Warning Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Suboxone Abuse

Suboxone is basically a replacement drug which was synthesized to help opioid addicts. However, as its use progressed, it became evident that it can be addictive itself. Even medically supervised use of Suboxone can cause addiction. This is why it is only prescribed for a short term treatment. Suboxone addiction can be difficult to detect since most of the patient think that they are simply taking their medicine. But when the use is prolonged, certain signs and symptoms become obvious that may help to detect an addiction.

Signs of Suboxone abuse:

Addiction is a disease that rewires the structure of brain in such a way that it is no more able to function without the drug. So when the drug is quit, it shows a violent reaction known as withdrawal. Once the dependence develops, the addict behaves in a way that gets him his fix. Certain changes can be noticed in the behavior of the addict that can help pinpoint the addiction.

  • The addict tries to obtain the drug by illicit means. As the addiction progresses, the prescription amounts are no more able to satisfy his needs. As a result, he orders the drug online or frequently goes doctor shopping by faking pain.
  • The addict shows disinterest in activities and hobbies he previously enjoyed. All he is interested in is getting the drug and abusing it.
  • There is a great decline in the performance of the addict at school or office. He also tends to skip the school or office frequently.
  • Needle injection marks can be observed at venous sites in case of users who inject the solution of the drug. Left over powdered drug can also be observed.
  • The addict becomes careless towards his hygiene.
  • The addict exhibits an antisocial behavior. He spends most of his time behind the close doors abusing the drug.

Physical signs of Suboxone abuse:

The use of any drug is associated with a number of different side effects which can be both physical as well as mental in nature. Some common physical side effects associated with Suboxone abuse include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fever
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Dilate pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Body aches
  • Excessive perspiration

Psychological effects of Suboxone abuse:

Suboxone is a drug which produces its effects on the brain by binding with opioid receptors. It means it interferes with the normal ability of the brain to function. Even though it is highly useful when used for treatment purpose, exactly as prescribed, for a short term; its prolonged use has been known to cause many unpleasant side effects. Some psychological effects produced by Suboxone include:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Cognitive problems
  • Decline in memory
  • Apathy
  • Irrational behavior

Changes in behavior can be harmful for every aspect of an addict’s life. He loses interest everything including his relationships and career opportunities. It is important to seek treatment for Suboxone addiction before it is too late.

Side effects of Suboxone abuse:

Apart from useful effects produced by the drug that are beneficial for the treatment of opioid addiction, Suboxone use produces many desired as well as unpleasant side effects. Addiction can be considered among one of those side effects which is the most dangerous of all.

Some pleasant side effects produced by the drug which serve as the major cause of addiction include:

  • Relaxation
  • A sense of contentment
  • Euphoria
  • Calmness
  • Pain relief
  • Boosted self esteem

Because of these desirable effects, the users tend to take the drug over and over again.

On the other hand, the drug also produces a number of unpleasant/undesired side effects which include:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory problems
  • Constipation

Some more dangerous, long term side effects are also produced by the drug such as:

  • Inability to stay composed/inability to control emotions
  • Hair loss
  • Decrease in libido
  • Stress management issues

Suboxone overdose:

It is highly unlikely to overdose on Suboxone alone but it is possible when:

  • It is taken in significantly high amounts
  • It is taken in combination with another substance
  • It is abused in an attempt to achieve a high

Overdose is actually Suboxone toxicity which is resulted when it is taken in amounts more than body’s ability to process. Some common signs and symptoms observed in a person who has overdosed on Suboxone include:

  • Dizziness
  • Constricted pupils
  • Inability to stay conscious
  • Slowed breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

It is important to provide immediate medical care when a person is spotted with these symptoms or even death is possible.

Planning an intervention:

If a loved one is battling Suboxone addiction, it is important to confront them and talk about it. Intervention is important to convince the patient to seek further treatment. Friends and family who are close to the patient can be involved in the process. It is important to be extremely careful through the process to avoid uninvited reaction from the addict. A professional interventionist can be helpful facilitate the process. He can help with what to talk about to addict and what to expect in return.