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Is Suboxone (Buprenorphine) a Miracle Drug?

I’ve read quite a bit about this relatively new treatment that has been floating around. Burprenorphine which is marketed as either Suboxone or Subutex depending on the preparation of the drug, is supposed to be pretty effective at treating opiate dependence. Without getting into too much detail about how the drug itself operates, here is a brief overview of how it works.

In the simplest of terms, Suboxone works by acting partially like any other opiate that gets you high, similar to Vicodin, and partially like drugs that block the opiate high, similar to Naloxone. So, basically what Suboxone does is it keeps you from going into withdrawal but, it also prevents you from getting high off of any other opiate drug. Let’s say for instance that you are planning on kicking heroin. You go to your doctor, and he prescribes you Suboxone. You begin taking the drug, and you feel great without having to shoot/smoke any heroin to keep from getting dope sick. Then midway through the whole process, you relapse with the heroin. Well, if you have Suboxone in your system, then the active ingredients in it will essentially prevent you from getting high from that heroin. Additionally, because the medication also includes Naloxone, if a patient were to try and crush the pill to inject it, the Naloxone would send them into an immediate state of withdrawal…not fun. 🙁

There is much more to it than what I’ve explained, so if you want to do your research, I would recommend visiting the main site for the drug at: Suboxone.com

I personally have never tried the treatment myself, so I can’t speak from experience, but there is one thing that I do like about the drug. Buprenorphine (Suboxone) can be prescribed by your primary care physician which immediately separates you from that shady methadone clinic stigma. When I was going through my period with heavy opiate use, I wished that there was a way for me to just get something from my own doctor without having to go to a clinic where all the other junkies would gather every morning. That is one of the main reasons why I never tried methadone maintenance. Had the Buprenorphine treatment been so prevalent back then, I would have given it a shot.

Secondly, I like the fact that the drug acts as a blocking agent to any other opiates.

With all that said, as with any type of maintenance program, it takes dedication and courage to really get the most out of it. The FDA can keep researching drugs that they think will be the next miracle cure, but in the end it all depends on the individual. If you really wanted to, you could kick the drugs on your own without any help whatsoever. For some people that is feasible, for others, a maintenance program like this may be the better option. Either way, do your own research.

If you want to find a physician near you, you can do so by going here.


1 VicodinWithdrawal.org » Rapid Opiate Detox: Is It Right For You? { 09.15.08 at 7:22 pm }

[…] opiate detox is a viable alternative to other forms of opiate withdrawal treatment methods like buprenorphine (suboxone) or methadone […]

2 Rufus { 11.04.08 at 9:35 am }

Suboxone was originally marketed as a “miracle drug” to get a patient off of opiate pill usage or heroin usage. I myself started as many of us do, taking vicodine, percs, then oxy’s, until finally I knew I needed to stop, but couldn’t invest the time into a rehab clinic. I went to the doctor’s, without doing much research on Suboxone, and he prescribed me 3 pills a day, 8mgs a piece, which I could never end up taking that full amount b/c it screwed me up so badly. That dosage is for hard-core heroin usage, but doctor’s (unaware of this) prescribe you WAY too much no matter how severe your addiction. In a way, I believe it’s a device for pharm companies to profit off of our addictions, to keep you taking this med for a year or more.

If you need to detox off of pills, of any kind, taking a quarter of a Sub pill (2 mgs) 24 hrs or more after your last fix, will be more than enough to hold you over, than maybe two days later, take one more 2 mg dosage if needed, and you will pretty much avoid the worst of the withdrawl effects.

I myself was on Subs for about a month, and then tried to taper, but like you said, you can’t eat just one when you are use to a higher amount. So I went cold turkey.

Subs, if taken for more than 1-2 weeks, will get you just as addicted to them as any other pill, (in my opinion and from what others have said). It can be be described as a longer, but less severe detox (because the half life of a Sub is about 36 hours, compared to 2-4 hours of a Vicoden). It’s suppose to tapper itself off by staying in your system so long, and you probably won’t even feel withdrawals until about 3 days after your last dosage, giving you a false sense that it’s all over, but it takes a good 7 days to detox off of this stuff.

My whole mindset is that I didn’t want to be dependant on any pill to live my life, and I was basically trading one addiction for another. When I brought this up to the doctor, he basically said, true, but this is a legal substance. Then I found out that one of these pills is equivalent to about 400mg of Vicoden, and at the recommeneded dosage of 3 a day, will put you at 1200mg of Vicoden intake, which ends up getting you use to a totally different high.

I screwed up by taking these for a month, and high dosages and stopping cold turkey, but my friends who I helped out (and who were on the same amount of ocxys as myself) said they only needed a half of a pill, one time, and they came off relatively easy. So if you are going to take this med to try and get off pills (may be very different for Heroin mind you) that’s my advice from my experiences.

The good part is, you will not feel any cravings when you are on Subs, which is a amazing benefit, but if you detox from it, you will crave Subs instead of other pills.

As someone once told me about this detox, there is no easy way out for the abuse you have put your body through, you really have to expect to pay some sort of price. But look at it this way, it’s amazing that even after a year or more of abuse, your body can bounce back in 1 to 4 weeks!

Great posts here by the way, by far some of the best info on this subject I have found on the internet.

3 admin { 11.05.08 at 10:59 pm }


Thanks for the great comment. It’s important for myself and others to hear about first hand experiences, like yours, of all the detox drugs that are on the market these days.

The one thing that I emphasize over and over again, is for everyone to do their own research. We think that just because a person’s name has M.D. at the end of it, that we’re supposed to just trust everything that they have to say. But, I wouldn’t be surprised how many of these doctors don’t go through the proper training and education necessary to prescribe the right dose of detox meds.

As long as there are pill-poppers and junkies out there, there will always be companies trying to find a solution to the problem. A lot of those “solutions” will be money motivated, but if we self-regulate, then we’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of modern day medicine without digging our selves into a deeper hole.

Both methadone and suboxone had very long half-lives, so yeah, the detox will be much much longer. But, if one person reads your comment and takes your advice, then that’s one person who learned how to use suboxone the right way, regardless of what Doc prescribed for them.

Thanks again, and take care of yourself. 🙂

4 James { 11.20.09 at 6:10 pm }

After a year and a half of a devastating heroin addiction I was on a fast road to absolute disaster. I could not go a day without finding a way to put together 200 dollars otherwise I would be severly sick and depressed.

I could not function without heroin.

An hour after taking my first dose of suboxone I was at absolute peace. Finally I did not feel cramps through out my whole body, I was not in a panic, I was not in a rage, I just felt comfortable and calm.

This drug gave me my life back, I was able to turn my back on heroin and feel completely comfortable saying that I never need another hit of heroin.

For anyone that is struggling with heroin addiction who is reading this – GET YOURSELF ON SUBOXONE, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, YOU WILL NEVER LOOK AT HEROIN AGAIN

5 trish { 02.16.10 at 1:59 pm }

I felt ok while on suboxone (and that was just SUCH a big thing, it had been more years than I can even remember since I have felt just ok, “normal” maybe!) I was 16mg a day, and my dr. tapered me off of them (total time in program, 2 years). It’s been months since I’ve been off of the program and now I feel like I’m back to where I started. I just want to feel ok, to be able to have enough energy to get out of bed, to wash the dishes, not feel depressed and moody, and the only times that happens is if I take a suboxone. I wouldn’t even care if I could afford it (except for the risk of getting caught buying them). I don’t even know what my point is, I’m sorry, I guess I just feel like suboxone was a lifesaver until they took me off.

6 JIM { 04.30.10 at 3:32 pm }

I believe It’s just trading one drug for another ! Im sure there are those who no matter what they have tried or done over period of years must stay on some form of drug and Suboxone could very well be the right one for them . I personally hate Suboxone ! My story may be out of the ordinary but I was put on this drug for Pain Management and Depression ! At the time I was at such a low point in my life that I just did whatever a Doctor told me to do ! The doctor felt that I would be better off taking one pill , suboxone rather than misc. meds , pain killers , depression meds etc. that I had been taking ! I must say that suboxone did stabilize me ! But after two years at 16mg a day I started having side affects that were’nt very becoming ! Weight gain , no sex drive at all , constipation , heart palpitations , higher blood pressure etc . I talked with the doc. and he said I could try tapering off but that I would more than likely be what he referred to as a LIFER because of the strength and length of time that I was on the meds! I was pissed !!! I really got the feeling that he was happy about it knowing that I would have to see him for refills every month ! After numerous attempts of trying to get off this drug I just gave up ! Then I started researching again different ways to get off this drug and located the Coleman Institute ! They claimed they could have me off the drug in three days ! They also said I would most likely experience some PAWS after but that most of the time it would be less severe than normal . At this point in time I was willing to try most anything and so I did ! It cost me $7,500 and was the best thing i ever did ! I went in on a wed. and came home on a fri . drug free !!!!!! Absolutely no cravings at all !!!! It’s been 11 days now and the only problems I seem to be having are fatigue and off and on crying and problems sleeping at night which should improve over time ! ! Other than that Im very happy with my decision making 🙂 . OH YEAH , I CANT WAIT TO GO BACK TO THE PAIN CLINIC TO LET HIM KNOW THAT IT CAN BE DONE DESPITE WHAT HE SAID ! GOOD LUCK TO ALL !

7 JIM { 04.30.10 at 3:40 pm }

Just one other thing I should add to the above is that the coleman institute had me go back on hydrocodone minus the suboxone for 3 weeks before I went to them for the detox ! I was taking between 10 and 14 norco 10/325 a day to compensate for the suboxone !

8 Kate { 07.18.10 at 6:51 am }

I was addicted to vicodin for 3 years then moved onto oxycontin I was using minimum 160mg/day of OC. I finally reached the point where I realized at this rate i had two choices, death or seek help. The next day I got into an IOP program & bagan seeing a doctor for suboxone. I was initially put on 16mgs a day which was WAY too strong, I was actually getting high as f**k off of these pills & throwing up so my doctor lessened the dose to 8mg/day. I was still getting high but that stopped after a week or two. I chose to stay on it for just 1.5 yrs. Many Doctors out there do not know how to properly prescribe suboxone so be careful who you choose. Before getting off Subs I started reading the many forums dedicated to it & was horrified to read all of the horror stories, ex heroin & OC addicts writing about how much worse w/d is from subs, wishing they had never gotten on them & how long the intense w/d symptoms last. I know from personal experience that if you stop subs w/o a proper taper the w/d will sneak up on you after 72+hrs!
Just check out the many forums dedicated to Suboxone & you’ll see. I did a 6month taper after being on Subs for a year going from 8mg to 6mg to 4mg then 2mg then after talking with my doctor about my plan to detox “jumping” from less than .5mg he allowed to to break up my last refill to take as I had planned. I ended up jumping from about .25mg’s. Unlike everyone on those suboxone forums I did not have any w/d symptms, I believe this is because of the 6month taper that brought me down to tiny pill fragments. So my advice to you is if your addicted to vicodin DO NOT get on Suboxone. If your on OC or Heroin I would recomend Suboxone over Methodone. Suboxone treatment is pretty expensive though, I think I paid 1,000 walking in the door this included the referral to my Sub doctor & IOP but I still had to pay for every visit & those pills are EXPENSIVE!! with my insurance I think it was something like $60 or more to fill the script. ONE GREAT THING ABOUT SUBS IS THAT IT BLOCKS CRAVINGS!!! =)

9 James Sub { 08.06.10 at 1:03 pm }

Just so you guys know, this “article” isnt entirely accurate.
First of all, the nalaxone in the suboxone is NEVER active, no matter how you take the drug,…eg. snort, shoot, etc….this is because the buprenorphine has a MUCH higher binding affinity than the nalaxone does.
Also, you CAN shoot up suboxone and it will not send you into withdrawals. The only way suboxone can send you into withdrawals is if you take it when you still have another opiate in your system. I know all this because I take suboxone and have done hundreds of hours of research on it…..also I have personally shot up suboxone everyday for about 2 months now. The only reason people think you can’t shoot up suboxone is because the fucking FDA lied and said that to scare drug addicts away from the idea of abusing this drug….and all you people read this lie on supposedly “legitimate” websites and then regurgitate the false information elsewere(like this website) further spreading lies and rumors.

10 helane gordon { 03.24.11 at 3:51 am }

I am trying right now to get off of suboxon.. I am having a hard time and wish I had more meds but I KNOW its time to stop depending on some pill to give me my life back.. I am now on my second day of 2 mg and I KNOW by saturday I should feel okay.. a bit tired and irritatable but I am hoping its the end… I am sorry I ever started on all these pills and then the subs.. I wish someone told me that I was just trading off… Please.. think twice and then again before getting on a long term program.. DO you want to be on these for the rest of your life??/ I think not.. I am ready to be me again

11 gettin better { 06.28.11 at 12:47 am }

I agree completely helane gordon, I started abusing oc’s when I was 18 an off an on for pass 2 years I’ve resorted to a program of either methadone clinic or suboxone, each time I felt i was ready to be done with taking something each day I would relaple an then you would find me in the methadone clinic, this last time around I had insurance an realized I could take suboxone, I had taken it out on streets before but didnt know much about it, but what I did know is it meant I didnt have to go every single day to the Methadone clinic, bc that in its self was still letting the drug control your life. Suboxone let me get my life back, an pass 6 months i have grown an become such an adult..but i lost my job an lost insurance an for pass 2 months have been weaning myself off the subs. And here I am again, finding my self searching for something to make the pain go away…I so bad want this to be the last time, I dont think I have another relapse in me…Over all I think suboxone is a good program an better then methadone, methadone gets in your bone marrow an its all about money, suboxone they enforced you getting of of it, and wanted you to get off, they didnt keep upping your dose like the methadone clicnis do…Choose suboxone over Methadone if you can..

12 Will { 07.14.11 at 7:50 pm }

Here’s the deal people. I’ve been up to 150mg of oxcodone for about 6 months. did Cold turkey three time and yes it sucked horribly. Last one took 5 days in motel with no sleep..shitting uncontrollably, puking as i shit… Horrible. I thought it would be easier to detox while on vacation..NOT.

When I got back, I used again as I have an amazing hookup. Long story short I run out twice a month for a few days and have to scramble to keep OK to work and be a dad etc..and im sick of the oxcodone because it doesnt even make me feel good anymore..just normal, and at 15 mg x 10 a day at $10 a mg..well..super expensive. I finally found Subutex and suboxone a few weeks ago. First time, just used it to hold me over till my hookup. I couldnt believe how well it worked, although I had to go 24 hrs feeling like shit before I could use the suboxone because id go through “precipitated withdrawl” which is really shitty. Second time around I had one 8mg pill. I only took 1/4 and snorted it. The pill lasted me two days and I felt great..normal..happy. I then got my hookup again for 10 days and binged. When I ran out I got a subutex strip (goes under the tongue and i might be getting subutex and suboxone confused ones a pill ones a strip). Anyway, 1/2 a strip lasted a day. Next day only took 1/4 a strip. next day 1/2 of the 1/2. day after the final piece lasted me almost two days and I had a shitton of work and deadlines to meet and didnt have the energy so relapsed and did 90 mg of oxcodone (90$ a day to feel normal..pretty horrible price to pay). I just need to last until I can get my hands on maybe 3 sub pills..start with 1/4 and taper to 1/8 and then do the last pill over a week just snorting tiny tiny bits..and I WILL NEVER do another damn pill again. I am just running from the withdrawls and with a very demanding job (i started taking for injury then abused because It helped me work my ass off so well and stay focused) but will go back to a healthy diet and excercise which IMO after years of partying, is the best feeling ever and dont see why more people dont get addicted to a healthy lifestyle than they do shitty drugs that only make you feel good for an instant and horrible the rest of the time all the while costing a fortune. There’s a good saying; “is the fucking you’re getting worth the fucking your getting?” no its not.

I dec

13 Max T { 12.22.11 at 7:45 pm }

You mentioned something about the FDA looking at other miracle cure drugs. The FDA is nothing more than a government entity that enjoys large monies from drug compaines. The drug companies only want to make a profit for their shareholders. Any drug that may cure a disease by single dosing is not profitable therfore they do not pursue that drug. There is no money in curing disease. There is money in prolonging life by selling them drugs that only slow down disease or keep it at bay, but not cure it. They want to make drugs that you will need for the rest of your life!

14 Rach { 03.30.12 at 5:50 am }

I’m glad I came across this website. I agree w/ alot that was said. There are so many people out here now looking for rehab to get off suboxone now. Me, being one of them !!! I’m also glad that the dosage was adressed ~ I used to 24 mlgs a day and I don’t even remeber those 6 months. But I got off methadone about 7 months ago and the docter that I went to has tried to ween me off the subs 3 x now. Good thing they never uped my dose past 8 mlgs a day this time !!! I wasn’t feeling wonderful, but I wasn’t sick !!! But, yes it helps, but it honestly is just re-placing one drug for another. We’re all tring to prevent the enevetable(spell?) . We’re gonna get sick some way or another. It might be milder if you taper, but it’s gonna happen. We need to stop wasting our lives w/ all these broken lies of ” Miracle Drugs” !!! That at least my experience. Some people might have had a wonderful experience???

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