The Real Danger of Adolescent Suboxone and Heroin Use

Heroin and opioid use, in general, has reached crisis levels nationally, and New Jersey is no exception. Suboxone, also an opioid, has been used to treat heroin and prescription opioid abuse since 2002. It had been considered difficult to abuse, as just 40% of the brain’s opioid receptors are activated.1 However, Suboxone addiction treatment has become prevalent as substance abuse cases continue to rise.

In a 2016 Substance Abuse Overview report, the state’s Department of Human Service’s Division of Mental health and Addiction Services tracked 33,147 admissions related to heroin use and 5,187 cases related to other opiates, compared to 20,880 for alcohol abuse.2 Throughout 2015, 27,621 admissions for heroin abuse were reported, along with 4,908 for other opiates. Comparatively, there were 17,785 alcohol-related admissions.3

Suboxone and Teenagers

Substance abuse treatment is often administered using suboxone, which is far less regulated than methadone. Although teens don’t represent the highest usage group, there are thousands of teenagers who receive treatment at drug rehab centers every year. The substance is relatively easy to obtain; it’s available at physician offices rather than solely through clinics. Risk factors also include:

  • Availability of the substance at home (empty bottles or wrappers could be signs of use).
  • A lack of education on the matter (teens should be made aware of suboxone use and its dangers).
  • Teens who have displayed runaway behavior, experienced neglect, or are children of substance abusers.

About Suboxone Addiction

Suboxone combines buprenorphine, which is only a partial opioid agonist, but it also contains naloxone, a pure opioid antagonist. It doesn’t fully block the opiate response in the brain. Suboxone use and abuse alone (separate from other similar drugs) are not tracked by state agencies in New Jersey.

Is Suboxone Addictive?

The answer to the question “Can you get addicted to suboxone?” is yes. For individuals who face addiction to strong opioids, buprenorphine delivers lower doses. Opioid receptors are only partially triggered, lessening the highs and risks of the drug becoming habit-forming.

Naloxone shuts off the opioid receptors. It can trigger severe withdrawal symptoms and related complications. However, naloxone acts as an antagonist only after passing through the digestive system. If injected directly into the bloodstream, it produces an intense narcotic high (in combination with buprenorphine), rather than being an effective addiction treatment.

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Suboxone?

suboxone addiction treatment centers

Since buprenorphine produces the same euphoric effects as the opiates an individual already uses, it doesn’t take long to become addicted. It is often prescribed as Subutex, which has no naloxone. The effects are easily obtained by injecting or snorting it.

Is Suboxone More Addictive than Hydrocodone?

Often prescribed for pain relief, hydrocodone use can lead to chemical dependency if used over time. The medication changes how the brain and nervous system react to pain, but compulsive use, neglecting responsibilities, changes in personal relationships, and other signs of addiction have been seen.

Suboxone is used to directly treat addiction, so one may immediately start substituting it to get the same effect as, for example, heroin.

Seek the Right Solution at Local Addiction Treatment Centers

The treatment process can be managed through intensive outpatient programs offered by many rehab facilities, including BlueCrest Recovery Center. If you’re looking for “drug rehab centers near me” or know a friend or loved one facing opioid addiction or requiring suboxone addiction treatment, contact us online or at 888.292.9652.



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