Using Heroin When You're on Suboxone - Garden State Treatment Center

Pure heroin, diacetylmorphine, is a white powder with a bitter taste abused for its euphoric effects. Heroin, a highly addictive drug, is derived from the morphine alkaloid found in the opium poppy plant and is roughly 2 to 3 times more potent than morphine. Users become fast addicted to heroin both mentally and physically as they seek to experience the unique sensations provided by the drug.

It exhibits euphoric, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving properties. It is usually injected, smoked, or snorted up the nose. Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, carries stiff criminal penalties, and has no acceptable medical use in the United States. Of all the commonly abused addictive opioids, few are more dangerous than heroin.

Using Heroin When You're on Suboxone

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a brand-name prescription drug and is an addiction treatment medication used in opioid replacement therapy. As an opiate itself, it has a potential for abuse. Suboxone helps reverse the side effects of short-acting opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers. Consisting of two ingredients, Buprenorphine, and naloxone, Suboxone prevents the painful withdrawal symptoms caused by opioid addiction. Suboxone comes as an oral film that’s placed under your tongue (sublingual) or between your gums and cheek (buccal). The film dissolves in your mouth. Some people begin abusing Suboxone after it’s been prescribed as part of a treatment regimen for opioid dependency.

What are the Effects of Using Heroin While on Suboxone?

The key difference between Suboxone and other opioids is the added naloxone component, which serves to counter the action of opioid-based drugs. The naloxone component, in Suboxone, works by attaching to opioid receptors and blocking other opioids, such as heroin, from producing addictive euphoric sensations. Using Suboxone together with heroin, which causes central nervous system depression as well, can lead to serious side effects such as respiratory distress, coma, and even death.

If Suboxone is abused to get high, the naloxone will inhibit the buprenorphine component of the drug from binding to the opioid receptors, making the person experience the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. If a heroin-dependent person were to take Suboxone simultaneously with heroin, or shortly after using heroin, the body’s strong preference for Suboxone will counter the non-specific actions of the more potent heroin, sending the user into immediate withdrawal. Such predicaments can be very dangerous, and they defeat the purpose of Suboxone as a remedial drug.

What are the Benefits of Suboxone?

Suboxone offers several benefits to those with opioid dependency and to others for whom treatment in a methadone clinic is not preferred or is less convenient. Approved for clinical use by the Food and Drug Administration, medications such as buprenorphine, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of opioid dependence, FDA. When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine is safe and effective. The buprenorphine/naloxone combination, Suboxone, is one of only two opioid addiction treatment medications, the other being Subutex, to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for usage outside of licensed opioid treatment facilities.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

You can get help and lead a successful, productive life. The first step is acknowledging the potential problem and just by asking yourself if you want to be the best version of yourself that you can be, you’re already on the right track. Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we provide group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12 step addiction treatment, and many other services that help teach you the skills you need to lead a Suboxone and Heroin free life. We believe in treating the entire person, not just their addictions. We personalize the treatment plan based on the individual’s characteristics. Our admissions team is standing by for your call.


  • Can you take heroin with Suboxone?
  • Can you get high while on Suboxone?
  • What happens if you use Heroin while taking Sublocade?
  • What happens when you take opiates while on Suboxone?
  • Is it true that suboxone withdrawal is worse than heroin withdrawal?

Published on: 2020-02-01
Updated on: 2024-06-27