suboxone abuse facts

Withdrawal symptoms  |  Withdrawal timeline  |  Detox |  Back to top

The United States is currently in the middle of an opioid epidemic. In 2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurred, with almost 70% of them involving opioids.

With the opioid epidemic, comes the rising use of suboxone as an addiction treatment. If used as intended, suboxone can help those addicted to opioids reach a sober life. But, if misused, instead of sobriety, a person may find themselves addicted to the suboxone medication.

Keep reading to learn more about suboxone, including a suboxone withdrawal timeline.

What Is Suboxone and When Is It Used?

Suboxone was invented in the 1970s as a safer alternative to opioids such as heroin or morphine.

Suboxone is a combination of the drugs buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that helps block and prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of other opioids, preventing the high effect.

Both buprenorphine and naloxone work together in Suboxone to help with addiction recovery. When taking Suboxone, you are less likely to feel the withdrawal effects and if you do use opioids, they won’t provide the same feelings as they used to.

This is why many medical professionals prescribe Suboxone to recovering addicts. In fact, Suboxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Studies show that almost 50% of people struggling with addiction saw a reduction in drug abuse during a 12-week period.

The key to using Suboxone is that you’re monitored by a medical professional. Over time, they’ll gradually reduce your dosage until you’re no longer relying on Suboxone for your sobriety.

But, if not monitored correctly, some people can become addicted to Suboxone instead of their opioid of choice.

symptoms of suboxone withdrawal

Abuse facts  |  Withdrawal timeline  |  Detox |  Back to top

Some of the common symptoms to expect include:

  • Muscle and body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Anxiety, depression, or mood swings
  • Fever, chills, and sweating
  • Headache
  • Insomnia and sleepiness

suboxone withdrawal timeline

Abuse facts  |  Withdrawal symptoms  |  Detox |  Back to top

The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal vary from person to person. Everyone’s recovery journey will look different, but preparing yourself for what might occur can help improve your probability of success.

Below are the general symptoms you can expect from a Suboxone detox and withdrawal.


Like most drug detoxes, the first 72 hours are when your withdrawal symptoms are most intense.

Some of the common symptoms to expect include:

  • Muscle and body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Anxiety, depression, or mood swings
  • Fever, chills, and sweating
  • Headache
  • Insomnia and sleepiness

This initial withdrawal period is likely to be the most difficult. Make sure you are under professional medical care to increase your odds of success.

One Week

Once you reach one week of detox, your major symptoms will start to lessen. You’ve passed the peak of your symptoms and your journey will become easier and easier after every hour.

But, just because you’ve passed the peak, it doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. At this point, you will likely still suffer from body aches and pains. In addition, you’ll experience insomnia and mood swings.

Two Weeks

When you hit the two-week mark, most of your aches and pains have subsided. Now, your main symptom will be depression.

Depression is a serious condition and can lead you to use again to achieve relief.

One Month

At one month of the withdrawal timeline, you’ll still suffer from mental health symptoms like depression. But just because most of your withdrawal symptoms are gone, this doesn’t mean that your recovery journey is over.

Instead, now is when your cravings will be most intense. You won’t be distracted by all the physical symptoms anymore. Even though you’ve made it a month without using Suboxone, you’ll still be at risk of relapsing.

This state of intense cravings can last for several more months.

symptoms of suboxone detox

Abuse facts  |  Withdrawal symptoms  |  Withdrawal timeline  |  Back to top

So, now that you know what withdrawal symptoms you can expect, how exactly will you deal with them?

The number one solution to help you conquer withdrawal symptoms and stay sober is to seek addiction treatment. Addiction professionals deal with people like you every day, so they know how to help ease the pain of withdrawal.

There are many different types of programs they can recommend depending on your personality. For example, you may benefit from a 12-step approach to addiction recovery. Or, you may benefit from a more non-traditional recovery plan, such as yoga addiction treatment.

The key to a successful recovery is finding a program that works for you. Not every plan is one-size-fits-all, that’s why it’s important to seek professional help.

Creating a Long-Term Treatment Plan

If you’re seeking a nonmedicated detox, a long-term treatment plan will be the ultimate step towards sobriety. You can’t expect your addiction and cravings to disappear after a few months of treatment. Instead, your recovery is something that you’ll have to work towards every day.

Your long-term plan begins when you exit your rehab or addiction treatment program. This plan outlines the steps you will take on your own to help remain sober.

Common long-term treatment plan steps include:

  • Support group attendance
  • Seeking help for underlying mental health issues
  • Engaging in holistic therapies

In addition, you’ll want a worst-case scenario plan. If you find yourself about ready to relapse, you need steps you can take to counteract the cravings. This could include calling a helpline, alerting a friend or family member, or making an emergency visit to an addiction specialist.

Seek Help With Your Recovery Journey Today

After reading this article, you now have a clear understanding of the suboxone withdrawal timeline and how to combat these symptoms.

If you’re struggling with suboxone addiction, there is a way out. Not everyone who takes suboxone to help with opioid addiction has to struggle with Suboxone as well. Use Suboxone to help with your initial opioid detox, then under professional guidance, taper off from Suboxone.

If you find yourself struggling with your addiction recovery journey, don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact Addiction Detox today to find a detox center that’s right for you.


Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Detoxification & Withdrawal Guide for Suboxone.

Written By Jeff Mahre BA MFA MLIS - January 12th, 2017

Suboxone is safe when used correctly. However, if you or a loved one have been abusing the drug, you may need help from a Suboxone detox near you.