Detox & Drug Rehab In Orange County
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Suboxone Addiction Treatment & It’s Origin

Ironically Suboxone Treatment, originally released for prescription use in drug addicts, became a problem in itself. Suboxone was developed in 2002 specifically for the treatment of opiate drugs such as heroin, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, and Morphine.  For many family members struggling to support drug addicts, It seemed to compound an already desperate situation.

Suboxone Treatment has become a somewhat controversial method of medication as many feel that they are treating one addiction by creating another. The reality is that for many Suboxone addiction is a more manageable addiction than heroin addiction or other prescription drug addictions. At Coastline Behavioral Health, we treat addiction to Suboxone as we would any other dependence. Anyone dealing with substance abuse needs understanding and caring support systems in place for a chance at true recovery.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a drug that is actually a combination of two other addiction treatment medications, Buprenorphine and Naloxone. The combination of the two allows patients with opiate addictions to deal with pain issues as well as drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Buprenorphine is considered an partial opioid agonist, which means that it can provide a sense of euphoria that heroin addicts desire, but without the strength of illicit drugs. Buprenorphine’s opioid effects continue to increase as the client takes their prescribed amounts, until a leveling off of the effects occurs. Buprenorphine works well to curb side effects of heroin withdrawal, although it has a few side effects of it’s own.

Naloxone works differently as it’s main purpose is to block opioid overdose by attaching itself to the opiate receptors in the brain. Naloxone is only designed to be used when opiates are in the system, as it’s only job is to displace them from receptors and allow an individual to avoid a opioid related overdose.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment

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Signs of Suboxone Addiction

It is not uncommon for individuals to not show signs and symptoms of Suboxone addiction unless they are going through withdrawal or attempting to it with other drugs such as benzodiazepines or alcohol. Often, loved ones are unaware there is a problem until symptoms of addiction begin to appear. It is important to know that Suboxone addiction is like other addictions, and there are telltale signs that families of recovering addicts should be aware of. The risk of death when using Suboxone with other drugs or alcohol is quite high, as the combination of the two can cause individuals to stop breathing.

Signs and symptoms of Suboxone abuse will include respiratory suppression, just like any other opiate. It is common for people to abuse Suboxone or Buprenorphine with benzodiazepines, which can suppress respiration to dangerously low levels. Deaths have occurred after these drugs were used together or when alcohol was added to the mix.

Physical Symptoms

Some of the more common physical side effects of Suboxone addiction are the following:

  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Slowed, Slurred speech
  • Vision changes
  • Weakness and coordination changes
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea and Stomach pain
  • Lack of interest in food
  • Itchy skin

Behavioral Symptoms

The common behavioral signs of Suboxone addiction include any psychological symptoms that impede normal interactions with peers and family members. These include the following:

  • Isolating behaviors
  • Lying and manipulation of others
  • Stealing for drug costs
  • Sleeping around the clock
  • Loss of employment
  • Drop in academic performance
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Drug seeking behaviors
  • Doctor shopping or ER visits

Side Effects

Suboxone is available in different dosages and is often prescribed for sublingual administration. Even in lower dosages, Suboxone has a list of common side effects and drug interactions that patients taking the drug should be aware of. Most Suboxone side effects are bothersome and easily dealt with, but others are more severe and should be addressed by a physician. Some common side effects of Suboxone are the following:

Common Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Stomach pains
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Sleepiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Mouth pain and redness
  • Vomiting

More severe symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme Confusion
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Difficulty rousing from sleep


Naltrexone is considered to be a relapse deterrent drug as it blocks the pleasurable effects of heroin while also working to reduce drug cravings. Heroin addiction medications such as naltrexone can be used for months and even years as a maintenance drug for recovering heroin addicts. Inpatient drug rehab centers in Huntington Beach often prescribe clients naltrexone as part of their drug detox program. Naltrexone cannot be taken while opiates are still in an individuals system, as the drug can cause sever withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone does not provide any sort of psychological or physical reward for the user.

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