Author: Charles Frank

5 Potential Dangers of Taking Suboxone and Alcohol Together

drinking alcohol on suboxone

Liver damage is noticeable when a person develops jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes or the skin). Suboxone®, a medication used for opioid dependence, can cause adverse effects on the respiratory and central nervous systems when combined with alcohol. To make informed decisions about your health, it is crucial to understand the potential dangers of taking Suboxone and alcohol together. This blog post will explore five potential risks of combining these substances together. If you or a loved one is using Suboxone and alcohol together, it’s imperative that you seek out a treatment facility that can safely detox you from both substances and provide quality dual diagnosis care. Attempting to rid your system of these substances on your own can be calamitous and will only decrease your chances of success.

If a young person has problems with alcohol, drugs or gaming, they can seek help from a youth station (nuorisoasema). The young person can come to a youth station alone or together with the parents. You can contact the nearest health and social services centre (sosiaali- ja terveyskeskus) if you have issues with alcohol or drug use. Different wellbeing services counties may use different names for health and social services centre, such as terveysasema, terveyskeskus or hyvinvointiasema.

drinking alcohol on suboxone

It binds to opioid receptors in the brain, tricking the mind into thinking it’s getting its regular drug of choice. It also works to block the effects of other opioids like Oxycodone, Vicodin, and more. People who mix CNS depressants – most commonly, opioids, alcohol, and/or benzodiazepines – are at great risk of overdosing. Buprenorphine in large doses, or enhanced with another CNS depressant like alcohol, will have similar overdose symptoms as full opioid agonists.

Since Suboxone is not very strong compared to true opioid agonists like morphine or heroin, a person may combine it with alcohol in order to intensify its effects and get high. If you find yourself wanting to mix Suboxone and alcohol, you should reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss your cravings and the risks of drug abuse. While Suboxone doesn’t directly treat alcohol use disorder, it may lend itself to preventing individuals from being in situations where they are drinking or consuming other substances. Food and Drug Administration state that people can experience serious side effects when combining alcohol and Suboxone.[2] Doctors are encouraged to tell patients not to mix these substances. Overdose is far more likely if someone is drinking alcohol while taking buprenorphine (Suboxone®). When a doctor prescribes buprenorphine (Suboxone®), they’re not assuming that someone is drinking while taking it.

Mixing Suboxone, an opioid agonist, and alcohol can have severe — and even fatal — consequences. To understand why taking these two substances together is dangerous, it’s important to know how each affects your body. Suboxone (naloxone and buprenorphine) is an opioid agonist that binds to the same receptors in your brain as opiates, increasing its abuse potential.

Get Help Now from ChoicePoint: Overcoming the Dangers of Mixing Suboxone® and Alcohol

For medical advice please consult your physicians or ChoicePoint’s qualified staff. Suboxone is the brand name of a partial opioid agonist, and is a mixture of naloxone and buprenorphine. Suboxone binds to the same receptors in the brain as opioids, triggering a relieving high, while not as harmful as opiates themselves. Overdosing on Suboxone alone can require resuscitation, and mixing Suboxone with alcohol can be fatal.

  1. Methadone can help patients remain emotionally stable and can thwart the occurrence of severe withdrawal symptoms commonly experienced by opiate sufferers.
  2. If a person is suffering alcohol poisoning or an overdose, call 911 immediately.
  3. The combination also increases the risk of overdose and dangerous long-term health consequences.
  4. The combination may also cause more severe depression of the respiratory centers in the brainstem, further increasing the risk of respiratory failure and death.

You should wait at least 8 days after taking your last dose of buprenorphine (Suboxone®) before drinking alcohol. That being said, alcohol shouldn’t be used as a substitute for buprenorphine (Suboxone®) because it doesn’t treat opioid withdrawal or cravings. Mixing alcohol with Suboxone can result in long-term and permanent side effects. As tolerance develops and a person begins taking more Suboxone and/or alcohol, it’s only a matter of time before dependence forms.

They’re providing you with an effective dose for your particular condition. By adding alcohol to your prescription of buprenorphine (Suboxone®), you’re essentially increasing the dosage that the doctor gave you. Alcohol magnifies the effects of buprenorphine (Suboxone®), and the two generally don’t mesh well together. Ingesting alcohol with Suboxone is likely to increase the intensity of side effects, especially damage to organs. It also increases the risk of addiction and physical dependence, both to Suboxone and to alcohol.

Suboxone is normally taken by allowing it to dissolve under the tongue instead of swallowing it. This may take a few minutes to finish, so family support is necessary during the patient’s regular schedules. Patients and their families should see that the medication is safe from the reach of children or entry of pets and is located in only one location for easy access. This is because when they misplace or lost the medication, skipping will lead to withdrawal.

Common Side Effects of Mixing Suboxone and Alcohol

In the long term, using alcohol and Suboxone together can affect the heart rate and decrease blood flow, making respiratory infections more likely. The cognitive effects are also likely to get worse, which affects logic and decision-making. Decreased blood flow can also lead to brain damage and increase the risk of intentional self-harm alongside accidentally risky behaviors.

drinking alcohol on suboxone

If a person is suffering alcohol poisoning or an overdose, call 911 immediately. Emergency medical assistance is required, especially if drugs like Suboxone and alcohol were combined accidentally or as a pattern of polydrug abuse. Alcohol can function much the same way, even before someone experiences the social consequences of addiction. The difference between this type of dependency and a dependency on life-saving medication is that alcohol has harmful effects that worsen over time and eventually disrupt a person’s daily life.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Alcoholics Anonymous (Anonyymit Alkoholistit), or AA, is a peer association for men and women to share experiences about alcoholism and to help each other recover. AA groups meet in many different municipalities, and the largest cities also have English-speaking groups. The clinical services offered through this website are provided by Bicycle Health Medical Group, PA and Bicycle Health Provider Group Inc., that are independent, physician-owned medical groups. For more information about the relationship between Bicycle Health, Inc. and the Bicycle Health Medical Group, PA and/or Bicycle Health Inc. and the Bicycle Health Provider Group Inc., click here.

Can you drink alcohol while on Suboxone®?

In both alcohol and opioid detox centers, individual or group therapy is also recommended in conjunction with medications. The half-life of buprenorphine (Suboxone®) is 36 hours, and it takes around 8 days for a person’s body to be completely free of the medication. That means that buprenorphine (Suboxone®) is still in your body for over a week, and you’re still at risk for complications when you mix it with alcohol. You might know others who drink while taking buprenorphine (Suboxone®), but they’re risking their health. Both Suboxone and alcohol can cause liver damage, so abusing these two drugs together greatly increases the risk of cirrhosis and liver failure.

Common side effects of Suboxone include constipation, drowsiness, vertigo, and lethargy. The Päihdelinkki online service maintained by the A-Clinic Foundation contains information on intoxicant abuse and addictions. Some of the AddictionLink services are also available in Swedish, English and Russian.

This combination can rapidly lead to tolerance, dependence, and a very dangerous situation for the individual due to the heightened side effects of drug and alcohol use. If you are taking Suboxone for any other reason, you should wait at least 24 hours after your last dose before drinking alcohol. This is to give your body time to clear the drug out of your bloodstream before you add alcohol to the mix.

While not as strong as other opioids, Suboxone can have addictive qualities, especially when combined with another substance like alcohol. Seek treatment at an A-Clinic through the intoxicant abuse services (päihdepalvelut) of your area of residence. If you or someone you love is overdosing, call 911 and stay with the person until help arrives. If you’re leaning on alcohol during recovery, you’re not truly taking advantage of your therapy and rebuilding your life. And if you do ask your doctor about drinking, you’ll likely be advised to remain sober while using Suboxone.