Opioid addiction affects every part of a person’s life and can wreak havoc on their physical, emotional, and social health. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to overcome opioid addiction. Most people need treatment and ongoing support to stop using opioids and maintain sobriety for life.

One of the tools used to help people overcome opioid addiction is a prescription drug called Suboxone. Used as prescribed, this medication can be a powerful aid in the fight against opioid addiction by giving people a chance to stop using opioids without going through dangerous or severely uncomfortable Suboxone withdrawal symptoms.

Reducing or stopping Suboxone can still result in withdrawal symptoms, and you may require help managing these symptoms when you decide to stop using it. To understand how to avoid or manage Suboxone withdrawal, it is helpful to learn more about how this drug works and what happens to your body and mind when you stop taking it.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone is a prescription drug people take to treat opioid use disorder. It is made of two substances: Naloxone, which blocks specific opioid receptors, and Buprenorphine.[1] Buprenorphine is an opioid that binds to opioid receptors in the brain and blocks other opioids from binding there. This effect lasts for up to three days, which makes it a good choice for people attending an outpatient treatment program.

While Suboxone binds to opioid receptors, it does not produce the same “high” or euphoria that opioids like oxycodone and heroin do. Because of the way it works within the brain, taking Suboxone can reduce your cravings for opioids and has less risk of addiction than other prescription medications like methadone.

Withdrawal From Suboxone

Common Suboxone withdrawal symptoms

Used as prescribed to treat opioid addiction, your body may become dependent on the presence of Suboxone. If you cut back or stop taking Suboxone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may be less severe than the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, but they can be very uncomfortable. Common Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:[2]Suboxone withdrawal symptoms

  • Body aches and muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Twitching
  • Chills
  • Fever

Because Buprenorphine (one of the ingredients in Suboxone) stays in the body for up to three days, you may not begin to notice withdrawal symptoms right away. It can take up to four days for withdrawal symptoms to begin and they tend to last for about a week. After about two weeks, the acute phase of Suboxone withdrawal will be over. It is very common for people to continue to experience strong cravings for the drug and to feel depressed or anxious long after the acute withdrawal phase.

Most people need addiction treatment and education to manage their emotions and cravings without returning to using substances. Treatment should include talk therapy and behavioral therapy to help you learn the skills you need to recover from addiction and maintain lifelong sobriety.

How to Manage Suboxone Withdrawal

how to manage suboxone withdrawals

The best way to manage Suboxone withdrawal is to avoid it in the first place. You can do this by continuing to take Suboxone exactly as prescribed. When it is time to stop using it, your doctor will help you start a tapering program that will allow you to gradually reduce your use of Suboxone over a long period.

If you do experience symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal, you can do some simple things to keep yourself as comfortable as possible during this period.

  • Stay hydrated – dehydration from sweating and vomiting can make you feel worse
  • Eat well – regular, nutritious meals can help keep your body strong and nourished during withdrawal
  • Exercise – this helps with agitation and anxiety
  • Meditation and yoga – help to calm the mind and soothe the body
  • Distraction – take up a new hobby, listen to music, keep your hands busy
  • Group support – go to support groups or group therapy that focuses on addiction and recovery

These practices can help with the immediate effects of withdrawal. You will also need to make a plan for ongoing treatment. Relapse is common when people do not have ongoing support. Starting an addiction treatment program gives you the best chance of avoiding relapse. In treatment, you will receive counseling, education, and group support that will give you the best chance to fully recover from addiction and stay sober in the long term.

Suboxone is used to help treat the physical aspects of addiction, but addiction is not just a physical issue. To overcome addiction, you must learn new coping skills and have lifelong support to live the full, healthy, self-directed life you deserve. Addiction treatment is essential to your lifelong recovery.

Learn More About Managing Suboxone Withdrawal at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you love require life-changing addiction treatment, please call the admissions counselors at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment today. We want to work with you to help you recover from addiction and learn how to live a healthy life without using substances. We offer a range of programs that care for your body and mind and will work with your schedule. Call (781) 484-0195 to learn more.


  1. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/022410s000lbl.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2970944/

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