Suboxone, Friend or Foe?

Suboxone is a medication that contains two drugs; Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication that is similar to other opioids such as codeine, morphine, and heroin. However, it produces less euphoric “high” effects and therefore may be easier to stop taking. Naloxone blocks the effects of opiates such as morphine, codeine, and heroin.  Naloxone is added to the pill to prevent misuse. When administered under the tongue as directed, Naloxone will not affect the actions of Buprenorphine.

Schedule C-III drug: Abuse of the drug will likely lead to physical dependence and / or a high psychological dependence. This drug is prone to abuse. Suboxone® is a schedule 3 drug = C III

Many people addicted to opioids such as heroin, Oxycontin, or Vicodin are given Suboxone to assist in an easier detox.  However, nowadays doctors are giving Suboxone to people who have been off “drugs” for days, weeks, and even months.  Their scheme is to keep someone off their drug of choice by giving them Suboxone for years. Is that a good idea?

FACT: Suboxone is a great detox drug. Non-medical detoxing from an opiate is horrible. However, Suboxone makes narcotic withdrawals tolerable and helps thousands of people get clean every year.


The Doctors now say that you are “clean” while on Suboxone maintenance?

Well people who are clean know it because their friends and 12-step members don’t challenge them. It’s hard to claim you are sober when you are taking a schedule III narcotic. A schedule III drug gets you “high” by its very definition. People who are altering feelings and moods don’t grow emotionally, get little out of therapy, and don’t develop new coping skills.


The Doctors say that Suboxone won’t get you high?

Well O.K., ask people who have used Suboxone. I have used it and it got me high. It got my friends high too. It’s true. There are many Internet posts describing getting high on Suboxone. Remember, if the doctor says it doesn’t get you high, ask him to take some and prove it! The truth will set him free.


Doctors say that when you come off Suboxone the withdrawals are minimal and easy?

Well then, ask the doctor for a personal reference or ask someone who has tried to kick Suboxone after being on it for a few weeks or months. I have. It’s a miserable withdrawal that drags out for weeks. Many people actually go back to their drug of choice to avoid the Suboxone withdrawals. Others will need to stay on Suboxone for years or go back into rehab to detox. That doesn’t sound very nice. Be logical, tell the doctor to take it for 30 days to prove it’s not addicting—bet he won’t!


Doctors say that the blocker in Suboxone prevents you from getting high or reduces your high from other narcotics?

That is true. Naloxone definitely blocks other narcotics from binding to their receptor sites and getting you high.  Still, many people on Suboxone develop a tolerance and lose their “buzz.” Then they use large amounts of their drug of choice on top of the Suboxone to get a buzz. Sadly, some die. However, another blocker, Naltrexone is available in its pure form Revia®. You can get a Revia® prescription and never go through withdrawal or effect your “clean” time.


Doctors say that Suboxone is the new “miracle” treatment for addiction?

Hmm, doctors used to give people lobotomies, cutting through the front part of their brain. Later, they realized they were wrong and said they were sorry. Well in the 1970’s they said methadone was a “miracle” and we know what a horrible mistake that was.  Methadone was originally invented to treat opiate withdrawals. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies can’t make money just detoxing people. The big money is in maintaining people on a drug for years.  And that is what the methadone clinics did so well.  People got trapped on methadone for years, even lifetimes and could not get off. When Suboxone first came out it was also for detox only. Once again, it followed the path of methadone and is now considered a maintenance drug. Some of the Doctors pushing people on Suboxone the hardest are actually paid reps of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals– the Suboxone manufacturer. They clearly have a vested interest in the sales.

Doctors know only one thing—how to prescribe drugs. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail.

Why isn’t there a maintenance drug program for other drugs?

Why isn’t Ritalin given to keep cocaine addicts off cocaine for years? Why isn’t Valium given to alcoholics to keep them off alcohol? Well, there is no other model for treating addiction that requires you to be “maintained” on a drug for years in order to avoid taking your drug of choice.

Suboxone appears to be an old monster with a new mask. The gold standard for sobriety is being drug free. It’s not easy. But it’s easier than committing your life to an addicting substitute like Suboxone!

Many people on Suboxone for over 6-months can’t get off it. They will need to go inpatient to get off Suboxone because the withdrawals are so bad.

Don’t fall for specious sophomoric casuistry. The solution to a drug problem is never ever another drug.