detox treatment, you will more than likely be interacting with other patients who have similar addictions. Talk to them; they will more than likely have some useful advice that could help you complete treatment successfully.
While engaging in positive activities will greatly aid in relapse prevention, there are some withdrawal symptoms that can simply not be treated by healthy habits. Symptoms of muscle pain/cramps, diarrhea, and nausea are all uncomfortable for the patient and can, fortunately, be treated with common medications you can find at your local drugstore.
Here at Delphi Behavioral Health Group, no one understands addiction better than we do. Our team of experienced nurses, doctors, medical professionals, therapists, and case managers make it their mission to treat your addiction. If you or anyone you know may be suffering from drug addiction, dependency, withdrawals, or anything else relating to drug abuse, our team is on standby ready to answer any and every question you may have.