How To Detox From Suboxone Safely

Last Updated on July 2, 2024
adam zagha of numa detox and rehab in los angeles
Writer: Adam Zagha
Clinical Reviewer: Ariana Gravanis

Suboxone has both its benefits in opioid addiction treatment and its potential drawbacks. While it is a tool for reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings, one should use it within a structured treatment plan to avoid dependency. But how does one safely detox from Suboxone?

Suboxone helps many break free from opioid addiction, but there comes a time when you need to move on. NUMA Recovery Centers is committed to a safe and supportive detox path. With our expert care, you'll know that you're not alone. If you're ready to take the next step, visit us at NUMA Recovery Centers.

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Quick Points

  • Suboxone as Treatment: Suboxone is used in treating opioid addiction to reduce cravings and to ease withdrawal symptoms through its action as a partial opioid agonist.

  • Misconceptions: Common misconceptions include the belief that Suboxone simply replaces one addiction with another, overlooking its role in a comprehensive treatment plan.

  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Awareness of both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone is necessary for preparedness and effective management.

  • Detox Process: A carefully managed detox, preferably under medical supervision, is recommended to minimize risks and support recovery.

  • Beyond Suboxone: Exploring recovery paths without Suboxone emphasizes the importance of medically supervised detox and holistic support systems.

  • NUMA's Role: NUMA Recovery Centers provide a supportive environment for detoxing from drug abuse with professional oversight and emotional support.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication used in the treatment of opioid addiction, specifically designed to ease the process of opioid withdrawal.

It's what we call a partial opioid agonist—meaning it works on the same brain receptors as other opioids but with less intensity. This helps reduce drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms without producing the same high.

Taking Suboxone is part of a therapeutic intervention aimed at tackling opioid dependence. Unlike full opioid agonists, Suboxone's effects plateau at a certain dose, reducing the risk of dependency and making it harder to abuse Suboxone compared to other opioids.

This medication plays a dual role by also containing an opioid antagonist, which blocks the effects of opioids at the receptor level. This combination helps in keeping the opioid receptors in the brain occupied, reducing the desire to use opioids and aiding in the recovery from substance abuse.

Still, it's important to approach Suboxone treatment with caution to avoid Suboxone addiction itself.

A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment highlights the importance of controlled and supervised use of Suboxone, saying that while it's an effective tool in managing addiction, it's not a cure-all and should be part of a broader treatment plan.

Common Misconceptions of Suboxone

There are a few common misunderstandings when it comes to taking Suboxone. Some believe that taking Suboxone simply replaces one addiction with another.

Truth is, Suboxone is designed to ease withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction, not perpetuate a new dependence.

Another misconception is that Suboxone treatment alone is enough to overcome a substance use disorder. In reality, Suboxone is most effective when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, including counseling and support to address the underlying causes of addiction and prevent relapse.

A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry emphasizes that Suboxone, when used appropriately, significantly improves the chances of recovery by managing symptoms that often lead to relapse, thereby supporting individuals when trying to overcome substance use.

One must view Suboxone as a tool in the broader context of treatment, rather than a standalone solution.

Common Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

When discussing opioid withdrawal symptoms associated with Suboxone, try to differentiate the physical and psychological symptoms that may occur.

Physical symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal are similar to those seen with other opioids, but often milder due to Suboxone's role in easing withdrawal from opioid addiction. These can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Muscle aches and pains

  • Fever and chills

  • Increased sweating

  • Headaches

The psychological symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal can be challenging. While Suboxone use aims to stabilize mental health during recovery from opioid addiction, discontinuing it may bring about:

  • Irritability

  • Depression

  • Disturbed sleep

  • Cravings for opioids

The Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) emphasizes the importance of integrated support during this phase. Both physical symptoms and psychological symptoms highlight the need for a comprehensive approach that includes medical supervision and mental health services.

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms signify the body's adjustment away from dependency.

Proper management and support can mitigate these symptoms and aid in the journey towards healing, especially for individuals with co-occurring mental disorders.

Suboxone Withdrawal Timeline

The withdrawal timeline after stopping Suboxone use is important for managing expectations and preparing yourself ahead.

Initial Phase (Days 1-3)

  • The body begins to notice the absence of the medication.

  • Early withdrawal symptoms may appear, such as mild anxiety and restlessness.

Peak Phase (Days 3-5)

  • Withdrawal symptoms reach their peak, becoming more intense.

  • Common symptoms include nausea, aches, and sleep disturbances.

Stabilization Phase (Days 5-14)

  • Symptoms gradually start to lessen in intensity.

  • Emotional well-being begins to stabilize.

Long-Term Recovery

  • Some symptoms, like cravings and mood swings, may persist but will decrease over time.

  • Engagement in an opioid treatment program and regular consultation with addiction medicine specialists can provide crucial support during this period.

According to the American Addiction Centers, the withdrawal process from Suboxone can vary based on factors such as duration of taking Suboxone and dosage. Approach this phase with patience and under the guidance of a medical professional to get through the withdrawal timeline effectively.

Signs of Suboxone Withdrawals

When moving away from Suboxone (especially after long-term use for opioid addiction) you can recognize the signs that your body is adjusting. These signs are both physical and emotional.

  • Increased Anxiety: A common initial sign is a heightened sense of anxiety or nervousness, indicating your body's reaction to the absence of the medication.

  • Sleep Changes: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep can be a significant indicator of withdrawal from Suboxone, reflecting changes in your body's rhythm.

  • Digestive Discomfort: Experiencing stomach upset, such as nausea or diarrhea, can also be a clear sign of your system adapting without Suboxone.

  • Mood Fluctuations: Feelings of irritability or sudden mood swings are not uncommon and point towards the psychological aspect of withdrawal.

Perceiving these signs early can help in managing Suboxone withdrawal symptoms more effectively.

How to Properly Detox from Suboxone?

Detoxing from Suboxone should be a carefully managed process, and safety and effectiveness should be prioritized. A sudden stop or going "cold turkey", especially after long-term use, can be harmful.

Step-by-Step Approach

  • Medical Detox: This is the safest route. Medical professionals can monitor your health and adjust the detox process as needed.

  • Tapering Off: Gradually reducing the dose under the guidance of an addiction treatment professional minimizes withdrawal symptoms and supports a more comfortable transition.


  • Medically Supervised Detox: A healthcare provider can offer a detox plan, considering factors like the duration of use and any history with prescription painkillers.

  • Support Systems: Engaging with counseling or support groups as part of the detox treatment can provide emotional and psychological support.

The American Addiction Centers emphasize the importance of a medically supervised approach to Suboxone detox to ensure safety and reduce the risks associated with withdrawal.

Managing Drug Addiction Without Suboxone Support

Managing drug addiction without Suboxone support can be a viable path for some, but it requires careful planning and support.

Opting for a medical detox at a certified treatment facility is vitally important, especially if considering stopping Suboxone or any other drugs "cold turkey." This ensures that any potential complications can be promptly addressed by professionals with a medical degree.

A medical detox facility offers more than just medical oversight. Here, the detox process is made to cater to the individual's unique needs.

Can NUMA Assist with Detoxing from Drug Abuse?

NUMA Recovery Centers offers comprehensive support for individuals seeking to detox from drug abuse including Suboxone.

Their approach encompasses medical detox, where experienced professionals oversee the detox process to ensure safety and effectiveness.

The center emphasizes the importance of a supportive environment during detox, providing both medical oversight and support to aid in the recovery journey.

For more detailed information on how NUMA can assist with Suboxone detox or other drug abuse treatments, please visit the website here.

Start Recovery Here.
Call (323) 970-9379
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adam zagha of numa detox and rehab in los angeles
Adam Zagha
Adam Zagha is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles with over a decade of experience in addiction treatment and recovery. He holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and is certified in EMDR therapy, CBT, DBT, and ACT. Prior to Numa Recovery Centers, Adam was CFO and the Director of Clinical Outreach at Transcend Recovery Community. Adam is committed to providing top-quality care to individuals seeking treatment for addiction and mental health issues. He also provides trainings and workshops on addiction, mental health, and mindfulness.
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Numa Recovery Centers is a leading drug and alcohol detox and rehab company based in Los Angeles, providing evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and addiction. With a team of experienced professionals, Numa offers a comprehensive range of personalized services to help clients overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery.
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