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.
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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?
I must emphasize that it is extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening to combine heroin with Suboxone or any other medication without the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Suboxone is a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone, and it is used to treat opioid dependence. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it binds to the same receptors in the brain as opioids like heroin but does not activate them to the same extent. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of opioids on the brain.
When a person takes Suboxone as part of a medically-supervised treatment program for opioid dependence, the goal is to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid use.
Combining heroin with Suboxone is dangerous for several reasons:
- Precipitated Withdrawal: If a person takes Suboxone too soon after using heroin or other opioids, the naloxone component can cause precipitated withdrawal, which is a rapid onset of severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Overdose Risk: Trying to overcome the blocking effects of naloxone by using large amounts of heroin can lead to an overdose.
- Respiratory Depression: Both heroin and buprenorphine can cause respiratory depression, where breathing becomes dangerously slow. Combining these substances can potentially cause respiratory failure.
- Impeding Treatment: Using heroin while on Suboxone undermines the goal of treatment, which is to reduce dependence on opioids and move towards recovery.
It is critically important for individuals who are on Suboxone or any medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence to work closely with their healthcare provider and follow the treatment plan as prescribed.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid dependence or addiction, it is crucial to seek professional help. There are effective treatments available, and a healthcare provider can guide you in making choices that support recovery and well-being.
Can you get high while on Suboxone?
Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid dependence. It contains a combination of buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, an opioid antagonist. The purpose of Suboxone treatment is to help individuals overcome opioid addiction by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
When taken as prescribed and under medical supervision, Suboxone is not intended to produce a “high” sensation. Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone, is designed to bind to the same opioid receptors in the brain as other opioids, but with a weaker effect. This helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms without inducing a euphoric high.
However, it’s important to note that everyone’s body chemistry and response to medications can differ. Some individuals may experience mild euphoria or sedation when they first start taking Suboxone or if they take it in larger doses than prescribed. However, the effects are typically less intense compared to other opioids. Taking Suboxone in ways other than prescribed, such as crushing or injecting it, can increase the risk of getting high and may be dangerous.
It’s essential to follow the prescribed dosage and usage instructions provided by your healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective treatment. If you have concerns about your medication or its effects, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance.
What happens if you use Heroin while taking Sublocade?
Using heroin while taking Sublocade (buprenorphine extended-release injection) is highly dangerous and not recommended. Sublocade is used as a medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder and is intended to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence. Here are a few things that could happen if someone uses heroin while on Sublocade:
- Precipitated Withdrawal: Sublocade contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist. If a person takes heroin, a full opioid agonist, while on Sublocade, it can lead to precipitated withdrawal. This happens because buprenorphine displaces other opioids from receptors in the brain, leading to a rapid onset of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be severe and include nausea, vomiting, sweating, anxiety, agitation, and muscle aches.
- Reduced Effects of Heroin: Sublocade can block the effects of heroin and other opioids to some extent. Because buprenorphine has a higher affinity for opioid receptors but only partially activates them, someone who uses heroin while on Sublocade might not experience the usual euphoria or “high” associated with heroin. This may lead to taking higher doses of heroin in an attempt to achieve the desired effects, which increases the risk of overdose.
- Overdose Risk: Using heroin, especially in higher doses, while on Sublocade increases the risk of overdose. While buprenorphine can block some of the effects of opioids, it’s not foolproof. Combining heroin with Sublocade can lead to respiratory depression, loss of consciousness, and death.
- Compromised Treatment Goals: Using heroin while in treatment with Sublocade goes against the goal of recovery from opioid use disorder. It compromises the treatment process and makes it harder to achieve stability and recovery.
If you or someone you know is taking Sublocade and is struggling with heroin use, it is critical to seek help immediately. Contact a healthcare provider, addiction specialist, or local addiction treatment center for assistance. It’s important to communicate openly with healthcare providers about the challenges faced during recovery so that they can provide the necessary support and adjustments to the treatment plan.
What happens when you take opiates while on Suboxone?
Taking opiates while on Suboxone can have several effects, depending on the specific circumstances. Suboxone contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, which means it binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain as other opioids but with a weaker effect. The naloxone component of Suboxone acts as an opioid antagonist, blocking the effects of other opioids.
If a person takes opiates while on Suboxone, the naloxone component may counteract the effects of the opiates, preventing them from binding to the opioid receptors and reducing the likelihood of experiencing a full opioid high. However, it’s important to note that the naloxone in Suboxone is primarily effective when taken orally as prescribed. If Suboxone is crushed or injected, the naloxone can have a stronger effect and precipitate withdrawal symptoms.
Additionally, if someone takes opiates while on Suboxone, it can interfere with the effectiveness of the Suboxone treatment itself. The opiates may compete with buprenorphine for the opioid receptors, potentially reducing the effectiveness of Suboxone in controlling withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any other medications or substances while on Suboxone. They can provide guidance based on your individual circumstances and help you make informed decisions about your treatment. Mixing substances without medical supervision can be risky and may jeopardize your recovery and overall well-being.
Is it true that suboxone withdrawal is worse than heroin withdrawal?
Suboxone, a medication that contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, is commonly used to treat opioid dependence, including dependence on heroin. Its role is to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and decrease cravings.
Comparing withdrawal from Suboxone to withdrawal from heroin can be somewhat subjective and may vary from person to person. Several factors influence the severity of withdrawal symptoms, such as the duration of use, the dose, individual physiology, and the presence of any co-occurring mental health or medical conditions.
Here are a few points to consider regarding Suboxone and heroin withdrawal:
- Duration: Withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone may last longer than those from heroin. This is because buprenorphine, one of the components of Suboxone, has a longer half-life than heroin, meaning it stays in the system for a longer time. As a result, withdrawal symptoms might take longer to set in and can be more prolonged, although they might be less intense at their onset compared to heroin withdrawal.
- Intensity: Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be very intense but tend to be of shorter duration. Some people might consider the acuteness of heroin withdrawal to be worse, while others might find the protracted, but less intense, withdrawal from Suboxone to be more challenging.
- Medical Supervision: Suboxone should be taken under medical supervision, and ideally, cessation should also be medically supervised with a gradual tapering of the medication to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
It’s also important to note that the term “worse” can be subjective. For some, the intensity of the symptoms might define what is worse, while others might focus on the duration of the symptoms.
In either case, withdrawal from opioids, whether from heroin or Suboxone, should be managed under the care of a healthcare professional who can provide the necessary support and guidance to minimize withdrawal symptoms and address any complications that may arise. The ultimate goal is to safely help the individual overcome opioid dependence and move toward recovery.