Suboxone Withdrawal & Detox August 2nd, 2022 The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake

Suboxone Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, & Detox

There is substantial evidence that Suboxone, also known as buprenorphine, is as effective as methadone for treating people with an opioid use disorder. The medication is formulated to relieve the withdrawal symptoms of opioids by producing effects that are similar to those substances.  

Though Suboxone will produce sedative and respiratory effects of opioids to a much lesser extent, this treatment medication is still capable of producing alarming physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that may require professional treatment.

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Suboxone Withdrawal

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Suboxone as a Schedule III controlled substance, meaning that, while its potential for abuse is less than Schedule I and II substances like heroin, oxycodone and morphine, it is still capable of inducing “moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.”

In other words, your body can still get so used to having Suboxone in its system that you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop, similar to other opioids.  

Additionally, if people misuse Suboxone, they may snort it or mix it with sedatives like benzodiazepines. When misused in this fashion, it’s easier to overdose and experience slower breathing. The subsequent withdrawal effects from this mixing can be more acute and even life-threatening.    

How Long Does It Take For Suboxone Withdrawal To Start?

Suboxone causes withdrawal effects similar to other opioids. Physical symptoms of withdrawal including headache, nausea and vomiting typically begin within 24 hours after the last dose was consumed. These effects can last for up to 10 days and generally peak within the first three days. 

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

If you have experienced symptoms of withdrawal from illicit or prescription opioids, you might notice that the effects from Suboxone are less intense. 

Still, the medication is capable of producing a range of symptoms that are physically and psychologically discomforting. You may experience these mental and physical effects:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Drug cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Fever

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline

Suboxone withdrawal effects may also differ from person to person and depend on your dosage and extent of use. It’s not unusual for people to experience withdrawal effects in four phases:

  • Symptoms experienced within 24-72 hours: Symptoms such as sweating, nausea, irritability, headaches, digestive issues, and fever or chills may occur.
  • Symptoms after week 1: insomnia, mood swings and general aches and pains
  • Symptoms after week 2: Psychological effects like depression and anxiety
  • Symptoms after 1 month: depression, general discomfort, and intense opioid cravings

It’s worth noting that many can still experience intense cravings that linger beyond one month, making rehab treatment a vital next step following your withdrawal period. 

What Helps With Suboxone Withdrawal?

One of the best ways to cope with Suboxone withdrawal is by getting on a tapering schedule with a health care professional. Tapering off Suboxone means that you gradually reduce your use of the substance over time.

Ideally, a medical professional will help you come up with a tapering or dose reduction schedule that fits your particular needs. Suboxone dosing guidelines propose that patients could adhere to one of two reduction schedules: an equal reduction schedule that lasts between 33-36 days or a 50% reduction schedule that lasts for 17-20 days.  

There are varying opinions as to which approach works best. One study found that participants tapered successfully off buprenorphine medications in seven days. It also concluded that there was no distinct advantage to adhering to a longer-term tapering schedule.

Another study found that patients in treatment responded favorably to a 4-week taper schedule involving an opioid treatment medication similar to Suboxone, along with behavioral therapy.  

However, those who struggle with a Suboxone addiction may find following a Suboxone tapering schedule difficult and may benefit from a medical detox instead. 

Medically Supervised Suboxone Detox

For those struggling with a Suboxone addiction, a medically-supervised detox can be the safest and most effective way to end your Suboxone use. A medical detox affords you a supervised process where clinical staff provides around-the-clock monitoring and treatment. Your medical team will be on hand to manage withdrawal symptoms as they arise to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible.

People who decide to go “cold turkey” by simply quitting Suboxone will not only expose themselves to these dangerous withdrawal symptoms, but they also risk relapse.  

The length of detox will depend on the amount of Suboxone you have used, your genetics, any underlying medical conditions and other factors. Using other substances mixed with Suboxone could also complicate your detox and impact your length of stay.

With a medically-assisted process you will receive holistic treatment, which can include:  

  • Around-the-clock medical supervision
  • Medication management
  • Nutritious meals
  • Comfortable resting spaces
  • A safe and supportive environment

After that, you will be provided a better chance at safely moving on to the next phase, which is usually inpatient or outpatient rehab treatment.

Suboxone Withdrawal & Detox Treatment in Colorado

If you’re taking Suboxone and you struggle to control your use, it may be a sign of a Suboxone addiction. The withdrawal and detox process can seem scary, but The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is here to help. Our facility’s evidence-based addiction treatment programs are tailored to your particular needs. Our compassionate team of licensed professionals address the root causes of your substance use disorder and any co-occurring mental health conditions that may have impacted it. 

Patients are treated to breathtaking mountain and lake views at our Colorado facility and the latest in healing amenities. Let The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake help you enter a healthier life in recovery. Take that first step toward healing by calling us today to speak to an intake coordinator. 


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The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.