Suboxone Addiction Treatment Center Ohio

Is Suboxone Addiction Treatment the Cure for My Opioid Addiction?

A great deal of confusion exists about suboxone addiction treatment. The most common question is whether treatment is offered for suboxone addiction or if suboxone is the addiction treatment used for recovery. Is suboxone a problem in itself or a cure?

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication used to treat addiction to opioid drugs like:

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Morphine (Kadin and Avinza)
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin

Suboxone is made up of buprenorphine and naloxone. Specially licensed addiction treatment centers and medical professionals prescribe this medication for individuals seeking help with opioid use disorder. Prescribed as part of a medical detox and medication management program, suboxone treatment for addiction helps reduce the risk for opioid overdoses that result from relapse. In fact, it is proven to prevent about 50% of opioid overdose deaths among people undergoing this treatment. Opioid overdose and resulting death are major threats to those working toward recovery.

The miracle of suboxone is that it interferes with how opioids affect the brain. The medication tightly binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. These are the same receptors that opioids trigger to create a high. Because of this block, people on a suboxone program do not become intoxicated by their drug of choice and therefore have less motivation to relapse. They also do not experience the intense cravings found in withdrawal. Instead, they are able to return to a more normal way of life while seeking long-term recovery.

How to Benefit From Suboxone Treatment

Properly administered, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with suboxone provides real hope for people stuck in the cycle of opioid addiction. However, there is some potential for misuse of this helpful medication. That misuse typically occurs outside of professional settings. The safest way to take suboxone and receive its benefits is through MAT in a licensed detox and rehab facility.

In detox or rehab program facilities, suboxone MAT is administered under supervision by licensed addiction specialists. This medication management takes place in conjunction with various behavioral therapies and other services necessary for long-term addiction recovery. 

Without suboxone treatment, many clients find it very difficult to focus on rehab therapies or other programs for their own benefit. Too many feel compelled to return to their cycle of drug seeking and using. But because this combination of buprenorphine and naloxone reduces cravings and takes away the incentive for relapse, those on MAT have greater hope for lasting recovery.

When the Helpful Medication Becomes the Drug of Choice

Abusing suboxone can still create a high. It is not the dramatic state of euphoria produced by drugs like heroin and prescription opioids. Also, the effects of suboxone are milder in terms of the duration of the effects and the likelihood of overdose. But because the medication is an opioid, people still abuse it. 

In fact, many doses of sublingual or tablet-form buprenorphine make it onto the streets. There, these doses intended to save lives are illegally bought and sold for euphoric effects. Sometimes, this abuse leads to dependency, creating the suboxone addiction that requires treatment just like any other opioid use disorder. This drug abuse is so common in prisons that the treatment medication is called “prison heroin.”

If nothing else, this potential for abuse of suboxone makes it clear why it is so important to seek medication-assisted treatment through a licensed detox and rehab facility. True medication management by professionals prevents unforeseen problems, such as dependence on helpful prescriptions like this one. 

Detox and rehab facilities are, by nature, safe and secure environments providing around-the-clock supervision, counseling, and support for individuals seeking recovery from drugs and alcohol. These programs offer reduced substance abuse and relapse opportunities in a secure facility where it is much easier and safer to pull yourself out of the cycle of substance abuse and move toward a successful road to recovery.

Suboxone Withdrawal

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms are similar to other opioid withdrawal symptoms. However, symptoms tend to set in later after the last dose and last much longer because suboxone is a long-acting opioid. 

Withdrawal symptoms after suboxone addiction include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal problems, and headaches starting within 24 hours and lasting about 10 days, with a peak in severity at about 72 hours
  • Insomnia, chills, fever, and sweating also start within the first 24 hours and continue for about 10 days, peaking at 72 hours
  • Muscle aches, pains, and mood swings for the first week of withdrawal
  • Depression starting in week two of withdrawal and lasting a month or more
  • Drug cravings lasting for a month or longer

Other common symptoms of suboxone withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Digestive problems like diarrhea and abdominal pain
  • Dilated pupils
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness

Suboxone addiction treatment typically starts with detox for about two weeks, depending on the individual’s addiction severity, other personal health factors, and how long they abused this medication. This treatment often includes tapering the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone instead of going “cold turkey.” Tapering is the safest approach for ending addiction to suboxone.

Following detox, it is important to enter a licensed rehab facility to continue through protracted withdrawal treatment. In rehab, you also develop a healthier daily routine while you learn about your addiction and how to prevent relapse. This learning takes place through behavioral therapies, addiction counseling, and other methods. 

Should I Seek Suboxone Medication-assisted Treatment for My Opioid Addiction?

MAT is a whole person approach in combination with rehab treatment, according to SAMHSA. This whole-person approach can safely heal your body, mind, and spirit. When receiving suboxone through medication-assisted treatment, you do not need to worry about developing an addiction to the buprenorphine-naloxone combination.

Of course, simply taking suboxone to end your opioid addiction is not enough to provide lasting recovery. Getting sober is the necessary first step into readiness for a new life. To truly rebuild your life with a strong foundation for long-term good health, productivity, and happiness, you need an array of therapies as part of an individualized treatment plan.

What to Expect from MAT with Suboxone

Suboxone MAT takes place in three phases. These include induction, stabilization, and maintenance


The induction phase of MAT initially includes time spent learning about your treatment options and whether suboxone is the right medication for your transition from active dependence to sobriety. This phase generally includes an addiction assessment as part of a physical exam and lab tests, all performed by licensed medical professionals. If you decide to proceed with suboxone treatment, you also work with the medical detox team to develop follow-up plans for your stabilization and maintenance phases of the MAT. Induction typically takes between one and three days after arrival at your medical detox center.

When you start your first dose of suboxone, you will feel some withdrawal symptom relief within a half hour or so. Sometimes, it takes several doses to achieve the right level of medication for you. 


The second phase of suboxone MAT is stabilization. This is beyond day three of your medication-assisted treatment, during which you start working on treatment goals. Depending on the detox and rehab facilities you enter, you may start receiving behavioral therapies and attending addiction education sessions to form the foundation for your recovery.

During stabilization, you remain in close communication with the MAT treatment professionals. It may be necessary to alter your suboxone dosage slightly during this time, according to how you feel and the withdrawal symptoms you experience.


The third phase of suboxone MAT is maintenance. This mostly involves monitoring your progress and determining how long you will continue your medication-assisted treatment. Most studies indicate that 12 to 18 months of suboxone MAT provides the best results, in conjunction with several months of rehab treatment, including an array of therapies. But this is a highly individualized approach and depends upon your individual progress and potential for opioid relapse.

What Rehab Treatment Programs Are Best for Opioid Addiction Treatment?

Perhaps you are ready to use suboxone for medication-assisted treatment of your opioid addiction. Or, maybe you find yourself addicted to suboxone and need help to get yourself off the drug. Regardless, the same elements of rehab treatment are essential. The best approach to recovery from any drug addiction involves detox first, followed by a comprehensive rehab treatment program. 

However, there are multiple levels of care for rehab treatment. Which one is best suited to you depends on the severity of your addiction and other factors. If you suffer long-term dependence on opioids or mix your drugs with other substances, more intensive rehab treatment is often the best approach. But if you only experienced a short timeframe of opioid dependence, you may do well with a less intensive program.

Levels of Care in Rehab Treatment

Common levels of care offered by licensed rehab facilities include:

  • Inpatient or residential rehab, where you spend each night at the facility for 24-hour support in a hospital-like setting
  • Intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization programs, a hybrid of outpatient and residential treatments
  • Outpatient rehab, living at home while receiving day treatment

Therapies Provided in Rehab Programs

Each of the above rehab program types provides an array of therapies designed to help you establish effective self-care habits on the road to recovery for a more fulfilling future. Therapies offered in a suboxone addiction treatment center in Ohio or elsewhere in the United States may include:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Group therapy
  • Individual addiction counseling
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Drug and alcohol addiction education
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Family therapy or couples therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavioral therapies like CBT and DBT
  • Trauma therapy, such as EMDR
  • Employment counseling

Addiction Treatment in Ohio

At White Light Behavioral Health, located in Columbus, OH we have an experienced team that will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. Our professionals will help you build a foundation for a sober and healthy lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get back on track.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Ryan Wakim, M.D.

Dr. Wakim is a board-certified psychiatrist with a passion for and expertise in addiction, mood disorders, trauma-related disorders and the subspecialty of interventional psychiatry. He obtained his medical degree from West Virginia University where he also completed his residency training, finishing as chief resident. Dr. Wakim co-founded and served as the CEO of Transformations leading to a successful merger with Shore Capital in May 2021. He is purpose driven towards improving the standard of and removing stigma related to behavioral healthcare. Dr. Wakim enjoys golf, traveling and time spent with his two dogs, Lulu and Rayna.

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