Addicted Recovery

Is Suboxone a Controlled Substance? Opinion From Licenced Doctors

Table of Contents

Get started For Free

 

Is Suboxone a Controlled Substance? Opinion From Licenced Doctors

Are you searching for is suboxone a controlled substance because you are worried about suboxone side effects? Yes, Suboxone is a controlled substance. It is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) due to its potential for abuse and dependence. 

The study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine in 2013 found that Suboxone treatment was associated with a significant reduction in opioid use, compared to no treatment. 

In many other studies, suboxone is proven to be effective to treat opioid addiction but misuse of suboxone can cause addiction. 

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a controlled substance used in the treatment of opioid addiction. It contains two active ingredients, buprenorphine, and naloxone, that work together to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid dependence. 

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it provides some of the pain relief and pleasure associated with opioids, but to a much lesser extent than full agonists like heroin or prescription painkillers. 

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opioids.

What is Meant by Is Suboxone a Controlled Substance? 

Suboxone is a controlled substance, which means that it is subject to federal and state regulations due to its potential for abuse and dependence. Controlled substances are classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) based on their potential for abuse, medical use, and safety.

Suboxone is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, which means that it has a lower potential for abuse and dependence compared to Schedule I or Schedule II substances, such as heroin or fentanyl, but still carries some risk. 

Schedule III substances are available only by prescription and can only be dispensed by a licensed healthcare provider.Is Suboxone a Controlled Substance Opinion From Licenced Doctors

Suboxone as a controlled substance needs:

  • careful oversight 
  • monitoring of its use
  • prescription by a licensed addiction specialist
  • In case of side effects, contact your healthcare provider

When Did Suboxone Declare a Controlled Substance?

Suboxone was declared a controlled substance in the United States when the Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) was passed in 2000. This act amended the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to allow qualified healthcare providers to prescribe certain Schedule III, IV, and V opioid medications, including Suboxone, for the treatment of opioid addiction in a clinical setting.

Before the passage of DATA, opioid addiction was typically treated with methadone, which is a full opioid agonist and is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. The passage of DATA marked a shift in the treatment of opioid addiction, allowing healthcare providers to use buprenorphine-based medications, like Suboxone, which have a lower potential for abuse and dependence, in the treatment of opioid addiction.

Since then, Suboxone has become an increasingly popular medication for the treatment of opioid addiction and has helped many people achieve and maintain abstinence from opioids.

How Suboxone Help To Treat opioid addiction

Suboxone works to treat opioid addiction by taking advantage of the way that opioids interact with the brain and nervous system. 

By binding to the same receptors in the brain as opioids, buprenorphine helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while naloxone helps to prevent misuse. Over time, as a person stabilizes on Suboxone, they can work with their healthcare provider to gradually reduce their dose and eventually taper off the medication if appropriate.

How opioid addiction happens

  • Opioids bind to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord known as mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors. 
  • When opioids bind to these receptors, they activate the brain’s reward system and produce feelings of pain relief, pleasure, and euphoria.
  •  Over time, repeated use of opioids can cause changes in the brain that lead to addiction

How does Suboxone Help?

Suboxone contains two active ingredients: 

  • Buprenorphine: partial opioid agonist
  • Naloxone: opioid antagonist

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it binds to the same receptors in the brain as opioids, but with a much lower affinity and potency. 

When taken as directed, buprenorphine provides some of the pain relief and pleasure associated with opioids, but to a much lesser extent than full agonists like heroin or prescription painkillers.

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opioids. When Suboxone is taken as directed, the naloxone is largely inactive because it is rapidly metabolized and does not reach the brain in significant amounts. 

Suboxone Side Effects and potential for abuse

Like all medications, Suboxone can cause side effects, some of which can be serious. Some common side effects of Suboxone include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

Less common, but more serious side effects of Suboxone can include:

  • Respiratory depression (slowed or shallow breathing)
  • Overdose, especially when taken in combination with other substances, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines
  • Seizures
  • Allergic reactions
  • Liver damage

In addition to its potential for side effects, Suboxone also has the potential for abuse.

Will Suboxone Show Up on a Drug Test?

Need to know how long does suboxone stay in your system? Suboxone can show up on a drug test. Suboxone contains the active ingredient buprenorphine, which can be detected in urine, blood, hair, and saliva.

The type of drug test used, as well as the cutoff levels used by the laboratory, can impact whether Suboxone is detected. For example, some drug tests are designed to specifically detect opioids, while others may detect a wider range of drugs, including buprenorphine.

If you are taking Suboxone as prescribed suboxone doctors near you and under the supervision of a healthcare provider, it is unlikely to cause a problem on a drug test. However, if you are concerned about the possibility of Suboxone showing up on a drug test, it is best to discuss this with your healthcare provider or the person conducting the test. They can provide more specific information about what to expect based on the type of test being performed.

How To Avoid Suboxone Dependence 

When taken in large doses or by non-tolerant individuals, Suboxone can produce a high that is similar to, but less intense than, the high produced by full opioid agonists.

To reduce the potential for abuse:

Here are some tips that can help:

  1. Follow dosing instructions: Take Suboxone only as directed by your healthcare provider and do not change the dose or frequency without their guidance.
  2. Do not mix with other substances: Avoid taking Suboxone with other drugs, alcohol, or benzodiazepines, as this can increase the risk of respiratory depression and overdose.
  3. Keep appointments: Regular appointments with your healthcare provider can help monitor your progress and ensure that your treatment plan is working as intended.
  4. Report side effects: If you experience any side effects or unusual symptoms while taking Suboxone, report them to your healthcare provider immediately. They may need to adjust your dose or switch you to a different medication.
  5. Avoid using Suboxone for non-medical purposes: Suboxone should only be used for the treatment of opioid addiction and should not be used recreationally or for any other purpose.
  6. Participate in counseling or support groups: Along with medication, counseling and support groups can be an effective way to manage opioid addiction and avoid dependence on Suboxone or any other substance.

Get Your Suboxone Prescription Today

Though Suboxone is a controlled substance with care from Addicted Recovery’s addiction specialists, you need to worry more. We offer suboxone prescription through multiple settings that include telehealth, and inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs. Don’t lose hope and start your recovery journey today. Is Suboxone a Controlled Substance Opinion From Licenced Doctors

Get started For Free

Medically reviewed by DR.Reckitt.

Claire Wilcox, MD, is a general and addiction psychiatrist in private practice and an associate professor of translational neuroscience at the Mind Research Network in New Mexico; and has completed an addictions fellowship, psychiatry residency, and internal medicine residency. Having done extensive research in the area, she is an expert in the neuroscience of substance use disorders. Although she is interested in several topics in medicine and psychiatry, with a particular focus on substance use disorders, obesity, eating disorders, and chronic pain, her primary career goal is to help promote recovery and wellbeing for people with a range of mental health challenges.

Related topics:
Disclaimer

AddictedRecovery aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use disorder and mental health issues. Our team of licensed medical professionals research, edit and review the content before publishing. However, this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice please consult your physicians or ChoicePoint’s qualified staff.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest