How to Get off Suboxone

Three Methods:Tapering off the DosageMaking Lifestyle ChangesSeeking Supplemental Support

Suboxone is often used to help people suffering from addiction to opiates like heroin. It also used to treat pain. Suboxone has addicting properties itself and many people struggle to cease use of the drug after they no longer need it. If you are struggling to get off suboxone, there is hope. With the help of a physician, you can develop a plan to sever your dependence on the substance.

Method 1
Tapering off the Dosage

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    Do not quit suboxone cold turkey. Suboxone has a long half life. A half-life is the amount of time it takes for a substance to deplete to half its value and suboxone's half-life is 37 hours. This means some traces of the substance stays in your system for over 2 days after your last dosage. Despite this, quitting cold turkey is not recommended. You could end up causing yourself unnecessary physical and emotional pain.
    • Quitting cold turkey may not be safe and the withdrawal symptoms, such as body aches and dizziness, will be much more severe if you simply stop using the drug suddenly. Relapse is far more likely if you attempt to quit cold turkey.[1]
    • Remember, you should not detox from suboxone until you have the other opiate addiction for which suboxone was recommended under control. You should also wait until you are in a stress-free environment. You do not want quitting suboxone to lead to a relapse of heroin or another powerful narcotic.[2]
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    Talk to a doctor about how to best taper off suboxone. Never stop taking suboxone without consulting a physician first. You need to figure out a safe and effective method of detox that minimizes withdrawal and the likelihood of relapse.
    • Talk to a physician who knows your full medical history including your history of drug use. Only she can tell you what's safe for you. You can also check into a rehab facility where on-staff physicians have experience treating addiction and can provide you medical support during the process of quitting.[3]
    • Most doctors recommend reducing your dosage by 20% to 25% every 24 to 48 hours. A medication to control heart rate and blood pressure will be prescribed. In addition, medications to treat the nausea, diarrhea, sleeplessness, and cramping will also be recommended.[4]
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    Prepare for withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms will not be as harsh for suboxone as they might be for other narcotics like heroin. However, you should expect to experience some symptoms of withdrawal as you begin the process of quitting.
    • Common withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, confusion, headaches, nausea, stomach pain, sleep disturbances, and liver damage. You should regularly see a physician throughout the entire process of quitting to monitor your health during withdrawal.[5]
    • The severity of withdrawal symptoms depend on a number of things. The longer you've been taking suboxone, the harsher the withdrawal process. If you were taking it in higher dosages, you will also probably have harder symptoms.[6]
    • An individual's personal physiology also plays a big role. Some people simply tolerate symptoms better than others and may experience less pain. Also, some people have higher tolerance for pain than others.[7]
    • Support is important during the withdrawal period. If you're really struggling, it is strongly recommended you check into a rehabilitation facility so you can be safely monitored by doctors and therapists to help you throughout your journey.[8]

Method 2
Making Lifestyle Changes

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    Change your diet. A diet designed to boost endorphins and other mood enhancing chemicals can help the withdrawal process in addition to the emotional effects of ending an addiction.
    • High-quality proteins are important. You should aim to get in 20-30 grams of protein 3 times a day. Opt for lean proteins like chicken, fish, and turkey.[9]
    • Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as heart healthy fats that are found in olive oils, canola oils, avocados, and nuts.[10]
    • The consumption of sugar and processed foods should be limited, if not cut out altogether.[11]
    • Make sure to drink a lot of water. Most experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but if you're detoxing from suboxone you might need to drink a bit more.[12]
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    Exercise. Daily exercise can boost endorphins, causing a more positive mood overall. This can lessen the psychological symptoms of withdrawal and help you stay focused on your commitment to a healthier, happier existence.
    • Exercise boosts mood, improves sleep, reduces pain and promotes good overall well-being. Strive for 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous exercise a day.[13]
    • How you choose to exercise is up to you, but know that people generally stick to exercise routines if they engage in behaviors they enjoy. If you enjoy long walks at night, incorporate a brisk daily walk into your routine. If there's a sport you enjoy, like tennis or softball, try to join a league in your area or find a friend to join you for a tennis match a few times a week.
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    Talk to your loved ones. Talk to friends and family members who you trust and explain your situation to them. Ask for their support during your recovery and have a few good friends you can rely on when you're having rough days.
    • Community is incredibly important to an addict's recovery. In a study on rats, researchers placed some rats in groups and some rats alone in a cage. The rats were presented with a choice of two different water bottles. One was laced with cocaine and the other was normal water. In both groups, rats tried both kinds of water. However, it was only the rats who were left alone who became addicted to the cocaine based water. Scientist believe this demonstrates that socialization and support are powerful tools in combating addiction.[14]
    • In people, this has proven true as well. During the Vietnam War, many soldiers were functionally addicted to heroin overseas. When they returned to their homes, 95% of soldiers simply stopped heroin use without rehab or treatment. Comparisons have been drawn between this and the rat study. Both rats and humans had an easier time combating addiction when placed in a happier environment.[15]
    • During your recovery process, reach out to friends. Try to see people on a regular basis. Have a weekly game night or book club. Go to a community center in your area and enroll in an art or cooking class. Try to meet people and form a comforting, happy environment for yourself.

Method 3
Seeking Supplemental Support

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    Try detox supplements. Detox supplements can be effective at minimizing symptoms of withdrawal and help with the process of detoxing.
    • Calm Support is an opiate withdrawal formula made from all-natural substances. It has a high rate of easing withdrawal symptoms for many people and can be ordered online.[16]
    • DL-Phenylalanine is another supplement, available at drug stores and online, is another supplement that can help with detox symptoms.[17]
    • As always, talk to your doctor before trying any new medications. Make sure supplements won't react poorly to any existing medications you're taking and won't adversely affect any of your current health problems.
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    Join a support group. As support is so important in the recovery process, finding a support group in your area can help greatly with the recovery process.
    • Narcotics Anonymous is a national organization that provides support for people recovering from addiction. You can browse their website to find support groups in your area. They also provide support groups for friends and family of addicts, if anyone you know is struggling with your issues.[18]
    • If you can't find a support group close by, there are many of online forums where you can talk to other people detoxing from suboxone. However, be careful. Never rely on information from an online forum for medical advice.
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    See a therapist. Addiction is usually driven by underlying psychological issues. If you're in the detox process, see a therapist.
    • Your insurance provider should have a list of psychiatrists and clinics who take your plan on their website. You can also call and ask if you're confused about coverage. If you're a student, many colleges and universities offer free counseling on campus.
    • If you're on a budget, most big cities have therapy clinics that offer free and reduced counseling to people in need.


  • Never attempt any medical treatments or detox plans without consulting a doctor. Quitting suboxone, especially if you have a physical dependence, can be dangerous without medical supervision.

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Categories: Medication and Medical Equipment | Taking Pills and Medicine