Suboxone Detox: Symptoms, Protocol, & Treatment

Table of Contents


Suboxone, commonly prescribed for opioid addiction treatment, combines buprenorphine – a long-acting opioid agonist – with naloxone, an opioid antagonist designed to deter opioid misuse. While intended to aid in overcoming opioid dependence and curtailing opioid abuse, the inclusion of buprenorphine means that Suboxone still carries the risk for potential misuse and abuse. Read on to learn more about detoxing from Suboxone safely and effectively.


How to Detox from Suboxone

Gradually reducing Suboxone intake can help mitigate withdrawal symptoms. By decreasing the dosage systematically over a predetermined timeframe, withdrawal effects can be minimized due to the maintenance of low drug levels in the body.

We want to help

Let’s setup a call and figure out the best treatment options for you or your loved one. Our detox specialists will get back to you immediately.

A standard tapering approach involves reducing Suboxone dosage by a manageable percentage daily until the medication is fully phased out. Research suggests that an opioid taper with Suboxone can be executed over a seven-day period, with a daily reduction of 4mg. The starting dose for stabilization varies based on the level of opioid dependence.

A healthcare provider can devise a tapering schedule tailored to be both safe and effective, considering each person’s unique situation. Factors such as biological and genetic makeup, the extent of drug dependence, home support system, and any concurrent medical or mental health conditions influence the intensity and length of the withdrawal process, and should be accounted for in the treatment plan.

Suboxone Detox Symptoms

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can persist for up to a month and may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Insomnia and lethargy
  • Digestive issues and indigestion
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability and cravings for drugs
  • Fever, chills, and sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating

Suboxone serves as an effective treatment option for opioid dependence, often used for extended durations even after discontinuing other addictive opioids. That said, Suboxone itself can be habit-forming. As a partial opioid agonist, abruptly stopping Suboxone can trigger withdrawal symptoms similar to those of other opioids.

A woman staring blankly at the ceiling, representing How to detox off suboxone

Suboxone Detox Timeline

The timeline for Suboxone withdrawal usually unfolds as follows:

  • 1 to 3 days: Onset of both physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms.
  • 3 to 5 days: Symptoms peak.
  • 1 to 2 weeks: Most physical symptoms start to diminish, and emotional symptoms may start to lessen slightly.
  • Ongoing: Persistent symptoms like depression, anxiety, brain fog, sleep disturbances, cravings, and difficulty experiencing pleasure may linger for longer.

Suboxone Detox Program Treatment

A medical detox program offers support in managing withdrawal symptoms from Suboxone cessation. These programs, typically lasting between 5 to 7 days, provide continuous medical supervision in a structured setting. Vital signs and psychological well-being are closely monitored, ensuring each person’s safety and comfort throughout the detoxification process.

Suboxone, commonly utilized in opioid addiction treatment to help maintain sobriety, might be replaced with a different buprenorphine formulation that lacks an opioid agonist during detox to avoid the risk of withdrawal symptoms triggered by naloxone when Suboxone is misused.

For the detox phase from Suboxone, buprenorphine transmucosal products are often preferred. Methadone, another option, acts as a long-acting full opioid agonist, although it carries a higher abuse potential itself.

To manage opioid cravings, medications like buprenorphine or methadone may be administered and then gradually reduced to prevent relapse, which is especially dangerous post-abstinence due to the increased risk of a potentially fatal overdose.

To alleviate specific withdrawal symptoms during Suboxone withdrawal, additional medications might be prescribed, such as:

  • Mood stabilizers, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, for emotional fluctuations
  • Sleep aids to combat insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Gastrointestinal medicines for issues like nausea, diarrhea, and cramps
  • Nonsteroidal analgesics for pain relief in the back, joints, and muscles

Some medications might be used off-label to ease withdrawal symptoms further. Suboxone impacts the central nervous system’s regular functions, affecting heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and respiration. Medications that regulate blood pressure, like clonidine, can help normalize central nervous system functions during withdrawal. Additionally, alpha-2-agonists like clonidine, can reduce cravings for opioids during detox.

luxury bedroom at california detox representing How long does it take to detox off suboxone

Get Treatment for Suboxone Detox at California Detox

If you need help detoxing from Suboxone or any other prescribed drugs, we can help you achieve this at California Detox in Laguna Beach, CA.

During supervised medical detox at our luxury beachside treatment center, you can access clinical and emotional care to help you tackle opioid withdrawal with confidence. Medications approved by the FDA can reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, rendering the detox process as safe and comfortable as possible.

When you move into ongoing inpatient treatment, you can expect to engage with a personalized array of therapies that include:

  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Motivational therapy
  • Talk therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • One-to-one counseling
  • Holistic treatments
  • Aftercare planning

Call 949.694.8305 today and start living substance-free.


Detoxing from Suboxone takes anywhere from a week to a month, depending on the dosage and duration of use. The intensity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary widely from person to person, with variables like the level of dependence and individual health conditions playing significant roles.
Suboxone detox centers can be located through a variety of resources, including speaking with a healthcare provider for recommendations, searching online for accredited addiction treatment facilities, or contacting national directories and hotlines for substance use disorders. If you need help today, call our hotline at (949) 694-8305.


Request a Call