Can You Get High on Opiates While on Suboxone?
Suboxone is the brand name for the prescription medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone. It is usually an oral pill but also available as a sublingual film. The FDA to manage chemical dependence on opioids as part of a comprehensive recovery program called medication-assisted therapy (MAT) approves Suboxone. Suboxone is effective and when combined with other treatment modalities like cognitive-behavioral therapy, can help users achieve and maintain sobriety from opioids.
How Suboxone Works
Upon administration, the buprenorphine component in Suboxone binds to opioid receptors in the brain. There, it “tricks” the receptors to mistake the drug for an opioid. After all, both Suboxone and illicit opioids have a similar chemical structure. Think of it as replacing the head of a key with a different head but keeping the blade and its ridges. The key will open the same door, even though its head has been replaced. The result is that taking Suboxone prevents the intense withdrawal symptoms that are characteristic of opioids.
Essentially, buprenorphine has a ceiling effect – it limits the user’s reaction to the drug, even with increased dose. Thus, buprenorphine lowers the potential for misuse and lowers the effects of physical dependency on opioids. This helps recovery specialists taper off clients struggling with chemical dependence. Similarly, the naloxone component also binds to opioid receptors in the brain and lowers the effectiveness of opioids, even when those opioids bind to receptors.
Can You Get High Mixing Suboxone and Opiates?
It is possible. Although Suboxone is used to manage withdrawal, it is not without the risks and side effects, especially when abused by recreational users. When other opiates are used in extremely high doses while on Suboxone, it’s very dangerous and can lead to an overdose or precipitated withdrawal. With subsequent use, naloxone will counteract buprenorphine and the drug will not be effective in managing withdrawal symptoms in the individual. Furthermore, mixing Suboxone with opiates can result in multidrug abuse, a potentially fatal practice. According to the FDA, multidrug abuse significantly increased visits to the emergency department and nearly tripled overdose deaths between 2004 and 2011.
Finding help for multidrug abuse
When used as directed by a physician, Suboxone can be very beneficial as a replacement drug. However, simply using the drug, without applying other treatment modalities, is dangerous because of risks associated with its use. Underage recreational users, who have an adult that was prescribed Suboxone, are at risk of developing chemical dependence. They may resort to doctor shopping and forging prescriptions to sustain the habit. While this is not always intentional, you or your loved one must find help immediately.
Bear in mind that finding help for multidrug dependence is slightly different from single drug dependence. NJ Addiction Resources can help you find the best-fit recovery program for multidrug dependence in New Jersey without traveling out of town. Treatment is tailored to clients’ recovery goals after specialists conduct an initial assessment. Let us help you begin your journey to lasting sobriety.