Abusing or Being Addicted to Buprenorphine: Not the Savior You Think

Buprenorphine addiction and abuse are problems that should have never occurred. This is a medication that has been commonly used to treat people who are addicted to opiates. In a way, it is similar to methadone, but many experts feel that it's safer. Unfortunately, it's not always the best way to recover from an opiate addiction because of its own addictive potential.

Is Buprenorphine treatment for opioid dependence really worth it? That's a good question. This medication does have a fairly high success rate. However, at what cost? And how many people are becoming addicted to it as a result?

You may be taking this medicine right now. If you are, it's important for you to know the risks involved.

Do You Have Questions About Buprenorphine Addiction? Call Our Recovery Experts Now.


What is a Buprenorphine Drug?

Buprenorphine treatment is commonly used for those who are addicted to opiate drugs. It can be used to treat Oxycodone, heroin, and other opioid addictions. It is a medication that must be taken every day, on a strict schedule.

This medication goes by a few different names, which include:

  • Buprenex
  • Butrans
  • Probuphine
  • Belbuca
Buprenorphine Abuse and Addiction Facts

How do Doctors Use This Drug to Treat Addiction?

In 2002, Buprenorphine was approved for treating addiction. Doctors began using it right away, and the number of prescriptions for this medication increased quickly. According to SAMHSA.gov, patients can receive this medication in:

  • Doctor's offices
  • Community hospitals
  • Their local health department
  • Correctional facilities
  • Psychiatrist's offices

There is also a waiver management program to help doctors be able to prescribe it quickly.

When this medicine is prescribed, patients are given strict instructions on their dosages. They are also referred to some type of drug rehab treatment program. This allows their treatment to be well rounded. This way, they have a better chance of recovering.

Is Buprenex Addictive?

Buprenex is an opiate drug that is used to treat opioid addicts. This can seem confusing to some people. It does work quite well, but it can also be addictive when it is misused.

Buprenex will produce a sensation of euphoria for those who are opioid addicts. It's much more mild than what they're used to. If they abuse their medication for some time, there is a chance that they will form an addiction to it.

Probuphine abuse refers to any misuse of this medication, whatsoever. There are different ways to abuse the Probuphine drug. These include:

  • Taking too much Probuphine at one time
  • Taking too many doses of Probuphine in a day
  • Purchasing Probuphine online or on the street illegally
  • Mixing Probuphine with alcohol, or another drug to enhance the effects of it
  • Taking Probuphine without a prescription

Sometimes people abuse Probuphine purposefully, just to get high. Other times, they may do it accidentally. Either way, Probuphine abuse is dangerous, and it can lead to an addiction.

Buprenorphine can be abused in a few different ways. Sometimes people will simply take too much of their medication. They may start by taking two tablets instead of one, for example. Other times, they may take more drastic measures.

In an attempt to get the euphoria associated with this medicine, people may crush the tablets. At that point, they can snort them, or mix them with water and inject them. Both ways of using this drug are dangerous, not to mention illegal.

Perhaps someone you love is currently using Buprenorphine. You have concerns that he or she may be abusing it, but you're not sure. It's important to know what to look for to identify abuse.

Abusers are likely to experience significant side effects that include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Changes in their sleep patterns
  • Yellow eyes and skin
  • Possible nosebleeds
  • Bruising if they are injecting the drug

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How Does a Butrans Drug Addiction Develop?

It's possible to become a Butrans addict as someone continually abuses this medication. It can take some time for the misuse to turn into a more serious problem. However, it is a certainty that it will unless the drug is stopped.

If you are addicted to Butrans, you likely feel a need to use it every day. You may notice some significant changes in your life as a result.

For example, you may start to have problems with being productive at work. You could even lose your job because you took too many days off because you were high. These all indicate that you may have become an addict.

Are you Addicted to Buprenorphine?

Are You an Addict? Learn the Signs and Symptoms

You may or may not know that you are an addict. Many addicts don't realize they are until someone points it out to them. Even then, many will continue to live in denial for years.

There are several signs that may prove you're a Buprenorphine addict. These might include:

  • Strange responses to stressful situations
  • Having an apathetic mood
  • Experiencing diarrhea or other digestive issues
  • Having strong cravings that you can't soothe
  • Being preoccupied with using and obtaining your medicine
  • Being unable to control your drug use

What do you think? Are you an addict? If you're still not sure, try taking an addiction quiz. That may give you some more information.

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Buprenex Effects on the Brain and Body

Buprenex is going to have a profound effect on your mind and body. This is true whether you take it for a short time, or a long time. Most people find many of the short-term effects of Buprenex to be rather pleasant. This is why they keep using it.

The short-term effects of Buprenex include:

  • Experiencing pain relief
  • Having mild sensations of euphoria that can last as long as 8 hours
  • Feeling calm and relaxed
  • Having less worries and stress
  • Becoming very sleepy
  • Feelings of confusion
  • Slower breathing rate than normal

The long-term effects of Buprenex are much more severe and worrisome. They can include:

  • An increased risk of depression
  • An increased risk of anxiety and panic attacks
  • Constipation problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A decrease in pain tolerance
  • Frequently feeling disoriented

Will Quitting Cold Turkey Lead to Withdrawal?

Perhaps you have been on Buprenorphine substitution therapy for quite some time. Even with regular usage, stopping your medicine is likely to cause withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine withdrawal is difficult to deal with, and this is a drug that shouldn't be stopped quickly. It may be necessary to wean you off slowly before quitting it altogether.

Fortunately, detox programs do exist for those who are addicted. This can help you quit taking this drug safely, and minimize your discomfort as you heal.

Common Buprenorphine Withdrawal Symptoms

When you stop taking this medicine, withdrawal symptoms will begin within the first 12 hours of your last dose. They will increase in their intensity for the first three days and then it will get easier. You could experience withdrawal for about 10 days. Some people experience it longer.

Typically, withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Restlessness in your legs
  • Nausea, with or without vomiting
  • Excessive sweating (hot or cold)
  • The onset of pain
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling irritable
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Bouts of insomnia

What is the Belbuca Detox Protocol?

The Belbuca detox protocol is going to look different for everyone who is addicted to this medicine. All addicts are different, and patients need to be treated as individuals. Typically, you're likely to experience one or more of the following:

Find Buprenorphine Drug Addiction Treatment Right Away

This is not a drug you should just quit taking on your own. You may not have known you were doing anything wrong when you took your medication. Maybe you noticed your current dosage wasn't working as well, and so, you increased it. This happens all the time, but unfortunately, it often leads to addiction.

Here at Northpoint Recovery, we want you to know that you're not alone.

There are so many others who have fallen into the same trap. The most important thing you can do is to get the help you need to quit.

Your first step is to consider going through detox. This will help you with the physical part of the problem. After that, an inpatient drug rehab is highly recommended. This can help you to identify the cause of your addiction, and heal from it properly.

Do you have questions about Buprenorphine addiction or abuse? Please ask us your questions. Contact us to learn more.

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