Medically Reviewed

Suboxone vs. Subutex in Memphis: MAT Solutions

- 3 sections

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Suboxone and Subutex are two medications that are often used in medication-assisted treatment at recovery centers in Memphis. These drugs can be extremely useful tools in treating opioid use disorders in combination with integrated behavioral therapies and addiction treatment. With less potential for abuse than methadone, these drugs are considered a safe treatment medication to be used in medication-assisted treatment in Memphis. Both drugs serve the purpose of helping those who suffer from opioid addiction to achieve sobriety by alleviating cravings for opioids and helping addicts in recovery prevent relapse. In addition, Suboxone and Subutex can help diminish the excruciating symptoms of opioid withdrawal that can drive addicts to begin using again.

Although the two medications are similar in their function, they have a few differences. At PAX Memphis, we want to help you decide which one is right for you.



Suboxone and Subutex both have buprenorphine as an active ingredient. Prior to being used in treatment for opioid addiction, buprenorphine was used as a pain reliever. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning that it targets the brain’s receptors that are triggered when a person consumes an opioid, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, heroin, or fentanyl. However, partial opioid agonists do not create the euphoric high that opioids do. When these opioid receptors are activated in the brain, withdrawal symptoms are alleviated and cravings are dramatically reduced. In essence, buprenorphine makes the brain believe that it has opioids in the system without causing the user to experience the euphoric high that they have become addicted to.[1]

In addition to helping users deal with withdrawal symptoms and cravings, buprenorphine sticks to opioid receptors which stops a user from feeling the effects of opioids if they are taken simultaneously with Suboxone or Subutex. By sticking to the brain’s opioid receptors, buprenorphine will knock opioids off of the receptors and prevent a person from being able to get high. When a person is taking Suboxone or Subutex, knowing that they cannot achieve a high may help them stay away from dangerous opioids.

Benefits of using medications like Suboxone and Subutex that contain buprenorphine include:

  • Helping individuals safely and comfortably complete opioid detox
  • Minimizing cravings for opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone, heroin, and fentanyl
  • Preventing relapse due to a comfortable detox experience and reduced cravings
  • Enabling individuals to focus on counseling and their addiction treatment plan rather than focusing on cravings or withdrawal symptoms

Suboxone and Subutex: What’s the Difference?


The key difference in Suboxone and Subutex comes down to the chemical naloxone. Suboxone contains naloxone and buprenorphine while Subutex only contains buprenorphine. While Subutex was created first, it was proven to have a small risk of abuse. Users found that they could take the drug intravenously and feel the euphoric effects of opioids that they had been seeking. To solve this issue, Suboxone was developed containing both naloxone and buprenorphine. The primary purpose of naloxone is to prevent individuals from abusing Suboxone because if an opioid is taken while naloxone is in the body, or if Suboxone is abused, individuals will go into immediate opioid withdrawals. In turn, Suboxone has a lower risk potential for abuse than Subutex.

For those who don’t abuse their medications, there is no difference between the function of Suboxone and Subutex. Both are successful in helping individuals eliminate cravings for opioids and alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms. However, Subutex is more likely to be used for short-term treatment under a doctor’s supervision and Suboxone is more frequently used in long term treatment plans.[2][3]



Suboxone or Subutex: Which One is Right For You?


If you have suffered from opioid addiction for many years or have tried getting sober in the past but experienced a relapse, using Suboxone or Subutex in medication-assisted treatment in Memphis may be a good option for you.

It is important to note that medication alone is not a cure for addiction. Instead, it should be used as an integral aspect of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. After all, addiction affects both the mind and the body, so treating the physical aspect of addiction alone is often not enough to maintain long term sobriety.

When used in combination with addiction treatment and counseling, these drugs can make for a successful treatment plan. Suboxone and Subutex will reduce the risk of a relapse, both during and after detox, and allow individuals to focus on the root causes of their addiction rather than obsessing over their drug of choice. However, if you have a history of abusing medications and fear that you will abuse these drugs, Suboxone treatment may be a better option as it is less likely to be abused.

Although both Suboxone and Subutex serve the same purpose, it is important to consult with an addiction specialist in Memphis to determine which one is right for you. If you are ready to begin your journey to recovery and are interested in Suboxone or Subutex treatment in Memphis, contact us today.