Suboxone is a combination drug formulation, comprised of the chemicals buprenorphine and naloxone, that is used to treat opioid dependence/addiction. It is a prescription medicine that is available as sublingual tablets or film.
Buprenorphine, the primary active ingredient in Suboxone, is a partial opioid agonist drug. It attaches to the same receptors as other opioids and produces similar effects. It blocks pain receptors and can produce mild feelings of euphoria. Although it is an opioid, it differs from others because it stops producing these desirable effects when large amounts are taken. Buprenorphine can reduce cravings for opioids as well as suppress withdrawal symptoms.
Naloxone is an opioid agonist, and is included to prevent misuse. If Suboxone is altered and then snorted or injected, the naloxone will block the opioid receptors and cause the user to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Is Suboxone a Narcotic?
Although used as a treatment to opioid dependence, Suboxone can be abused in a similar manner to other opioids. Those with a dependence or addiction to opioids can seek help and be prescribed Suboxone as part of their treatment, but just end up abusing the drug. Even individuals who don’t have a dependence or tolerance to opioids abuse Suboxone. They do so because they seek an opioid-like high that is less intense than stronger opioid drugs. In some cases, it may be easier/cheaper to acquire Suboxone illegally than other prescription opioids.
In many definitions, buprenorphine is considered a narcotic. It is an opioid that can be misused and potentially cause addiction. However, by some definitions buprenorphine is a medication when used appropriately.
Since buprenorphine is the primary ingredient of Suboxone, it can be debated whether or not Suboxone is a narcotic. While it can be abused and can lead to addiction and even overdose, it can also cure an individual of their opioid dependency when used correctly.
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