Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Tips for Coping
Suboxone is the most frequently used medication to treat opioid addiction. It contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it can produce similar effects to opioids but to a lesser degree, and naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it can reverse the effects of opioids. Suboxone is often used to alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms in people who are detoxing, and then as a maintenance medication to promote abstinence.
When Suboxone is taken for long periods of time, people can become physically dependent on it, and adapts to the presence of the medication. Then, if Suboxone is abruptly stopped or if the dosage is reduced, the body suddenly lacks the dose of buprenorphine that it is used to, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from Suboxone can be difficult, but it is usually not life-threatening.
The safest way to stop taking Suboxone is to talk to your doctor about slowly reducing your dose. This method, known as tapering, can prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring by weaning your body off the medication over a period of time. However, if you’ve found yourself addicted to Suboxone and in need of professional help, our team at New Jersey Interventions can help you get connected to the treatment you deserve.
Symptoms of Suboxone Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms occur because the body is trying to adjust to functioning normally without the medication.
The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal can vary depending on the person, the dosage they were taking, and the length of time that it was taken. Common symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heartbeat
It’s important to note that withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone are typically less severe than those from other opioids like fentanyl or heroin. Still, symptoms can be uncomfortable, and it’s beneficial to seek professional help rather than trying to self-detox.
How Long Does Suboxone Withdrawal Usually Last?
The severity and duration of these withdrawal symptoms depend on several factors, including the dose of Suboxone taken, how long and how frequently it was taken, and individual differences in metabolism and sensitivity to opioids. For most people, symptoms begin 24-48 hours after their last dose and last for seven to 10 days.
Breaking Down the Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline
While the timeline of Suboxone withdrawal can vary, most people experience a general timeline as follows:
- 24-48 hours – 1-2 days after the last dose, symptoms will appear. Flu-like symptoms, fatigue, anxiety, and cravings may occur.
- 72 hours – Symptoms will peak. People may experience aches, pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, and more.
- 4-7 days – Symptoms will begin to lessen in severity.
- 7-10 Days – Acute symptoms will resolve, but some physical and psychological discomfort may persist.
- 10+ Days (post-acute withdrawal) – Symptoms consistent with post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) such as depression, cravings, and sleep disturbances may persist for several weeks or months, but are usually manageable with treatment and self-care.
One week may not sound like a long time, but when detoxing from Suboxone, it can feel like an eternity. As a result, it is essential to seek professional detox treatment.
Going to detox ensures a controlled environment for the entire Suboxone withdrawal timeline as well as a safe and comfortable experience. Drug and alcohol detox facilities are staffed with licensed healthcare professionals and addiction specialists who can monitor withdrawal symptoms and provide medical care as needed. Detoxing under medical supervision will reduce the risk of complications and promote successful recovery.
Managing Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms With Detox Treatment and Self-Help
If people stop taking Suboxone too quickly or without medical supervision, withdrawal symptoms can still occur and may be uncomfortable for the individual. Most medical providers will prefer to gradually taper patients off Suboxone with close guidance to minimize the risk and severity of withdrawal symptoms.
There are several strategies that can be used to manage the symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal, including:
- Medications: There are a handful of medications that can be used to help treat the symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal, including clonidine, benzodiazepines, and anti-diarrheal medications.
- Counseling: Behavioral counseling in group or individual formats can be an effective way to manage the psychological symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal, such as anxiety and depression. Suboxone detox programs often offer counseling and other behavioral therapies that can help individuals to manage cravings, address underlying issues related to addiction, and healthy develop coping strategies for relapse prevention.
- Support Groups: Support groups can be a helpful way to connect with others who are going through similar experiences in recovery and to receive emotional support.
- Self-Care: Practicing self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, can help to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Find Help Today
At New Jersey Addiction Interventions, we believe that going to detox is a valuable first step for individuals who are trying to overcome Suboxone addiction or proceed with their recovery without the medication. By working with some of the highest-rated drug and alcohol detox centers in New Jersey, our dedicated team can connect you or a loved one to the right treatment program for you. Begin your recovery today by giving us a call and speaking to a team member.
Medically Reviewed: April 14, 2023
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.