How Does Suboxone Work for Heroin Addiction?

How Does Suboxone Work for Heroin Detox?

Heroin detox allows people to get the heroin out of their system. Detox center patients can receive many treatments to help them overcome addiction. For someone with a heroin addiction, Suboxone is one of the treatments that can work well.

Are you struggling with an addiction to heroin? If so, hopefully, this guide will help you learn how Suboxone works as part of a heroin detox protocol.

Gaining a Better Understanding of Opiates

How does Suboxone work for heroin detox? To better understand this, it can be helpful to learn more about opiates.

Opiates are narcotic drugs that come from opium poppy plants. They depress central nervous system activities in the user. The primary purpose of taking opiates is to lower pain levels.

If someone uses opiates long-term, their tolerance for the drug will increase. When their tolerance increases, they need more of the drug to get the same effects from when they began using. The increased tolerance also leads to drug dependence. If someone is dependent on heroin, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit using the drug.

In addition to these issues, the user will experience behavioral changes as a result of using opiates. Regardless of the negative consequences heroin has on the user’s life, they will keep using the drug. If this is the case, they would likely have a diagnosis of heroin addiction.

Commonly Abused Opiates

There are many opiates people may abuse. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Vicodin or hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Methadone
  • Codeine

Are you or someone you know abusing these opiates? If so, entering a medication-assisted treatment program might be the best option. MAT programs offer Naloxone or other medications for heroin detox.

Suboxone and Other Medication-Assisted Treatments

An addiction to heroin can tear a person’s life apart. In some cases, it can even take their life. If you see someone overdosing on heroin, it is important to contact emergency medical personnel. They can deliver Naloxone to help reverse the effects of the drug.

After getting Naloxone treatment, the person who is using heroin can enter a medication-assisted treatment program. In this program, doctors can prescribe Suboxone and other medications to help people get off heroin.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Suboxone use in treating opioid addiction in 2002. Doctors can prescribe this medication in a film or sublingual tablet.

There are two active medications in Suboxone. These medications include:

  • Naloxone blocks opiate effects on the body and mind
  • Buprenorphine relieves withdrawal symptoms and cravings while blocking opiates from reaching the brain

When Naloxone and Buprenorphine combine, they make an effective heroin detox compound.

Suboxone Treatments with Heroin Addiction Patients

There are many treatment approaches when it comes to heroin detox. One of the most common approaches is the use of Suboxone.

In most cases, there are four steps in treating a patient with this medication. These four steps include:

  • Intake:  Includes a psychosocial and medical evaluation, blood tests, and drug screening.
  • Induction:  Transitions the user from heroin to Suboxone to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stabilization: Doctors adjust Suboxone dosage over time until the patient no longer needs it to manage their recovery.
  • Maintenance: The patient may need to continue using Suboxone, go to N.A meetings, and attend counseling to maintain their recovery.

Those who are struggling with heroin addiction should reach out to a Suboxone detox facility today.

Considerations to Make with the Use of Suboxone

Suboxone can work to help people overcome heroin addiction. However, doctors should use this medication carefully with all patients.

Some considerations for doctors to make before prescribing this Suboxone include:

  • Use caution in patients who have moderate or severe liver issues
  • Note side effects for the patient (ex. vomiting, nausea, headache, constipation, sweating, insomnia, constipation, fluid accumulation in limbs, and pain)
  • Potential for Suboxone misuse (only be given under doctor supervision)

Since opioid addictions fall under psychological and physical illnesses, treatment should include various approaches. Suboxone treatment is one option to consider.


Do you or someone you know to struggle with addiction to heroin? If so, you can get help starting today.

There are many treatment approaches people can take to overcome drug addiction. Suboxone treatment is one option that you have in heroin detox.

Make the call today to learn more about heroin detox and the approaches that would work best for you!

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