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How Can Subutex Be Abused?

If you or someone you know is struggling from an opioid addiction, it can feel like an uphill battle. Addiction is a form of mental illness because it changes the way our brains function. This is why professional help is needed when treating an addiction. Perhaps you or your loved one has tried Subutex to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms from opioids while beginning detoxification treatment.

Subutex is used to treat opioid dependence and is a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine. The buprenorphine molecule binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain as heroin and other opioids, resulting in dulling the effects of a heroin, morphine, or oxycodone high. However, Subutex can still be abused and can still cause users to feel euphoria which leads to addiction if used incorrectly.

Side Effects Of Abuse

Subutex creates a high that is not cognitively disorienting with drugs such as heroin or morphine. Short term effects of Subutex abuse include: euphoria, decreased pain, and even sedation. However, if you abuse Subutex there are also many undesirable side effects that are unwanted and these include: sweating, mood swings, dizziness, vomiting, body aches, and flu-like symptoms, among others. You should contact your doctor or nearest emergency room immediately if you abuse Subutex and notice the following as these could be signs of serious liver damage: yellowing in the whites of the eyes, severe stomach pain, dark urine, yellow skin, or light colored bowel movements.

How Do You Abuse Subutex?

But how can you abuse Subutex in the first place? If Subutex is administered in a tablet form, it has a higher risk of creating abuse than if a patient was administered Suboxone (buprenorphine mixed with naloxone which is added to prevent abuse). Typical Subutex abusers will usually crush the tablet and inject or snort it. When the tablet is crushed and either injected or snorted, it results in euphoria similar to abusing heroin or morphine.

Click here to learn more about the difference between Suboxone and Subutex.

Signs Of Abuse

If you suspect that someone you know is abusing Subutex, there are signs of abuse that you can watch out for. The signs of abuse for Subutex are similar to opioid abuse and could be any of the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Neglecting hobbies you once enjoyed
  • Failure to perform at school, work, or at home
  • Nosebleeds
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Physical signs of injection abuse (bruising and injection points)
  • Changing your circle of friends
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Money difficulties

Withdrawal Signs And Symptoms

There can also be withdrawal signs and symptoms that can indicate that a person has developed dependence on Subutex. These signs of withdrawal include:

  • Restlessness
  • Yawning
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Goose bumps
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Anxiety
  • And dilated pupils among others

Abusing Subutex also can lead to severe long-term effects if snorted or injected. Injection can lead to blood borne diseases such as HIV or even abscesses and if snorted, a perforated nasal canal. As with any drug that can be abused, users run the risk of overdosing or severe complications such as slowed breathing or even death each time the medication is used improperly.

How To Help

What was meant to help an individual recover from their opiate addiction has turned into dependence upon Subutex since the medication was abused. But, there is hope. There are many treatments available today to help individuals struggling from Subutex abuse. Some common ways to help individuals battling Subutex abuse include: intensive inpatient treatment, individual therapy, group counseling, partial hospitalization, and even attending groups such as Narcotics Anonymous.

Contact Us

If you are suffering from Subutex addiction contact us to help you find the right treatment that fits your needs.You do not have to suffer from a Subutex addiction alone. Our compassionate staff will help you find the right treatment that fits your needs. Reach out to us today at and get your life back on track. Contact us today.