Can You Get High on Subutex? Unlocking the Truth About Subutex High13 min read

Are you curious about whether it’s possible to get high on Subutex? In this article, we will delve into the depths of Subutex and its potential for abuse. Let’s uncover the truth behind the claims of euphoria and sedation associated with this medication.

  • Subutex Composition: Understand the key components of Subutex and how they interact with the body.
  • Intended Medical Use: Learn about the legitimate purposes of Subutex and how it aids in opioid addiction treatment.
  • Abuse Potential: Explore the reasons behind Subutex’s misuse and its allure as a recreational substance.
  • Effects of Subutex Abuse: Discover the short-term and long-term impact of getting high on Subutex.
  • Withdrawal Challenges: Delve into the difficulties faced when trying to quit Subutex after prolonged misuse.
  • Treatment Options: Find out about the available treatments for Subutex addiction and recovery.

Subutex Composition

Subutex contains the active ingredient buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist. It interacts with the body’s opioid receptors, producing analgesic and sedative effects. Unlike full opioid agonists, such as heroin or oxyco, Subutex’s partial agonism results in a ceiling effect, limiting its euphoric potential and reducing the risk of respiratory depression.

Intended Medical Use

Subutex is primarily prescribed for opioid addiction treatment. Its partial agonist properties help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings while minimizing the risk of abuse and overdose. Medical professionals administer Subutex under strict supervision to ensure its safe and effective use in addiction recovery programs.

Benefits of Subutex in Opioid Addiction Treatment:

  • Reduced Cravings: Subutex helps individuals experience fewer cravings for illicit opioids, improving their chances of successful recovery.
  • Withdrawal Symptom Relief: By alleviating withdrawal symptoms, Subutex supports a smoother transition into sobriety.
  • Lower Abuse Potential: Due to its partial agonist nature, Subutex carries a lower risk of misuse compared to full opioid agonists.

Abuse Potential of Subutex

Despite its intended use, Subutex has gained popularity as a recreational drug among certain individuals seeking a euphoric experience. Some users crush and snort Subutex tablets to bypass the medication’s time-release mechanism, leading to intensified effects and potential dangers.

Risk Factors for Misuse

Subutex abuse is more likely in individuals with a history of substance abuse and those seeking a quick escape from emotional or physical pain. The misconception that Subutex is a “safe” alternative to other opioids can also contribute to its misuse.

Dangers of Subutex Abuse:

  • Respiratory Issues: Misusing Subutex can lead to respiratory depression, which may be life-threatening.
  • Health Complications: Chronic misuse can cause various health problems, including liver damage and cognitive impairment.
  • Legal Consequences: Illicit use of Subutex can result in legal repercussions, affecting personal and professional life.

Effects of Getting High on Subutex

Euphoria and Sedation

Subutex can induce feelings of euphoria, pleasure, and relaxation when misused at higher-than-prescribed doses. The drug’s interaction with opioid receptors in the brain triggers these sensations, making it appealing to those seeking a recreational high. Alongside euphoria, Subutex can cause sedation, leading to drowsiness and a sense of tranquility.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Effects:

  • Short-Term: Immediate effects include an intense rush of pleasure and reduced anxiety, lasting several hours.
  • Long-Term: Prolonged misuse can lead to tolerance, dependence, and negative consequences on overall health and well-being.
  • Risk of Overdose: Taking large amounts of Subutex to maintain the high can result in an overdose, which may be life-threatening.

Withdrawal Challenges

Onset and Duration of Subutex Withdrawal

The withdrawal symptoms from Subutex can be distressing and challenging to endure. The onset of withdrawal typically occurs within 24 to 72 hours after the last use, and the duration can last several days to weeks, depending on individual factors such as usage patterns and dosage.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Flu-Like Symptoms: Users may experience body aches, chills, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Mood Swings: Emotional fluctuations, anxiety, and depression are common during Subutex withdrawal.
  • Cravings: The intense desire to use Subutex again can be overwhelming and challenging to resist.

Treatment Options

Detoxification and Withdrawal Management

Seeking professional medical assistance is crucial for individuals struggling with Subutex dependence. Detoxification programs can provide a safe and supervised environment for managing withdrawal symptoms and ensuring a smoother transition into recovery.

Behavioral Therapy and Counseling:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with drug use.
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI): MI techniques encourage individuals to explore their motivations for change and commit to sobriety.
  • Support Groups: Participating in support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can provide valuable peer support and encouragement throughout the recovery journey.

Legal Status and Regulations

Prescription Requirements for Subutex

Subutex is a controlled substance, and obtaining it legally requires a valid prescription from a licensed medical professional. Doctors carefully evaluate patients before prescribing Subutex, ensuring its appropriate use for opioid addiction treatment.

Regulations for Dispensing and Prescription Refills:

  • Prescription Limits: Subutex prescriptions are often limited to prevent overuse and misuse.
  • Monitoring and Documentation: Healthcare providers must maintain accurate records of Subutex prescriptions to prevent abuse.
  • Dispensing at Certified Facilities: Some regions may require Subutex to be dispensed at authorized treatment facilities to ensure proper administration and reduce the risk of diversion.

Comparing Subutex to Other Opioids

Subutex vs. Other Opioids

Subutex differs from traditional opioids due to its partial agonist properties. Unlike full agonists, such as heroin or morphine, Subutex has a ceiling effect, meaning that taking higher doses won’t lead to exponentially increased effects. This feature makes it less likely to cause life-threatening respiratory depression, making it a safer option for opioid addiction treatment.

Subutex vs. Metha:

  • Mechanism of Action: Subutex is a partial opioid agonist, while metha is a full opioid agonist.
  • Use in Addiction Treatment: Both drugs are utilized in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction, but they have different applications and considerations.
  • Risk Profile: Metha carries a higher risk of overdose and respiratory depression compared to Subutex due to its full agonist properties.

Subutex vs. Suboxone

Subutex and Suboxone both contain buprenorphine, but Suboxone also includes naloxone, an opioid antagonist. The addition of naloxone in Suboxone discourages misuse, as naloxone can precipitate withdrawal symptoms when administered through non-oral routes.

Comparison of Effectiveness:

  • Subutex Advantage: Subutex is generally prescribed in the early stages of treatment, as it lacks naloxone and can be safely administered without precipitating withdrawal.
  • Suboxone Preference: Suboxone is often preferred for maintenance therapy, as the inclusion of naloxone deters misuse and reduces the potential for diversion.
  • Transitioning Between Medications: Medical professionals carefully manage the switch from Subutex to Suboxone to ensure a smooth transition without inducing withdrawal.

Risk of Misuse and Addiction

Factors Contributing to Misuse

Various factors contribute to the misuse of Subutex, including the presence of co-occurring mental health disorders, a history of substance abuse, and social influences that encourage drug use.

Recognizing the Signs of Misuse:

  • Doctor Shopping: Individuals may visit multiple doctors to obtain multiple Subutex prescriptions for misuse.
  • Isolation and Secretive Behavior: Misusers may isolate themselves to hide their drug use from friends and family.
  • Financial Problems: Buying Subutex illicitly can lead to financial strain and a decline in personal and professional responsibilities.

Seeking Help and Treatment Options

Detoxification and Withdrawal Management

Detoxification from Subutex should be conducted under medical supervision to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

Treatment Modalities:

  • Inpatient Rehabilitation: Inpatient programs offer a structured and immersive approach to address addiction and its underlying causes.
  • Outpatient Programs: Outpatient treatment provides more flexibility for individuals with milder substance use disorders or other responsibilities.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT, including Subutex or Suboxone, can be utilized to support long-term recovery and reduce the risk of relapse.

Subutex and Its Potential Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Like any medication, Subutex may cause side effects. The most frequently reported ones include nausea, constipation, headache, and sweating. These side effects are usually mild and transient, subsiding as the body adjusts to the medication.

Less Common Side Effects:

  • Dizziness: Some individuals may experience dizziness or lightheadedness while taking Subutex.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep can occur in certain users.
  • Changes in Appetite: Subutex may lead to increased or decreased appetite in some individuals.

Subutex and Pregnancy

Considerations for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women facing opioid addiction often require specialized care. Subutex may be prescribed during pregnancy as part of a medication-assisted treatment plan to mitigate the risks associated with opioid misuse during pregnancy.

Possible Risks and Benefits:

  • Risks of Untreated Opioid Addiction: Opioid misuse during pregnancy can lead to serious health consequences for both the mother and the baby.
  • Benefits of Subutex: Subutex can help stabilize the mother’s condition, reducing the likelihood of complications associated with opioid abuse.
  • Medical Supervision: Pregnant women taking Subutex should receive regular medical check-ups to monitor their health and ensure the well-being of the fetus.

Subutex and Breastfeeding

Safety and Considerations for Breastfeeding Mothers

The decision to breastfeed while taking Subutex should be made in consultation with healthcare professionals. Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Subutex, can pass into breast milk, potentially affecting the nursing baby.

Recommendations and Precautions:

  • Medical Advice: Breastfeeding mothers should seek advice from their healthcare provider before using Subutex.
  • Monitoring the Baby: Healthcare professionals may monitor the nursing baby for any signs of adverse effects if the mother is on Subutex.
  • Alternative Treatment Options: In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend non-opioid treatments or consider a temporary suspension of breastfeeding while on Subutex.

Long-Term Outcomes of Subutex Use

Success Rates in Addiction Treatment

The effectiveness of Subutex in treating opioid addiction can vary depending on individual circumstances and adherence to the treatment plan. Long-term outcomes are often influenced by factors such as engagement in counseling, social support, and commitment to sobriety.

Factors Affecting Long-Term Success:

  • Psychological Support: Counseling and therapy can address underlying issues contributing to addiction and foster healthier coping strategies.
  • Social Network: A strong support system can play a vital role in helping individuals maintain their recovery journey.
  • Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders: Treating any co-occurring mental health conditions is essential for long-term recovery.

Combining Subutex with Other Substances

Interactions with Other Drugs

Combining Subutex with other substances, especially alcohol or other central nervous system depressants, can be dangerous and increase the risk of respiratory depression and overdose.

Substances to Avoid:

  • Alcohol: Mixing Subutex with alcohol can intensify sedation and impair cognitive functions, leading to accidents and health risks.
  • Benzodiazepines: Combining Subutex with benzodiazepines can potentiate sedative effects, resulting in respiratory depression and even death.
  • Other Opioids: Concurrent use of Subutex with other opioids can increase the risk of overdose and respiratory depression.

Addressing Stigma Surrounding Subutex

Breaking Down Misconceptions

Subutex, like other medications used in addiction treatment, faces stigmatization that can deter individuals from seeking help. Addressing the misconceptions and spreading accurate information is vital in supporting those who can benefit from Subutex.

Challenging Stigmatizing Beliefs:

  • Evidence-Based Treatment: Emphasizing the effectiveness of Subutex in medication-assisted treatment can counter beliefs that it’s a mere substitute for illicit opioids.
  • Personal Stories: Sharing success stories of individuals who have recovered with the help of Subutex can inspire hope and reduce stigma.
  • Public Education: Raising awareness through public campaigns and educational programs can dispel myths and promote understanding.

Subutex and Mental Health

Impact on Mental Well-Being

Subutex’s effects on mental health can vary among individuals. While it can provide relief from psychological distress caused by opioid addiction, it’s essential to monitor and address any adverse effects on mental well-being.

Considerations for Dual Diagnosis:

  • Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders: Some individuals may have underlying mental health conditions that require integrated treatment alongside Subutex therapy.
  • Psychological Therapy: Engaging in counseling and therapy can assist individuals in coping with emotional challenges during recovery.
  • Medication Adjustments: Healthcare providers may need to adjust Subutex dosage or consider alternative medications if mental health symptoms worsen or change.

Subutex and Adolescents

Appropriate Use in Younger Populations

The use of Subutex in adolescents with opioid use disorder requires careful consideration. Medical professionals must weigh the benefits of Subutex in managing addiction against the potential risks to the developing brain.

Age-Specific Treatment Approach:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: Healthcare providers must conduct thorough evaluations to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for adolescent patients.
  • Support and Monitoring: Adolescents using Subutex should receive ongoing support and close monitoring to ensure treatment effectiveness and safety.
  • Collaboration with Parents/Guardians: Involving parents or guardians in the treatment process can enhance the adolescent’s support network.

Subutex and Its Impact on Daily Life

Functioning and Responsibilities

While Subutex can help individuals stabilize their lives during recovery, it’s essential to strike a balance between treatment and daily responsibilities.

Strategies for Maintaining Stability:

  • Employment and Education: Subutex therapy can help individuals pursue their career and educational goals, but it may require adjustments in the early stages of treatment.
  • Family and Social Life: Communicating openly with loved ones about the treatment process can foster understanding and support.
  • Self-Care: Prioritizing self-care and implementing healthy coping mechanisms can improve overall well-being during recovery.


In conclusion, Subutex, when used as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan, can be an essential tool in helping individuals overcome opioid dependence. However, it is crucial to use Subutex responsibly and under medical supervision to avoid potential risks and side effects. If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, seek professional help to explore appropriate treatment options. Remember that recovery is possible with the right support and dedication.

FAQs About Subutex and Getting High

1. Can Subutex Get You High?

Answer: Subutex can produce feelings of euphoria and sedation when misused at higher doses, making it attractive to individuals seeking a recreational high. However, the medication’s partial agonist properties also limit its euphoric potential and reduce the risk of dangerous respiratory depression compared to full opioid agonists.

2. What Are the Signs of Subutex Misuse?

Answer: Signs of Subutex misuse may include secretive behavior, frequent doctor visits for prescriptions, increased isolation, and neglect of personal and professional responsibilities. Individuals misusing Subutex may also exhibit changes in mood, sleep disturbances, and withdrawal symptoms between doses.

3. Is Subutex Addictive?

Answer: Yes, Subutex can be addictive. Prolonged misuse of Subutex can lead to physical and psychological dependence, where the user relies on the drug to function normally. Over time, this can develop into a full-blown addiction, characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite adverse consequences.

4. Can You Overdose on Subutex?

Answer: Yes, it is possible to overdose on Subutex, especially when misused in large quantities or in combination with other substances. Subutex overdose can lead to life-threatening respiratory depression, pinpoint pupils, loss of consciousness, and potential cardiac issues.

5. Can Subutex Help Treat Opioid Addiction?

Answer: Yes, Subutex is an effective medication used in opioid addiction treatment. As a partial opioid agonist, it helps manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings while reducing the risk of overdose compared to full opioid agonists.

6. How Is Subutex Different from Metha?

Answer: Subutex and metha are both used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction. However, Subutex is a partial opioid agonist, while metha is a full opioid agonist. Subutex may be preferred for certain individuals due to its lower risk of respiratory depression and overdose.

7. Can Pregnant Women Take Subutex?

Answer: Pregnant women facing opioid addiction may be prescribed Subutex as part of a medication-assisted treatment plan. Subutex can help stabilize the mother’s condition and reduce the risks associated with untreated opioid misuse during pregnancy. However, treatment should be closely monitored by healthcare professionals.

8. Can You Breastfeed While Taking Subutex?

Answer: The decision to breastfeed while taking Subutex should be discussed with a healthcare provider. While small amounts of buprenorphine can pass into breast milk, the benefits of breastfeeding may outweigh the potential risks. Close monitoring of the nursing baby is essential.

9. How Long Does Subutex Stay in Your System?

Answer: The duration of Subutex in the body varies among individuals and depends on factors such as metabolism and dosage. Generally, buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Subutex, can be detectable in urine for up to 4 days after the last use.

10. Is Subutex Safe for Adolescents?

Answer: The use of Subutex in adolescents with opioid use disorder requires careful consideration. Medical professionals must assess the risks and benefits on an individual basis and tailor treatment plans accordingly to ensure safe and effective use in this age group.