How to Use Suboxone to Quit Heroin, Oxycontin, and Other Opiates

Suboxone to Quit Heroin or Oxycontin

Suboxone is a prescription medication used to treat opiate dependency.  Suboxone is a combination medication made of Buprenorphine and Naloxone.  Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in Suboxone that helps people quit heroin, Oxycontin, and other opiates with minimal withdrawal.

Doctors must undergo specific training to prescribe Suboxone.  If you use Suboxone to quit heroin, Oxycontin, or other opiates then you will want to be working with a good doctor.  Not every physician can prescribe Suboxone for treating opiate dependence.  Make sure that you find a good Suboxone doctor.

How to Use Suboxone to Quit Opiates

The first step people need to take when you use Suboxone to quit heroin, Oxycontin, and other opiates is finding a doctor to prescribe Suboxone.  This can be inpatient or outpatient.  If you go inpatient, such as a detox facility, you should not assume that you will get Suboxone to help with the withdrawals just because you’re using opiates.  This includes chronic pain Methadone users and opiate addicts maintained on Methadone.  Suboxone doctors have a standard protocol they use to determine who can use Suboxone to quit heroin, Oxycontin, and other opiates.  Make sure you call ahead to a facility you want to get Suboxone from to see if it is an option.  Unfortunately, Suboxone doctors are few and far between in some areas. The government’s limitation on the number of patients each doctor can serve is making Suboxone doctors in high demand.

How Does Suboxone Work?

It is important to know the process of Suboxone therapy before starting it.  Suboxone is a very helpful medication that has helped many people.  Some people think they can put down the dope, pop a Sub and feel good, but the process does not quite work that way.  Suboxone is given when mild opiate withdrawal has started.  Those who take it too soon will go into “precipitated withdrawal” because the Suboxone replaces the opiates already in the receptor.

This first dose is called the induction phase. Oftentimes, a person doesn’t follow the instructions, takes the Suboxone too early, feels sick, then thinks the medication is not working.  Talk to your Suboxone doctor about how long you have to be in withdrawal.  It varies according to which opiate you are using.  For example, you need to around 48 or more hours into withdrawal from Methadone whereas with heroin it can be approximately 24 hours, perhaps less.

Talk with your doctor about whether you want to use Suboxone as maintenance therapy rather than just a detox medication.   There are circumstances that your Suboxone doctor will factor in when you two make this decision.  Always remember that the use of Suboxone is your choice, so you have to advocate for yourself when dealing with these doctors.  It’s your life and recovery.

Some people also use Suboxone for chronic pain.

Always take Suboxone as prescribed.  Misusing it or upping your dose on your own can lead to the inability to use Suboxone as it will become ineffective.  If you have been on Suboxone for awhile and you don’t think it’s working or you are feeling a lot of cravings then talk to your doctor.  He or she will not know that dosage changes need to be made it you stay quiet.  Make sure to check drug interactions to prevent prescription medication problems.

Be well.

Common Suboxone misspellings:  Suboxon, Soboxone, Soboxen, Bupenorfin


  1. Richie says

    I still diddnt get a reply to my priginal question so i decided to clarify the first question..i Been using about 5 to 10 bags a day of heroin for the past 3 weeks and stopped my suboxones,one day i decided i cant go on like this no more and went to go back on the suboxone,im at the end of the rope now as far as money,i have 2 morphine 100 mg pills left,im scared to go back on the subs because when i tried last time to stop i woke up sick took an 8 mg.strip,i felt okay but not functional,about an hour later i took another strip, this took the edge off once again but still couldnt function by the end of the day i had taken 4 or 5 dtrops and couldnt take the feeling no more i slept woke up bery sick and used heroin again. what am i doing wrong why arent the suboxone killing my withdrawal symptoms? did i take too much suboxone? i dont remember going threw this the first time i ever got on suboxone,please help I have a daughter that i need to be up for to run around and keep up with,i cant afford to be laying in bed all day sick..I dont know what to do i Just want my life back.. Please help.

  2. Richie says

    I am supposed to be on suboxone but recently slipped into heroin use again and stopped suboxone..this has beeen going on for about 3 weeks,when i try to take a suboxone and stop the heroin the withdarawal is so hard and the suboxone doesnt do anything,One day i actually took 4 8mg subs and still felt like hell..what am i doing wrong? why isnt the subs kiling my withdrawal symptoms?
    please help..

  3. At end of rope ,ready to hang my self says

    how bad should i be in withdrawls to start suboxen. i been shooting 15 to 20 oxy 30′s a day . sometime ten at a time . what will i feel like to know when i should take it. PLEASE HELP ME.

    • ok admin says

      I hope you are ok?

      You definitely want to be IN WITHDRAWAL before starting Suboxone. The suggested wait time is 12-36 hours, but this also depends on the type of opiate being used. For example, if you were using Methadone you would definitely need to wait as long as possible since it stays in your system longer than Oxy and most other opiates.

      If you do take the Suboxone too early in the withdrawal process you will notice that your withdrawals get worse, not better. This is called precipitated withdrawal. I had this happen when I switched to Suboxone from Methadone even though I had already been in withdrawals for 2 days. I had to wait another day before trying the Sub again. I was in a medical detox facility.

      I’m not sure if you’re doing this on your own or under a doc’s supervision, but I definitely recommend talking to a doctor. Buprenorphine is a tricky med. At the very least,let a friend know you are starting Suboxone and check in with them during the process.

      Be safe.

      • David Robert says

        I was dosed down from 80mg methadone daily. They took me down 2mg a day and when I was down to 10mg it wasn’t helping anymore. I started suboxone and was on 2 pills a day. This is more than enough to kill the withdrawal symptons, taking more than 2 means you’re trying to get high. I dosed myself down to 1 pill a day for several months then stopped. I was very tense for about a week but now I feel fine. Its only been a week clean but I really think I’ve got it licked. I probably shouldn’t say this but having a few xanax a day while you have stopped the suboxone really helps keep you from climbing the walls. I am not suggesting changing one addiction for another. I intend to back off the xanax except for the 2 a day I am prescribed for anxiety. After 10 years of percs and vics and oxys and heroin then 2 years of methadone (liquid handcuffs) and 2 years of suboxone I think I’m finally free! Wish me luck.

      • David Robert says

        I was dosed down from 80mg methadone daily. They took me down 2mg a day and when I was down to 10mg it wasn’t helping anymore. I started suboxone and was on 2 pills a day. This is more than enough to kill the withdrawal symptons, taking more than 2 means you’re trying to get high. I dosed myself down to 1 pill a day for several months then stopped. I was very tense for about a week but now I feel fine. Its only been a week clean but I really think I’ve got it licked. I probably shouldn’t say this but having a few xanax a day while you have stopped the suboxone really helps keep you from climbing the walls. I am not suggesting changing one addiction for another. I intend to back off the xanax except for the 2 a day I am prescribed for anxiety. After 10 years of percs and vics and oxys and heroin then 2 years of methadone (liquid handcuffs) and 2 years of suboxone I think I’m finally free! Wish me luck.

  4. Charity says

    If I was on 2/vicodin 10/325 a day how long would I have to wait before taking/starting suboxen any help please??

    • shawn says

      save your self the trouble of geting of the suboxone it will be worse than the vicodin, what ever you do dont start meatadone, thats stuff is really bad when you come off of it!!

    • ok admin says


      It depends. Are you abusing the Vicodin? Personally, I’d hate to see you start taking Suboxone to get off of 2 Vicodin a day, but it all depends on your circumstances (whether you’re abusing them, taking as prescribed, tried to stop them before on your own and couldn’t, level of dependence, past opiate use, negative consequences in your life from using the Vicodin, and so on).

      Your goal and expectations of starting Suboxone are really important to consider. Do you just want to use for a few days to detox? Or do you want to take it regularly as part of treatment plan? If you do use Suboxone you need to wait until you are in withdrawals (dilated pupils, chills, watery eyes, yawning, achy, stomach problems, agitation, etc.). If the withdrawals are mild, wait longer, because taking the Suboxone too soon can put your into full withdrawals.

      Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) alters your brain chemistry and may change the way that Opioids work for you in the future, even after stopping it. So, for example, let’s assume your doc prescribes 2 10/325mg Vicodin per day, for pain, and they help reduce your pain. My personal experience is that I no longer “feel” Vicodin and many other pain medications even after stopping the Subutex.

      If you really need to stop the Vicodin, it’s worth considering weaning down off of it w/o Sub, if you can. Either way, it’s always my recommendation to seek out professional medical help to make sure you withdraw safely and help you come up with a plan that allows you to become the person you want.

      Be healthy.

  5. psychpharm says

    get yourself better. Work a program and do your stepwork. Its a lot of work and its not fun but what u get out of it is lifechanging empowering and relieving to get all that shit off your chest.. Most important thing is to get yourself well. This disease kills everyday.. An opiate addict using suboxone would be like a mcdonalds employee eating at wendys.. I mean come on an opiate based drug u become dependant on is supposed to help u get clean??? I agree its better than shootin dope but its not the answer do the work get urself well and when that obsession lifts its the most amazing feeling in the world… Way better than any dope rush.. Oh ya i was a strait junkie but i been sober for over a year thanks to working the simple steps and principles of aa… Lifes not perfect but i have a purpose and i have a positive affect on many peoples lives

  6. Joe says

    I have a quick question. I was on oxycodone for 3 years roughly 75mg a day. Mostly for post surgery arthritis pain. I tried to stop and realized I was physically addicted. I want off!! I went to suboxone clinic They gave me 8mg subs. To split. I took proper dosage the first day. Second day I realized that I am having jaw pain side affects. I only took one half. My question is: seeing as I haven’t been on suboxone more than a day can I ween down now over the next few days and walk away from all major withdrawals? I know some will be there. But will this save me from the bad opiate withdrawals and being on suboxone?

    • Nick from cleveland,ohio says

      I was taking about the same amount of Oxycodone as you. What I did was took a half of a 8mg suboxone film for 2 days after that the next 2 days I took A 1/4 of one the after that for 2 more days I took a 1/8 for 2 days on the seventh day I didn’t take any felt ok a lil sore and tired for the next 2-3 days felt like I had a lil mild cold or flu after that I felt fine everything was totally manageable and I avoided all severe withdraw hope that helps.

      Good luck

  7. Scharlene says

    I am going to be starting suboxone for chronic pain and I heard once you are given suboxone that you are put on a list and can no longer be prescribed narcotic pain killers is this true?

    • ok admin says


      Hi. Not exactly. A lot of doctors ask you to sign a contract regarding your pain management (only using one pharmacy, one doctor for pain meds, etc.). People taking Suboxone are not added to a “do not prescribe” list.

      A lot of chronic pain patients take a long-acting opiate (Methadone, Oxycontin) and have short-acting opiates for breakthrough pain. Suboxone works differently though so when you take it you will not be able to take other opiates. So, in that way it’s true that once you start Suboxone you aren’t prescribed narcotic pain meds anymore.

      There are times that you need narcotics to manage pain, like going through surgery or certain medical procedures. If that happens, make sure to tell the doctor you take Suboxone so they can work out the best pain management strategy.

      I hope that answers the question!

  8. Sharon Leary says

    I don’t know why I’m typing this, I guess I just need advice. I’m 23 years old, I’ve been around opiates for a long time, Its all I ever really knew cause I got into it when I was twelve and my life was destroyed months later. I was able to get myself off of that and took suboxone instead, it’s now been a few years that I have been on the suboxone, but I wasn’t able to find a doctor. I thought that I could ween myself off and it’s tougher then I thought, I’m scared to end up back where I was fighting for my life. I don’t want to be held down by this suboxone now as well, I don’t know how I can get help for this, I just want to stop the running the streets and being in that mentality. I just want my life back, not looking to fool anybody, I just need to be weened off by a professional. So if you have any advice on this issue I’m listening with the greatest appreciation. Thank you for your time, please don’t think I’m a bad person. It definitely took awhile to get these words down, I just don’t want to be looked at like I’m trying to abuse this program. I know many people have abused this kind of help.

    I’m sincere, and I’m scared for my life if I don’t get help.

    • ok admin says

      Hi Sharon,

      First, I definitely don’t think you are a bad person, not at all. Addiction is a medical illness that changes the brain. Addicts need treatment, not judgment, regardless of the things that happen in active addiction. The fact that you want to get help is great because a lot of people don’t want (or know how) to kick the streets and lifestyle that goes along with some of our addictions.

      It sounds like you’ve been using Suboxone instead of other opiates, but you’re still in the mix and need to work with a Suboxone doctor. A lot of people take Suboxone long term because it helps them prevent relapse, get stable, and find their own path to recovery. It sounds like the main issue is finding a doctor and safer way to get medication to treat your opiate addiction, but please correct me if I’m off. Suboxone can help you get away from the streets, but finding a doctor is super important, especially if you are trying to taper on your own and having a hard time. Suboxone stays in the body a long time, which is one reason it works as an opiate addiction treatment medication, but that also means tapering off of it can take longer because you need to slowly decrease the dose over weeks (depending on how much you’re taking).

      Does Suboxone help you? A lot of people stay on it long term because it helps them. I encourage you to think about it as a treatment option rather than something that is holding you down. There are ways to find a Suboxone doctor and even get help paying for it.

      My most important and best advice is to find a doctor, detox facility, pain clinics, and/or treatment center that uses Suboxone. It’s important for you to get hooked up with someone who can assess your addiction history and help advise you medically, whether you taper off completely or not. I don’t know what state you live in or whether you’ve got any insurance, but the National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment (NAABT) is an excellent resource that’s free. The NAABT helps match patients and doctors, plus you can even call them and ask for a list of Suboxone doctors. Once you get that list of doctors, call all of them until you find one. Don’t forget to call Methadone clinics because some are using Suboxone, too, plus call treatment centers, detoxes, local mental health clinics, and the crisis line. Ask those you run with, too….

      The best way I found to get my life back was to take myself out of it by going into rehab. I hope something in this long comment reply is helpful. Don’t hesitate to reply. Take care, be careful, and never ever give up hope that life can change.

  9. Darlene says

    All of this info is true NOW the question is how does one get off of suboxone?? I am not sure how this journey began but i have used 1 to 2 mg of sub for a long time. I am 60 days off of it but I feel like I am dying. Skin crawling and no sleep. Is there anythng you can help me with?? Please let me know.

    • ok admin says

      Darlene – I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling good. First, I’d ask a few questions: Why are you stopping the Sub? Was this your idea or your doc? Were you taking it under a doc’s care? Mainly, I’m asking about that because I hope you’re talking w/a doc about your continued withdrawal symptoms. Because Suboxone has a long half life it takes longer to withdraw from (similar to Methadone), so you may have withdrawals for awhile longer. Is there any way you can taper? To me, the very best way to stop Suboxone is with a long taper. One to two mg of Sub doesn’t seem like a lot (maybe), but your body is used to it. If this were me, I would take a small amount like 1/2mg then take that every other day or every 2-3 days (again cause it stays in the brain so long), then lower it to 1/4 and so on. At the end, you should be able to stop completely w/o feeling like dying. Sometimes this might mean taking it once per week. My guess is people don’t realize how drawn out the process of stopping can be if you are on it for maintenance, chronic pain, or any length of time.

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to leave another comment. Talk to your doc. And, no matter what don’t give up.

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