The opioid crisis in the United States has affected more than 2 million Americans. Because of this, there is always an ongoing search for the most effective course of treatment to treat opioid addiction. One method to help treat substance abuse is by administering medication assisted treatments. For opioid addiction, prescribing Suboxone is one of these options.
Suboxone is the brand name of a prescription drug that is mainly composed of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid while naloxone is a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose. When used as a part of a holistic recovery program and with the supervision of a medical professional, Suboxone can help treat opioid addiction.
However, abusing Suboxone has also become rampant. Suboxone being smuggled into prisons and being sold in the streets are being reported in the news. Instead of using the drug for its primary purpose of treating opioid addiction, some people are using Suboxone recreationally. Such reports have confused many people who are not familiar with the drug. If Suboxone is a treatment for opioid abuse, how is it possible for some people to abuse it? Can using Suboxone get you high?
Suboxone High: Is It Possible?
The answer to the question of whether Suboxone can get you high is yes – but only to a certain degree. Taking Suboxone can result in mild euphoria because buprenorphine, which is a primary ingredient of Suboxone, is an opioid. This means that buprenorphine has pain-relieving properties that can produce euphoria just like other opioids.
However, it is only considered as a partial opioid agonist so the effects do not increase as the dose increases. Because Suboxone also has naloxone, this ingredient is supposed to counter the effects of buprenorphine. The euphoria that could be experienced is supposedly very mild compared to other opioids like methadone or heroin. There is a “ceiling effect”, meaning the euphoria does not increase even if you increase the dose.
People who have a very low tolerance for opioids are more likely to experience the mild euphoria from Suboxone. This is one of the reasons why many recreational drug users like teenagers or young adults tend to abuse Suboxone. However, for people whose opioid tolerance has already increased due to the use of stronger opioids like oxycodone or heroin, the euphoric effects will not be as evident or will not be felt that much. This is one reason why Suboxone is often abused by people as a means to control withdrawal effects in between using strong opioids like heroin.
Another reason why people would abuse Suboxone is that they prefer the mild euphoria the drug provides. They may not be comfortable with using other opioids but would use Suboxone instead to feel better even without the intense high. Accessibility can also be a reason why people would abuse Suboxone. If other opioids are not readily available, some people with opioid addiction also use Suboxone as an alternative especially if they are not sure of what it is primarily used for.
The Dangers of Abusing Suboxone
A person can be physically dependent on Suboxone. If Suboxone is used under the supervision of a medical professional, it could help treat opioid addiction, however, if it is being abused as a recreational drug, it can cause various side effects including the risk of drug addiction. While the risk of being addicted is minimal compared to other opioids, abusing high amounts of Suboxone can be potentially addictive and could lead to a drug overdose.
Because Suboxone does not deliver an intense high, some recreational users may try to experiment by creating drug cocktails. The purpose of this is to enhance or heighten the effects of the drugs. Doing this, however, is highly dangerous. Suboxone should never be taken with other substances like alcohol, sedatives, and benzodiazepines including Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin. It should also not be taken with stimulants like cocaine to create a push and pull effect. If Suboxone is taken with these substances, it could lead to overdose, respiratory failure, loss of consciousness, and death.
Using Suboxone as a treatment for opioid addiction should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional. Because the risk of getting addicted is still possible, you have to be closely monitored to ensure that you are taking the right dose and that you are using the drug properly.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Morningside Recovery by Lighthouse today.