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  • Writer's pictureDr. Saman Aftab

Can You Get High On Suboxone?

Can suboxone get you high

Suboxone is a prescription medication that combines Buprenorphine and Naloxone. It helps people addicted to opioids, like heroin, stay safe by preventing overdoses. Suboxone works by acting as both a partial agonist and an opioid blocker.

Usually, you can take the medicine as a pill or put a clear sheet under your tongue, which dissolves. Suboxone treatment helps with opioid withdrawal and cravings if used properly, but there are dangers of misuse and dependence.

What is Suboxone Used For?

Many people often wonder and ask the same question, can Suboxone get you high? Suboxone is a prescribed drug used to treat opioid addiction and manage opioid withdrawal symptoms.

While it does contain the opioid buprenorphine, its unique formulation is designed to prevent misuse and high sensation. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids, like feeling good and pain relief, which could make someone feel high.

Suboxone is not like other opioids and does not make you feel high when used as directed. But if you misuse it or take it in ways not prescribed, it can have uncomfortable or dangerous effects. However, these effects are not the same as getting high from recreational drugs.

1. Opioid Addiction Treatment

a. Buprenorphine:

  • Buprenorphine is a medicine that helps with opioid addiction. It attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain, which reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It also blocks the effects of other opioids and lowers the risk of relapse.

b. Naloxone:

  • Opioid receptor antagonist: Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids.

  • Prevents misuse: Suboxone has Naloxone to stop misuse, as it can cause withdrawal if injected or used incorrectly.

2. Harm Reduction

  • Overdose prevention: Naloxone is added to Suboxone and reduces the risk of an opioid overdose. It does this by blocking the effects of opioids if they are misused.

  • Minimizes withdrawal symptoms: Suboxone has a longer-acting and smoother opioid effect than short-acting opioids. This reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Minimizing these symptoms is an advantage of using Suboxone.

3. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

  • Comprehensive approach: Suboxone is commonly included in a multi-faceted treatment for opioid addiction. This treatment plan includes counseling, behavioral therapy, and other support services.

  • Stabilization and maintenance: Suboxone helps to stabilize individuals with opioid addiction. It reduces cravings, manages withdrawal symptoms, and enables them to focus on recovery. Stabilization and maintenance are key benefits of Suboxone.

  • Long-term maintenance: Suboxone can be used for long-term maintenance. This medication helps individuals avoid the dangers of opioid overdose. It can be used for an extended period.

4. Accessibility and Administration

  • Sublingual administration: Suboxone is often taken by placing the tablet or film under the tongue. It then dissolves and is absorbed into the bloodstream.

  • Office-based treatment: Suboxone can be prescribed in an office setting, making it more accessible for patients. This treatment is office-based, helping those seeking treatment get the help they need.

  • Take-home option: Stable patients in recovery can get Suboxone to take at home. This makes it easier and reduces the need for many clinic visits. Remember, only take Suboxone with a qualified doctor's help. It should be part of a full treatment plan for opioid addiction.

Can You Get High on Opiates After Taking Suboxone?

Suboxone reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms for opioid addiction. It's most effective when used correctly. However, it contains an opioid ingredient (Buprenorphine) that can interact with other opioids. Consider these important factors when using opiates after Suboxone.

1. Buprenorphine's Opioid Properties

  • Partial agonist: Buprenorphine is in Suboxone. It activates brain receptors but not as much as heroin or oxycodone. Buprenorphine and Naloxone are combined in a drug.

  • Opioid receptor occupancy: Buprenorphine has a high affinity for opioid receptors, occupying them and blocking the effects of other opioids.

  • Ceiling effect: The ceiling effect of Buprenorphine occurs when its opioid effects reach a plateau. Increasing the dose beyond a certain point will not produce a greater opioid effect.

2. Interactions with Other Opiates

  • Competitive antagonism: occurs when opioids are taken shortly after using Suboxone. This is because the Buprenorphine in Suboxone can bind to the same receptors. This can block or reduce the effects of the additional opioids.

  • Diminished euphoria: Buprenorphine can reduce the euphoric effects of opioids. It does this through competitive antagonism and partial agonist properties. This effect can be powerful, blocking the euphoria entirely.

  • Risk of overdose: The overdose risk is high when attempting to override the blocking effect of Buprenorphine. This is done using higher doses of opioids, which can be dangerous. This increase in dose increases the risk of overdose.

3. Naloxone's Role in Suboxone

  • Opioid receptor antagonist: Naloxone, the other active ingredient in Suboxone, is an opioid receptor antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids.

  • Added deterrent: Naloxone is included in Suboxone to prevent misuse. Injecting or misusing the medication cannot produce the desired euphoric effects. This serves as an added deterrent.

  • Withdrawal induction: Naloxone in Suboxone can cause withdrawal symptoms. This is because it has an antagonistic effect on opioid receptors. Injecting or misusing Naloxone can quickly cause withdrawal symptoms.

Interaction between Suboxone and other opioids can differ. Factors such as individual tolerance, the timing of opioid use after Suboxone, and the specific opioids used can influence this.

Mixing opioids while on Suboxone can have unpredictable and potentially dangerous side effects. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the safest and most effective treatment plan for opioid addiction.

Getting Help at Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Rolling Hills Recovery Center can help people struggling with opioid use disorder in various ways as a reliable treatment center.

Comprehensive Assessment

At our center, we can assess a patient's history of drug use, including Suboxone. This helps us understand the extent of the problem and find any underlying causes. This evaluation helps us create a personalized treatment plan that meets the patient's needs.

Individual and Group Therapy

Rolling Hills Recovery Center provides individual therapy sessions with qualified therapists specializing in substance use disorder and addiction. We offer group therapy sessions that allow patients to connect with others facing similar challenges, share experiences, and receive support.

Medication Management

In cases where patients require ongoing medication for their recovery, Rolling Hills Recovery Center can offer medication management services. Medical professionals at the center can evaluate if Suboxone should be continued. If needed, they can suggest other medications for the patient's recovery.

Counseling and Behavioral Interventions

Rolling Hills Recovery Center can offer counseling and behavioral treatment programs that address the root causes of Suboxone abuse. Therapists often resort to evidence-based approaches to help patients. Examples include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). We design these approaches to help patients develop healthier coping strategies and lifestyle changes.

Aftercare Support

After completing our program, patients may receive aftercare support to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. This can involve ongoing counseling, access to support groups or alums programs, and referrals to community resources for continued support.


Medically Reviewed:


Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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