Mixing Suboxone and Alcohol? Here is What You Need To Know

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Mixing Suboxone and Alcohol? Here is What You Need To Know 

It is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Suboxone. Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid addiction, and alcohol can interact with it and increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness, impaired thinking, and difficulty breathing. Additionally, drinking alcohol can also weaken the effectiveness of Suboxone in treating opioid addiction

One study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that individuals who mixed alcohol and Suboxone were more likely to experience negative outcomes, such as overdose, compared to those who used either substance alone. 

Another study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found that individuals who mixed alcohol and Suboxone experienced more severe withdrawal symptoms and had a greater risk of relapse.

Does Suboxone Help With Alcohol Withdrawal?

Suboxone is not specifically indicated for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal, and its use for this purpose is not widely supported by evidence. Suboxone is primarily used to treat opioid addiction and can help to manage withdrawal symptoms from opioids.

To cope with alcohol withdrawal, you can try one of these things: 

  1. Medications: Certain medications can help alleviate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as benzodiazepines (to reduce anxiety and seizures), anticonvulsants (to prevent seizures), and beta-blockers (to lower blood pressure).
  2. Therapy: Counseling or behavioral therapies can help individuals understand and manage their alcohol use, as well as provide support during the withdrawal process.
  3. Detoxification: This is the process of safely managing withdrawal symptoms, typically under medical supervision.
  4. Rehabilitation: This may involve inpatient or outpatient treatment programs designed to help individuals overcome their alcohol dependence and regain control of their lives.Mixing Suboxone and Alcohol? Here is What You Need To Know

Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol And Suboxone 

Mixing alcohol and Suboxone can be dangerous and can increase the risk of serious side effects. Some of the dangers of combining these two substances include:

  1. Impaired judgment and coordination: Alcohol can impair your thinking, reaction time, and coordination, and taking it with Suboxone can amplify these effects.
  2. Respiratory depression: Suboxone can cause respiratory depression (slow or shallow breathing) and combining it with alcohol can make this effect even worse.
  3. Increased drowsiness: Both alcohol and Suboxone can cause drowsiness, and combining them can lead to excessive sleepiness and difficulty staying awake.
  4. Overdose: Taking alcohol and Suboxone together increases the risk of overdose, which can be life-threatening.
  5. Interference with treatment: Alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of Suboxone in treating opioid addiction, and taking the two together may increase the risk of relapse.

How Long After Suboxone Can You Drink?

The amount of time you need to wait after taking Suboxone before drinking alcohol depends on several factors, including the dose of Suboxone you took and your individual metabolism.

Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which is a long-acting opioid medication. The effects of buprenorphine can last for 24 to 72 hours, so it’s generally recommended to avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after taking Suboxone. However, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the specific time frame that’s right for you, as individual factors such as metabolism, tolerance, and overall health can impact how long the effects of Suboxone will last.

Is Suboxone Bad For Your Liver?

Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) can cause liver damage, but it is rare. However, individuals with a history of liver disease or hepatitis should use caution and closely monitor liver function while taking Suboxone. It is important to follow the dosing instructions provided by your healthcare provider and report any symptoms of liver problems, such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, abdominal pain, or fatigue.

Does Suboxone Block The Effects Of Alcohol?

No, Suboxone does not block the effects of alcohol. Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid addiction, and it contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it can produce some of the effects of opioids, but to a lesser extent. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and when combined with Suboxone, it can increase the risk of respiratory depression, drowsiness, and other side effects. It is important not to drink alcohol while taking Suboxone and to talk to your healthcare provider about any substance use or abuse.

Detox For Alcohol 

Alcohol detox refers to the process of stopping alcohol consumption and allowing the body to rid itself of the substance. During detox, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild to severe and can include tremors, sweating, nausea, and in severe cases, seizures or delirium tremens.

A healthcare provider like Addicted Recovery can assess the severity of the addiction and recommend the appropriate level of care, which may include medications to manage withdrawal symptoms, inpatient or outpatient treatment, or a combination of both.

It is important to remember that detox is just the first step in recovery from alcohol addiction. Long-term success requires ongoing support and treatment, such as therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment, if needed.Mixing Suboxone and Alcohol? Here is What You Need To Know

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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.

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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.

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