Does Suboxone Work? Is It Effective In Treating Drug Abuse?

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What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a transition replacement drug that is sometimes used to help individuals who are trying to stop their heroin or other opiate narcotic use. It is available only by prescription. Many people wonder, “does Suboxone work?

It was originally believed that Suboxone could not be misused, which led to its widespread use in treating drug abuse. However, over time, drug users discovered ways in which Suboxone can be overused and misused. Reports issued by the National Institute on Drug Abuse have indicated that some Suboxone users misuse the drug by crushing and snorting it or by injecting it and that it has become an illegally sold street drug.


Suboxone is the brand name of a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine, the latter of which has an effect on the brain similar to that of heroin and other opiate narcotics. Naloxone blocks the ability for opiates to attach to the opioid receptors. When Suboxone is injected, there is little effect. However, when it is snorted, it results in a high. The feeling of euphoria generated by Suboxone use is not as strong as the feeling heroin users experience.

Suboxone has the potential to mask the withdrawal symptoms from opiate use such as agitation, irritability, insomnia, nightmares, cramps and anxiety. When taken as directed, Suboxone can work. However when used for prolonged periods of time or misused, it has substantial potential for dependency, negative side effects and overdose.

When drug users stop taking Suboxone, they experience withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe within a few hours after the last time it was taken. In the case of Suboxone overuse, people may or may not need detox. It will depend on how much of the drug they have been taking and how long they have been taking it. However, if detox is needed, medical detox with IV therapy administered under the supervision of a doctor is the safest and most effective method. This enables the physician to make changes to the medication protocol as the withdrawal symptoms change and as patients progresses through the detox process, keeping them comfortable and likely to complete the detox.

Using Suboxone to treat drug abuse is like fighting fire with fire. It might work but it might simply create another drug problem. Suboxone does not work for extended periods of time as some.


Options for help with Suboxone use include traditional treatment centers as well as non-traditional alternatives. Traditional treatment centers usually require a 12 step program in their therapy.  12 step programs are based on the now disproven theory that drug use is a disease over which its victims are powerless. Although many people enroll in 12 step programs, their success rate is only about 3 to 5 percent.

The non-profit, Saint Jude Retreats provide an effective alternative to 12 step programs. Saint Jude Retreats offer a non-treatment program that uses neuroplasticity and other science-based, proven techniques. The program at St. Jude uses Cognitive Behavioral Education to teach their guests how to self-evaluate their decisions and to make choices that are more productive. Guests learn to support their choices with habits and behaviors that are more positive and lead them to a more purposeful life. They discover that they have the power to take back control of their life from drug use and to do so permanently.

The effectiveness of the Freedom Model’s Non 12 Step Program is periodically evaluated by outside professional research organizations. The measured and certified long term success is at least 62 percent.




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