How Do I Know My Husband is Abusing His Suboxone Medication?

If your husband has been taking Suboxone for his opioid addiction and dependency treatment, it can be difficult to ask yourself certain questions: Is he taking his medication like he’s supposed to? Is there any chance he could be using his Suboxone to get high? Call 800-533-1341 now if you believe your husband is abusing his medication and needs help.

Do People Abuse Suboxone?

Abusing His Suboxone

Secretive behavior is a sign of Suboxone abuse.

Yes, people do abuse Suboxone. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “Data from other countries indicate that buprenorphine has been abused by various routes of administration (sublingual, intranasal, and injection) and has gained popularity as a heroin substitute and as a primary drug of abuse.” This same issue occurs in the United States as well among opioid addicts taking Suboxone as a medication.

One positive is that Suboxone has a number of safeguards put into place to help minimize the possibility that someone would be able to abuse the drug. Naloxone is included in the medication, along with buprenorphine, which, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “has no effect when Suboxone is taken as prescribed.”

However, “if an addicted individual attempts to inject Suboxone, the naloxone will produce severe withdrawal symptoms.” In addition, the buprenorphine itself has a ceiling effect, which causes the drug to stop creating more intense effects after it is taken in high enough doses. Unfortunately, though, this does not stop all individuals from abusing Suboxone.

Signs Your Husband May Be Misusing His Medication

If you think your husband may be misusing his Suboxone medication, there are certain signs you can look for in order to be more certain.

  • His behavior will likely be strange, and he will experience the effects he did when high on other opioids, including:
    • Constricted pupils
    • Euphoria
    • Drowsiness
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Constipation
  • He will be very secretive about the use of his medication, not wanting you to help him take it. He may also go off to take more on his own or to take it in a different way than prescribed.
  • He may attempt to abuse the drug along with another type of medication. Benzodiazepines are popular among Suboxone abusers (DEA). He may also drink when taking the medication, attempting to intensify its effects.
  • He will become hostile if you ask him about his medication or indicate that you may be concerned that he is misusing it (National Library of Medicine).
  • He will start to revert to other old habits you might remember from the days when he used to abuse opioids.

If your husband’s behavior is secretive or dangerous, you do have a reason to be concerned. Suboxone does have a number of safeguards meant to help avoid the potential for abuse by those who take it, but there is always a possibility that someone will circumvent these and still manage to get high by abusing Suboxone. If you think your husband is abusing his medication, especially based on the signs above, it may be time to take action.

Can Suboxone Cause the Same Problems Other Opioids Cause?

What Do I Do Now?

It is important to find out all you can about your husband’s Suboxone use and to seek help from his or another doctor. First, try to talk to your husband about what’s going on. Ask him if you can be present when he administers the medication. If he becomes hostile, or if you believe you will be in danger, talk to a doctor immediately.

You can form an intervention if you do not feel safe talking to your husband alone, but it is necessary to speak to a doctor. They may recommend that your husband begin a more intensive form of addiction treatment, perhaps in a residential rehab center or in a methadone maintenance program (where he will not be able to administer his medication himself). Make sure you have the help of professionals and the opinion of a doctor in order to help your husband safely put an end to his Suboxone abuse.

Find Suboxone Rehab for Your Loved One

If you are still unsure about what is best for your husband and whether or not he may be abusing Suboxone, call a trusted doctor immediately. Then, call 800-533-1341 to find a rehab center that will cater to your husband’s needs and help him put an end to his Suboxone abuse.