Suboxone is a prescription medication that is used to treat opioid addiction that is made of two main ingredients; opioid buprenorphine, which is a mild opioid medication that is used to treat pain, and naloxone, which blocks the opioid receptors in the brain preventing someone from getting high if they do still take any opioid drug.
This medication is intended to reduce the craving for opioids such as heroin, codeine, fentanyl, or oxycodone. A doctor will generally prescribe this medication with the intent of gradually tapering a person off of it until their body no longer has to rely on narcotics at all to feel normal.
Can you Overdose on Buprenorphine?
Suboxone does have the potential to be misused if not taken properly, taken in too high a dose, or taken without prescription. According to an article published by SAMHSA:
Because of buprenorphine’s opioid effects, it can be misused, particularly by people who do not have an opioid dependency. Naloxone is added to buprenorphine to decrease the likelihood of diversion and misuse of the combination drug product.
The short answer is yes, you can overdose on Suboxone. Some people will abuse Suboxone either by taking more than the prescribed dose as a way to experience an opioid-based high. When the medication is taken properly and as prescribed, a person will not get high, however, taking this is large doses can create euphoric feeling and can cause someone to become addicted to it. Taking Suboxone in high doses can cause a person to overdose, just like with any medication.
Symptoms of a Suboxone Overdose
The symptoms of a Suboxone overdose are pretty similar to what you would see in a person who overdoses on an opioid drug. Early signs of an overdose may include:
- Extreme fatigue and drowsiness
- Blurry vision
- Pinpoint pupils
- Blue colored lips and fingernails
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
When a person takes a fatal dose of Suboxone their body will be unable to get enough oxygen into their bloodstream. This is because Suboxone, in high doses, is a central nervous system depressant. If enough time passes during an overdose, they sill eventually stop breathing, go unconscious, and die. During the later stages of an overdose, a person will become unresponsive.
Suboxone is a very useful medication for opioid addiction, but it is vital to use it responsibly for it to work. It is a misfortune that a medication used to help stop addiction may also be abused and addictive. Once someone can overcome his or her addiction and dependence on Suboxone, the real recovery can begin.
Here to Help with Suboxone Addiction
Once you have safely detoxed our staff here at Recreate Life Counseling offer many treatment options to help you continue with your journey in recovery and be as successful as possible. We offer partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment, medicated assisted treatment, day or night treatment, and even recovery residences so you can stay in a safe comfortable environment while you put your life back together.
Drug addiction isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it.