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What is Suboxone Withdrawal Like?

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Suboxone is a prescription medication that contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. It is used to treat opioid use disorder during detox and medication-assisted treatment programs. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that can prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

While Suboxone is an effective medication for opioid addiction, some people might attempt to abuse it. It is possible to become addicted to Suboxone. When this happens, individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms if they quit using it cold turkey.

Unfortunately, Suboxone withdrawal can be incredibly uncomfortable and potentially dangerous without medical treatment. Suboxone withdrawal is similar to withdrawal from other opioids as it affects the same opioid receptors. As a result, you should always seek help from a medical detox center.

The Symptoms of Suboxone Withdrawal

Suboxone is a Schedule III substance, meaning it has medical uses and a low potential for abuse. While the potential for abuse is low, it is still possible to become addicted.

Even people who take Suboxone as directed can develop withdrawal symptoms if they miss a dose or stop taking it suddenly. When ready to stop taking Suboxone, individuals should work with their prescribing physician to slowly taper off the medication.

Typically, Suboxone withdrawal is similar to withdrawal from other opioids like oxycodone or heroin. This is because it affects the same receptors in your brain as opioid drugs.

The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Changes in heart rate and body temperature
  • Dehydration
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Cravings for opioids

You might experience both psychological and physical symptoms of withdrawal if you are physically dependent on Suboxone. Thankfully, medical detox centers can offer treatments and medications that limit your symptoms. Attending detox will increase your chances at long-term sobriety.

How Long Does Suboxone Withdrawal Last?

Suboxone withdrawal can be difficult to overcome. As a result, you should never attempt to quit using it cold turkey.

The period of time that Suboxone withdrawal lasts will depend on a variety of factors. For example, how long you were abusing Suboxone and what dose you were using can play a role. Additionally, your overall health could affect how long and severe Suboxone withdrawal is.

That said, most people follow a general timeline that is easily treatable under the care of medical professionals.

The timeline of Suboxone withdrawal is as follows:

24 Hours

You should begin experiencing symptoms within 24 hours of your last dose. Typically, these symptoms are mild and completely manageable under the care of a detox treatment center. You might experience symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, nausea, and cravings for opioids.

72 Hours

Within 72 hours of your last dose, you will begin to experience peak symptoms. This means your withdrawal symptoms will be at their worst. It is vital that you are receiving treatment from a medical detox center during this time.

The peak symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal may include vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and fever. Due to the risk of high body temperature and dehydration, having access to IV fluids and medical care is of the utmost importance.

1 to 2 Weeks

Around a week after your last dose your symptoms will begin to subside. Usually, the physical symptoms are the first to go. You might continue to experience psychological symptoms of withdrawal like mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, or depression.

Detox programs will offer you the medications you need to overcome the lasting psychological symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal. Your symptoms should completely subside after 2 weeks of withdrawal.

What is Suboxone Detox Like?

The goal of Suboxone detox is to rid your body of the substance safely and comfortably. While opioid withdrawal is usually not life-threatening, it can cause fatal dehydration without medical treatment. It is necessary that you attend a detox program.

Suboxone detox programs offer the following services to help people overcome withdrawal:

  • An in-depth assessment of your substance abuse, medical history, and mental health
  • 24/7 monitoring of vitals to ensure physical safety
  • Constant access to mental health support
  • Medications to soothe withdrawal symptoms and prevent cravings
  • Access to fluids, electrolytes, and vitamins as needed
  • Daily support groups and sober activities
  • Referrals to additional addiction treatment programs like inpatient or outpatient rehab

Medical detox offers you a safe place to recover from the physical and mental symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal. It also ensures that you are separated from outside triggers during one of the most vulnerable periods of your sobriety journey. Detox programs make it much easier for you to achieve long-lasting recovery while keeping you medically stable.

Once you complete detox, your therapist and doctors will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan. They will suggest you attend inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, or a combination of both. You should always follow your treatment plan, as it is based on your specific needs to achieve sobriety.

Find Help for Suboxone Withdrawal

Suboxone is used in the treatment of opioid addiction. While it is not a full opioid agonist, some people abuse it. If you or a loved one suffers from Suboxone addiction, you should seek professional detox.

Suboxone detox centers will offer you the tools, support, and medical treatment you need to achieve sobriety. These programs will monitor your physical and mental health, keeping you safe and comfortable throughout detox.

At Charlotte Detox Center, we understand the importance of beginning your sobriety on the right foot. That is why we offer compassionate and evidence-based detox services to each of our clients. Instead of treating your symptoms, we help you get to the root causes of your addiction and prepare you for further treatment in inpatient or outpatient rehab.

Contact us today to learn more about our Suboxone detox center.