How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?
Medically Verified: 2/1/24
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Opioid use disorder is often treated using medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This method combines traditional addiction treatment tactics with the use of medications to limit withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. One of the most common medications used during MAT programs is known as Suboxone.
While Suboxone treatment for opioid addiction will not get you high, some people attempt to abuse it. Most of the time, people who abuse Suboxone are not in MAT programs and buy the drug off of the street. Even though Suboxone can treat opioid use disorders, people without a tolerance for opioids might get high when they misuse it.
Suboxone contains buprenorphine, a long-acting partial opioid that stays in the body for a considerable amount of time. For most people, Suboxone can stay in their system for at least a week, but the exact amount of time is dictated by numerous factors such as the extent of use and overall health.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a medication used during MAT programs to treat opioid use disorder. It contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. These substances work together to lessen withdrawal symptoms, prevent cravings, and ensure that the individual cannot get high on opioids.
The side effects of Suboxone include:
- Stomach pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Mouth numbness or redness
- Tongue pain
- Blurry vision
- Back pain
Suboxone is considered a partial opioid agonist, meaning it partially activates opioid receptors in the brain. While it might not get people who have a tolerance for opioids high, someone who does not regularly use opioid drugs might experience mind-altering effects when they misuse it.
Abusing Suboxone can lead to addiction and will cause symptoms similar to other opioid drugs. While Suboxone is less potent than opioids like heroin or oxycodone, addiction to the substance requires professional treatment.
How Long Does Suboxone Remain in Your System?
Compared to other opioids, the buprenorphine in Suboxone has an extremely long half-life.
To explain, a half-life of a drug describes how long it takes your body to eliminate half of a single dose of the substance. For buprenorphine, the half-life is 37 hours. Because it can take 4 to 5 half-lives for a drug to be completely ridden from your system, Suboxone might remain in your body for up to 8 days.
However, the length of time Suboxone stays in your system can vary from person to person, depending on factors like the dose you abused, how long you’ve been taking Suboxone, and your overall health.
Additionally, Suboxone will leave behind metabolites in your system that last longer than 8 days. In other words, drug tests might be able to detect Suboxone in your system for much longer.
Urine tests are the most common type of drug test used, as they are minimally invasive, relatively cheap, and reliable. Urine drug tests can detect Suboxone in your system for up to 2 weeks after your last dose.
Saliva drug tests are less commonly used because they are less reliable than urine testing. However, these drug tests can detect Suboxone in your saliva for a few days to more than a week from your last dose.
Blood tests are invasive and provide a short window of detection, making them less than favorable for Suboxone testing. With that being said, a blood test can detect Suboxone shortly after you ingest it and up to 2 hours after your last dose.
Lastly, hair drug tests provide the longest window of detection for any type of drug. They are not used as commonly as urine tests because sending them to the lab can be expensive. Keeping this in mind, they can detect Suboxone in your system for up to 90 days after the last time you abused it.
What Factors Influence How Long Suboxone Stays in Your System?
While many people think they can rid their bodies of drugs faster by drinking lots of water and making themselves sweat, this is a common myth. Some factors influence how long drugs like Suboxone stay in your system, however, they are out of your control.
The factors that affect how long Suboxone stays in your body include:
- Your body fat content
- Weight and height
- The speed of your metabolism
- The dose of Suboxone you take
- How long you’ve been abusing Suboxone
- Whether you abused other substances
- The health of your liver
With that being said, there is no way to flush Suboxone out of your system faster. You simply have to stay sober long enough for your body to remove the substance from your system.
Find Help for Suboxone Abuse and Addiction
If you or a loved one suffer from Suboxone addiction, it’s time to seek professional help. While Suboxone is a less potent opioid than other drugs like heroin or morphine, abusing it can lead to devastating effects. As a result, you should always seek help from a drug rehab program if you’re struggling with substance abuse.
At Charlotte Detox Center, we can provide you with the treatment, medication, and support you need to rid your body of Suboxone and overcome withdrawal safely and comfortably. To learn more about our drug and alcohol detox center, contact us today.
- Medline Plus: Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal, Retrieved October 2023 From https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605002.html
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Suboxone Label, Retrieved October 2023 From https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2021/022410s042lbl.pdf