What Is Subutex?

What Is Subutex?


Subutex is a semi-synthetic opioid, so it is a narcotic painkiller that helps people quit using harder opioids. People often use Subutex interchangeably with other drugs that contain buprenorphine, but some differences separate this drug from similar substances. Each drug uniquely affects users, so fully understanding the active ingredients, effects and risks of Subutex can help users prevent or address several consequences of use.

How Subutex Works

The active ingredient in Subutex is buprenorphine, a painkiller that, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, is 30-50 times stronger than morphine. It is often given during the initial stages of opioid addiction treatment to help addicts wean off stronger opiates, like heroin, because buprenorphine mimics the activities of other opiates, but more weakly. As a result, opioid addicts can suppress withdrawal symptoms and minimize drug cravings while they endure detox.

Is Subutex Addictive?

While Subutex has a much lower abuse potential than methadone, this drug is still addictive, which is why it is only recommended for the beginning stages of opioid addiction treatment. People can develop a dependence and addiction to both Subutex if they abuse it, but, when taken as prescribed, the drug can help users through the early stages of addiction recovery. For instance, Subutex can help people quit drugs without having to go cold turkey, which means they get to minimize the painful withdrawal symptoms and nagging drug cravings that compel relapse. By helping addicts overcome these issues, Subutex can break addiction at a pace slow enough for the addict to manage.

After prescribing Subutex, recovery professionals often administer another maintenance drug called Suboxone to help addicts further. Suboxone is similar to Subutex, as it also contains buprenorphine, yet it also contains naloxone, which blocks the effects of any opiate. In other words, Suboxone prevents people from experiencing any pleasurable symptoms from hard opiates, because naloxone keeps users from getting high. While few users have reported minimal rewarding effects from abusing this drug, most users report no effects or a slight feeling of energy. These effects can help users break opioid addiction, especially, once the brain no longer recognizes a drug as the catalyst to rewarding, pleasurable symptoms.

Signs of Subutex Abuse

Signs of Subutex abuse are as follows:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea
  • Changes in sleep habits or sleep difficulty
  • Decreased libido
  • Slowed or labored berating
  • Irregular heart rate

Signs of Subutex abuse or addiction should be addressed immediately, especially among people that use the drug in addiction treatment. Recovery professionals can switch users to Suboxone, or they can find other treatment methods.

Subutex Abuse Help

If you are interested in learning more about Subutex, our admissions coordinators can help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to discuss addiction and treatment. You have options when it comes to addiction recovery, and our staff can help you find which options are right for you. Call today to learn more about how to get and stay sober.