Suboxone Detox

Suboxone is a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone and is used to treat opiate dependence. Suboxone withdrawal can last for up to a month. Symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle Aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Digestive Distress
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irretability
  • Trouble concentrating

Drug cravings

If an individual stops Suboxone suddenly, it can produce withdrawal effects that are similar to other opioids due to it being a partial opioid agonist. It can also be addictive and Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety, depression, and irritability
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia or drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Fever or chills

Timeline for Withdrawal

Symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal are most severe during the first 72 hours when most of the physical symptoms are present. Stronger symptoms typically subside as well as general aches and pains after about a week. Insomnia and mood swings are still present.

After the second week of Suboxone withdrawal, depression can be the worst symptom. Depression and intense cravings will typically still be experienced after one month. The greatest potential for relapse is during this time.

The timeline for withdrawal is as follows:

72 Hours: The strongest physical symptoms are felt

1 Week: Mood swings, insomnia, body aches and pains

2 Weeks: Depression

1 Month: Depression and cravings

Because of the prolonged withdrawal symptoms, it is very important that the individual going through withdrawal stay in contact with a medical professional to help prevent relapse.

Managing Addiction and Medication

For those who are in detox for other opiates, Suboxone may be used as a temporary medication. For complete sobriety, it is important to completely taper off the medication in a slow and steady manner.
When Suboxone becomes the addictive substance, it is no longer serving the person in a useful manner. When this happens, it becomes imperative that a new path to recovery is begun which may include the use of no medications. The guidance of a substance abuse treatment professional is needed to help break the addiction. This person is someone who is:

  • • Able to provide long-term support
  • • Familiar with the client’s issues that are contributing to the situation
  • • Can provide a comprehensive treatment plan that is able to meet the client’s needs
  • • Experienced and educated in substance abuse treatment

Medication is not always needed to stabilize an individual during recovery. This can be achieved through a comprehensive treatment plan that includes addressing withdrawal symptoms in a medical detox environment as well as detox.

Non-Medicated Detox Components

  • • Peer support
  • • Alternative therapy to manage physical withdrawal symptoms
  • • Experienced, highly educated treatment professionals
  • • Continued relapse prevention and long-term aftercare
  • • Therapeutic follow-up care

The key to maintaining sobriety for the long-term is therapy. Otherwise it is almost impossible to remain abstinent for any long period of time.

Depending on the experiences of the client that lead up to the addiction and their future goals, the therapeutic options listed below may be incorporated into an individual’s treatment plan. Typically, a Suboxone therapeutic treatment plan will include:

Assessment and evaluation:

It is important that all of the issues that lead up to a client’s use of drugs are understood. Behavioral disorders, trauma, co-occurring mental health disorders, underlying medical conditions and other issues should be identified early on in order to be sure that all issues are addressed while in recovery.

Individual treatment plan:

After an assessment and evaluation, an individualized treatment plan will be created. The client’s goals for recovery, available resources and length of time in treatment are considered.

Personal therapy:

Throughout recovery, one on one meetings with a therapist can provide the individual with a safe place to work through the challenges of recovery as well as work through past issues and manage treatment goals.

Individual case management:

It is essential to make sure that all of the components of recovery are working in a way that provides coping skills to maintain a long recovery after treatment.

Group therapy sessions:

Regular group meetings with others who are also going through recovery help provide support during treatment and for years afterwards.

12-Step or peer support meetings:

Many recovery programs incorporate the 12-Step philosophy and treatment. This gives clients positive support and a portable therapy to help them transition into an independent sobriety.

Other therapy:

Art based therapy, nutritional therapy, exercise therapy, and animal assisted therapy are only a few of the helpful options that can be incorporated into the traditional therapies above. These therapies vary and are tailored more towards a client’s personal interests and needs.

Holistic therapy:

Holistic therapy can also be added to personalize and individual’s therapy. Popular options include acupuncture, yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy and more.

Long-term support and aftercare:

It is very important that therapy continues for years after treatment. Those who are successful in sobriety are the individuals who have stayed engaged in treatment to help them get through all of their past and present challenges and issues. Support group meetings, personal therapy sessions, or holistic and alternative therapy options are all crucial for continuous sobriety.

Coping with Withdrawal

Unfortunately, there is no exact way to eliminate the physical symptoms or discomfort of Suboxone withdrawal, but a variety of various coping strategies are available to help deal with the stress withdrawal can cause. These strategies are useful as they can be used to cope with any kind of stress. Individuals who learn to use positive coping mechanisms and behaviors are better equipped to deal with recovery instead of reverting to old behaviors such as drug or alcohol use. Some of these coping strategies are:

Social interaction:

It is important to keep in contact with family and friends as well as remain social, even if they are unaware of the recovery process.

Physical activity:

During recovery, it can be very beneficial to maintain an exercise program. Whether an individual goes to the gym, simple walks, or hikes in nature, physical exercise helps to cope with stress.

Relaxation or hobbies:

Life gets busy, so it can be difficult to find time to relax or pursue hobbies. It is important to find time to relax or keep busy with a hobby to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms


During recovery, withdrawal is very much a part of the process. Being able to accept this while maintaining a positive outlook can help replace negative emotions with positive thoughts as well as have pride in your recovery.

Withdrawal is a difficult process, but it is worth fighting though. Remember that it is a temporary condition that can be managed with these coping strategies.

During suboxone detox and withdrawal, Resolutions Behavioral Health will provide a supportive and comprehensive medical environment throughout all stages of