Medically Reviewed

What is Suboxone and What is it Used for?

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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 is an FDA approved drug combination of Buprenorphine, which is an opiate agonist, and Naloxone which is an opioid antagonist that can be used as a detox medication for opioid addiction.

  • Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is used to help prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Naloxone: Naloxone is used for the reversal of opioid overdose, including respiratory depression.

Suboxone is often used to replace methadone which is also used to treat opioid addiction. However, before pharmacists made Suboxone, there was Subutex. Subutex contains only Buprenorphine, so it is not as effective.. On the other hand, Suboxone helps make withdrawal symptoms less painful and more endurable for addicts because it comprises naloxone and buprenorphine.

In June 2018, Suboxone was reported to have reduced drug overdose rates by 40 percent.


Uses of Suboxone

 Suboxone is a prescription drug that is used in conjunction with social, psychological and medical procedures as directed by the doctor who administered it. People struggling with dependence or addiction to opioids and narcotics such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone or any other related drugs can use it.

Short-acting Opiate Dependence

People who usually experience body pain are most likely to be dependent on or addicted to opioids. This is because they turn to painkillers to help with pain, and most painkillers contain opioids. Long-term opioid use invariably leads to dependence/addiction. When someone who frequently uses opioids or narcotics such as heroin suddenly stops, this will lead to severe withdrawal pain and incessant/uncontrollable urges. This is what Suboxone is useful for; it will help the person cope with the withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

Suboxone is a long-acting drug, which means the effects of Suboxone can last up to three days, leaving the drug in the bloodstream long enough for it to still be effective.

Suboxone, like other drugs, can be abused, although the most important reason medical professionals now prefer it to drugs such as methadone is that it has milder effects. It has milder withdrawal symptoms when someone who has been using it stops using it, therefore, it may not lead to dependence. However, it has fatal side effects such as death when abused, hence, anyone using it must follow the prescription carefully.

It is not advisable to

  • self-medicate
  • give to a pregnant or a breastfeeding woman
  • give to children or pets
  • use along with antidepressants or alcohol
  • be used by someone with mental illness or a history of mental illness.

There are more considerations to be made before prescribing Suboxone to avoid side effects. Hence, the safest way to use Suboxone is to seek medical help and follow the prescription.

Do not change the prescribed dose of Suboxone by yourself or stop using the drug on your own.

Suboxone in Memphis Tennessee

PAX Memphis Recovery Center Recovery Center provides treatment for Opioid recovery using Suboxone. Suboxone is certainly not the whole solution to achieving sobriety, but it can help ease withdrawal symptoms to work towards becoming a sober productive member of society. With the supervision of a licensed doctor, Suboxone can be effective in the early stages of stopping opiate use, allowing individuals to start the process of real therapy to overcome the underlying reasons for addiction. Contact us at PAX Memphis Recovery Center for more information on a medically-assisted detox program.