Buprenorphine Addiction

Subutex (buprenorphine) is an opioid medication that may cause buprenorphine addiction. Subutex is used to treat heroin addiction.  It is also used to treat severe pain, for example during or after an operation or a serious injury, but not recommended because it is a strong opioid painkiller.

Buprenorphine sub-lingual tablets are available in the UK at 400 micrograms, 2 milligrams or 8 milligrams (mg) The usual dose of buprenorhine is around 12 mg.

As a supstitutional therapy for heroin addiction it is usually taken once daily. Subutex tablets are placed beneath the tongue, where they are absorbed directly into the blood-stream via the membrane.

The irony of buprenorphine is that it is an opiate used to treat heroin addiction.

Under federal supervision, GPs can prescribe subutex as a substitute drug to aid an addict’s detox from heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, oxymorphone, fentanyl, or other opioids.

Buprenorphine is offered in two forms:

  1. Subutex (pure buprenorphine) and
  2. Suboxone (buprenorphine and anti-abuse components).

Some people, during the rehabilitation process, may become addicted to one of these substitutes.

An addiction to subutex does not happen suddenly; it develops gradually and can become very powerful. Though not as harmful as other opioids, buprenorphine is still an opiate with addictive qualities. The NHS treats buprenorphine as a controlled narcotic substance, not to be administered to those with depression or psychological distress.

buprenorphine addiction

Signs And Symptoms of Buprenorphine Addiction

Buprenorphine addiction is a progressive condition that may not present with obvious symptoms right away. However, subutex addiction can lead to serious health problems, even death.

Subutex is used to assist people who are addicted to other opioids. Still, it causes the same signs of physical addiction just like any other opioid medication.

Through close observation, a person may be able to see behavioral signs of buprenorphine addiction, which may include the following:

  • A preoccupation with obtaining or consuming buprenorphine
  • Inability to control the compulsive use of buprenorphine
  • Strong cravings for buprenorphine that can’t be soothed
  •  Continued use of buprenorphine despite negative outcomes
  • Since the FDA considers buprenorphine a narcotic, obtaining it without a legal prescription can result in criminal charges. However, people who are addicted to buprenorphine may pursue some of the following:
  • “Doctor shopping” to try to secure more than one prescription
  • Falsification of prescriptions
  • Buying it on the black market

During withdrawal, patients with Buprenorphine dependency may experience symptoms similar to other opiates. Some of those symptoms may include but are not limited to:

  • Aching limbs
  • Cascading bodily reactions
  • Cold sweats
  • Depression
  • Distress 
  • Mounting anxiety
  • Nausea 
  • Unbearable pain 
  • Uncontrollable diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Buprenorphine also presents dangerous contraindications when taken with sedatives or alcohol, and can promote possible fatal respiratory depression. During withdrawal, unchecked surges of adrenaline (norepinephrine) can squeeze the coronary and peripheral blood vessels, producing dangerously high blood pressure. It can produce dangerously elevated heart rate as well.

Fear of painful withdrawal at traditional detox centers prevents many addicted patients from seeking treatment.

Buprenorphine Addiction Help

There is no safe addiction. If you or a loved one is addicted to buprenorphine, we can help. Please call today. Someone is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about buprenorphine addiction treatment.

Buprenorphine is a difficult drug to stop taking on your own. This is due to the severe withdrawal symptoms that occur. With the right detoxification treatment program, a person can get help and have a painless, rapid opioid detox.

The Smart Drug Detox Method of Rapid detox has proven to be safe, compassionate, and more scientific than traditional drug detox. We have successfully treated thousands of patients in the last decade. Our success rate on prescription opiates is 80% after one year.