Published on:
October 14th, 2011

How to Quit Suboxone Cold Turkey?

When it comes to quitting Suboxone, most patients do much better with professional help. Trying to quit cold turkey, or abruptly without any assistance, can be dangerous and painful. The right course of Suboxone treatment can help patients get through this difficult time safely and comfortably.

Suboxone is a medication prescribed to help patients have some control over their opioid addiction while managing the withdrawal symptoms. It replicates the effects of opioid drugs such as heroin, codeine, and oxycodone and it works as a replacement drug. It is used to treat opiate addiction and contains buprenorphine, an opiate medication, and naloxone, which blocks the effects of other opioids and helps prevent abuse.

Suboxone has been helpful for some people who have been addicted to opiates including heroin and OxyContin, but therapy might be relatively long-term. Because it contains an opioid, Suboxone may also be habit-forming. Many people who try to step down their dosage of Suboxone on their own find it difficult because of the length and severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Quitting Suboxone can be similar to other opiate drugs and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, lethargy, sleep problems, severe agitation and drug cravings.


Fear of  Withdrawal and Risks

The bondage of opiate addiction is insidious. Many people who need prescription opiates to control pain find themselves dependent after a tolerance develops. This means the drug’s effects are diminished and patients need more and more to relieve pain. Once patients become physically dependent, withdrawal will set in once they stop taking the drug. The pain and fear surrounding withdrawal keeps many people locked into the cycle of use and/or abuse.

Some people become addicted to opiates because of recreational use. Either way, Suboxone may not be the right treatment option. Waismann Method offers rapid opiate detox for people who become addicted to opiates and we don’t use opiate replacements such as Suboxone or methadone. In fact, we’ve treated a number of patients who were prescribed Suboxone and became dependent upon it.


Factors that Influence Symptoms of Quitting Suboxone Cold Turkey

There are a number of factors that can influence, how quickly the withdrawal symptoms will subside and how severe it might be. These can include but are not limited to:

The length of time the drug has been taken:
The longer you have taken the drug, the harder the withdrawal process might be. Someone that has been off Suboxone for a couple of months will likely have an easier time than someone who has been on it for years.  When you take a drug daily for an extended period, your body becomes reliant upon it in order to function.  Suboxone helps chemically lower pain levels, what compromises your body ability to fight naturally the pain caused by the withdrawal process.

Daily dosage:
This drug can be taken transdermally (applied to the skin), orally ( pill form), and using injections. The dose tends to range from 4 mg/1 mg buprenorphine/naloxone to 24 mg/6 mg buprenorphine/naloxone daily. Most physicians agree that in most cases low doses can be just as effective as higher doses at treating symptoms because of its ceiling effect. The oral form dosage typically ranges from 1 mg to 16 mg.

Personal physiology:
No two profiles are the same. People have different medical conditions, age, weight and other factors that can influence symptoms.  Some individuals may experience very painful symptoms for an extended time while others can have very minimal symptoms for a shorter amount of time. Your unique physiology and your nervous system play a significant role in how you reactwhile coming off Suboxone.
Emotional status:
Individual with a high level of anxiety or depressive disorders might intensify the symptoms, making the withdrawal process tough.

It’s not recommended to attempt to come off on your own unless you have discussed with your prescribing physician and you are emotionally prepared and medically cleared able to endure the withdrawal symptoms that may be in store.

Cold Turkey vs. Medical Detox

Suboxone has a pretty long half-life, meaning it stays in your system for a lengthy amount of time. Despite its half-life, it is usually not recommended to quit this medication “cold turkey.” If you try to quit without a gradual taper or a medically assisted detoxification process, you are allowing your body and mind to be placed in a state of chemical chaos.

Your body has become physically dependent on the drug, and when you try to quit cold turkey, you may experience much more pain and medical risks than you should. It is recommended to follow a tapering protocol with your doctor or an inpatient medical detoxification, so you minimize the withdrawal symptoms and risks as much as possible.


Waismann Method Can Eliminate the Fear and Pain of Quitting Suboxone

Quitting Suboxone doesn’t have to be a long or painful process. Our trusted team of medical personnel knows that you’ve suffered enough already. That’s why we’ve developed an opiate detox program that’s safe, effective and humane. We start with a thorough medical evaluation to rule out any possible underlying problems. We then use intravenous medication, which is given in a hospital while patients rest lightly under  sedation. This medication cleanses the opiates from patients’ receptors and speeds up withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms develop while patients are sedated and they awaken a short time later almost without conscious awareness of the process.

The procedure itself lasts less than two hours but the total required inpatient stay is 5 to 10 days. We monitor patients closely after the procedure and discharge them from the hospital to Domus Retreat  when they’re ready. If you or someone you know wants to become free of Suboxone dependence, the experts at Waismann Method are here for you.

We are here to help.

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