Drug and Alcohol - Opioid Addiction - Medication-Assisted Treatment

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System? How Long This MAT Drug Stays in Your System

How long does Suboxone stay in your system? We examine this question and more in our blog about this important MAT medication. Read on.

How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your System? We Answer This Question & More

Table of Contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

October 8, 2023

The Edge Treatment Center

In the battle against opioid addiction, medical research has paved the path for an innovative drug:


Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, is vital in helping individuals on their path to recovery. However, like with any drug, there are essential things to understand to make informed decisions and promote the best results.

This thorough article explores the fundamental concerns regarding Suboxone, including its duration in the human body, usage, potential side effects, and much more.

We’ll give you a thorough breakdown of its half-life, metabolization process, and how long it may be detected in different bodily fluids. Understanding this aspect is essential for managing dosages and understanding the effects of the medicine throughout treatment.

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System: What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication used by doctors to help patients who are addicted to opioids. It is a combination of two medications, buprenorphine and naloxone. Let's examine what these substances do and how they interact in Suboxone.


Suboxone's primary constituent is buprenorphine. It's a type of medication known as an opioid partial agonist. That may not sound very clear, so let's break it down. Opioid substances, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, can lead to addiction.

Buprenorphine works differently from other opioid drugs; it binds to the same areas of the brain as other opioids but does not provide the same powerful "high.". Instead, it eases withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This allows individuals to gradually reduce their dependence on opioids.


Another significant component of Suboxone is naloxone. It is an opioid antagonist, which means that it can counteract the effects of other opioids. When naloxone is coupled with buprenorphine in Suboxone, an additional layer of safety is added.

Suppose someone attempts to abuse Suboxone by injecting it or taking it in a way that is not prescribed. In that case, the naloxone will kick in and prevent them from experiencing the typical opioid effects. This reduces abuse and helps people in using Suboxone properly.

When someone takes Suboxone as directed, buprenorphine helps them feel more stable. It lowers cravings, making it easier to resist the desire to use harmful opioids. It allows for a more gradual and controlled withdrawal from opioids, allowing users to focus on other things.

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System: What Is Suboxone Used For?

Following are some common Suboxone uses.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Suboxone is most commonly used to help individuals overcome opioid addiction. When opioids are abused, they can lead to dependence & addiction. Suboxone helps addiction treatment by binding to the same brain receptors as other opioids without creating the powerful "high" that leads to addiction. 

This reduces withdrawal symptoms. It makes it easier for individuals to stop taking deadly opioids. Suboxone also helps to suppress urges, making relapse less probable throughout the recovery process.

Harm Reduction

Suboxone, with its naloxone component, serves as a harm-reduction measure. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it can counteract the effects of other opioids. This discourages individuals from abusing Suboxone because if they try to inject it or abuse it, the naloxone will prevent them from feeling the typical opioid effects.

Suboxone is made safer and less likely to be misused by the addition of naloxone, which can prevent individuals from deadly overdoses.

Pain Management

Suboxone may be prescribed by doctors in rare circumstances to treat chronic pain. Suboxone's main constituent, buprenorphine, can be beneficial in relieving pain. However, Suboxone is normally reserved for pain management in those receiving Suboxone therapy for opiate addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Suboxone is a vital part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs. MAT combines medicine, such as Suboxone, with counseling and behavioral therapy to support individuals on the road to recovery with complete care. These programs have been shown to improve treatment results, reduce relapse rates, and increase overall health in those struggling with opioid addiction.

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

The duration of time Suboxone stays in your system can vary depending on several factors. Generally, it can be detected in the body for different periods based on the type of drug test being used. Here are some estimations for how long Suboxone might stay in your system:

Urine Test

Suboxone can be detected in urine for 2 to 7 days after use. However, it may be detectable for up to 10 days in some cases.

Blood Test

Suboxone can be detected in the blood for about 24 to 36 hours after the last use.

Saliva Test

Suboxone can be detected in saliva for approximately 1 to 4 days after the last use.

Hair Test

Suboxone can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days or even longer, depending on the length of hair tested.

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How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System? Determining Factors

Individual factors can influence the duration of Suboxone's presence in the body. These factors may include:


Higher doses of Suboxone may take longer to be eliminated from the body.

Frequency of Use

Regular or chronic use may result in a longer detection window.


Different people metabolize drugs at different rates, affecting how quickly Suboxone is processed and removed from the body.

Liver and Kidney Function

The health of your liver and kidneys can impact how your body processes and eliminates Suboxone.

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System: How Long Does It Take for Suboxone To Have Effect?

The time it takes for Suboxone to take effect can vary depending on factors such as the individual's tolerance to opioids, the dose of Suboxone, and the method of administration. Generally, Suboxone starts to take effect relatively quickly, but the full effects may take a little longer to be experienced.

Suboxone Under the Tongue

  • Initial effects: Suboxone typically takes effect within 20 to 60 minutes after it is placed under the tongue.

  • Peak effects: The peak effects of Suboxone are usually reached within 2 to 4 hours after administration.

Suboxone Inside the Cheek

  • Initial effects: Suboxone may take effect within 30 to 60 minutes after placing it in the buccal cavity.

  • Peak effects: The peak effects are usually seen within 2 to 4 hours after administration.

What Are the Benefits of Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication used in Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction. It combines buprenorphine and naloxone to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The longer half-life of the drug compared to other opioids allows for less frequent dosing, making it easier to adhere to treatment.

Some benefits of Suboxone include:

  • Reduced risk of overdose: Buprenorphine has a ceiling effect, meaning after a certain dose, taking more will not produce a stronger effect. This lowers the risk of accidental overdose.

  • Reduced withdrawal symptoms: The buprenorphine in Suboxone can help reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for individuals to stop using opioids.

  • Reduced cravings: Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, helps to block the effects of opioids and reduce cravings.

  • Improved treatment adherence: The longer half-life of Suboxone allows for less frequent dosing, making it easier for individuals to stick to their treatment plan.

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Why Is Suboxone a Good Choice for Opioid Addiction Recovery?

Suboxone is a good choice for opioid addiction recovery because it addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. It helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making it easier for individuals to stop using opioids. Additionally, it can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and support services.

Another benefit of Suboxone is its availability in different forms, such as film or tablet. This allows for individualized treatment plans and the ability to adjust dosages as needed.

What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?

Suboxone, like any other medicine, can have side effects in some people. Be cautious of these potential side effects so that you can identify any unexpected reactions and seek medical care if required. These side effects will not affect everyone, and their impact may vary from individual to individual. Following are some of the most common Suboxone side effects.

Nausea and Vomiting

When using Suboxone, some people can experience nausea and vomiting. These symptoms can be reduced by taking the Suboxone pill with meals or as prescribed by a doctor.


Suboxone usage can cause headaches, although generally mild, and go away independently.

Dizziness or Lightheadedness

Suboxone may produce dizziness or lightheadedness for some people, especially when standing up quickly. To reduce this impact, carefully rise from a sitting or sleeping posture.


Opioid medicines, such as Suboxone, can cause constipation. This side effect can be minimized by drinking plenty of water and eating a fiber-rich diet.


While using Suboxone, some people can experience excessive sweating, known as diaphoresis.

Sleep Disturbances

Suboxone can disrupt sleep patterns in some people, making it difficult to fall or remain asleep.

Mood Changes

Suboxone can cause mood changes, such as irritation or anxiety, in certain people.

Respiratory Issues

Suboxone is a respiratory depression, which might make breathing more difficult. When used as directed, however, this impact is often minimal. It is risky to use Suboxone with other drugs or substances that also slow down breathing.

Allergic Reactions

Suboxone can cause allergic responses in certain people, which can emerge as skin rashes, itching, or swelling.

Opioid Withdrawal in Certain Situations

Suboxone might cause withdrawal symptoms if taken too soon after taking a short-acting opioid. 

What Is the Half-Life of Suboxone?

Suboxone has a half-life of approximately 24 to 42 hours due to its buprenorphine component. This means it takes about 24 to 42 hours for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body. Its long half-life allows for continuous relief from withdrawal symptoms and cravings, effectively managing opioid addiction.

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Do you need advice about Suboxone and how long it stays in your system? Reach out today.

Is Suboxone a Controlled Substance?

Yes, Suboxone is classified as a controlled substance in many countries, including the United States. It is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States. Suboxone has a proven medicinal function. But it also has the potential for misuse and may result in moderate to low physical or psychological dependence.

Suboxone is categorized as Schedule III, indicating that it has a lower potential for misuse & dependency than Schedule I and II medicines, which include stronger opioids like heroin and some prescription medications. It is subject to strict regulations and is only accessible with a prescription from a registered physician.

The controlled substance classification seeks to balance Suboxone's medicinal advantages in treating opioid addiction with the danger of misuse & abuse. It also contributes to the safe & responsible use of Suboxone under the supervision of doctors.

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can occur when a person using Suboxone for a long time discontinues or dramatically decreases their dose. The intensity and length of withdrawal symptoms can differ based on factors such as dose, duration of Suboxone usage, and individual characteristics. 

Suboxone withdrawal is often less serious than withdrawal from other opiates such as heroin. However, it might still be challenging and painful for certain people. Common Suboxone withdrawal symptoms may include:

Nausea and Vomiting

During Suboxone withdrawal, many people experience nausea and may even vomit.

Muscle Aches and Pain

Pain in the muscles and bodily pains are common withdrawal symptoms.

Runny Nose and Watery Eyes

Some people can experience a runny nose and watery eyes as part of the withdrawal process.

Insomnia or Sleep Disturbances

Suboxone withdrawal can affect sleep habits, making falling or remaining asleep harder.

Restlessness and Anxiety

During withdrawal, feelings of restlessness and heightened anxiety are common.

Chills and Sweating

Individuals may experience chills and sweating as they readjust to not having Suboxone.

Mood Swings

Mood swings and emotional disturbances, ranging from irritation to sadness, can occur during withdrawal.

Diarrhea and Stomach Cramps

There may be digestive concerns such as diarrhea and stomach pains.

Increased Heart Rate

During withdrawal, some people may notice an increased heart rate.

Is Suboxone Addictive?

Suboxone can be addictive, although it has a lower risk of addiction than other opioids, such as heroin or prescription medicines. This medication is particularly created to help individuals overcome opioid addiction.

Suboxone's combination of buprenorphine & naloxone gives a safer and less addictive approach to treating opioid addiction. When taken as recommended and under medical supervision, it can help people progressively lessen their opioid dependence and work toward recovery.

While Suboxone can be useful in treating opioid addiction, it should only be used under the supervision of an expert. Misusing Suboxone or taking it without a prescription can result in unexpected effects, including an increased risk of addiction. Always follow your doctor's instructions and seek their guidance if you have concerns.

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Would you like more information about Suboxone and how long it stays in your system? Reach out today.

Suboxone Can Be Valuable in Recovery. Learn More at The Edge Treatment Center

At The Edge Treatment Center, we understand the challenges of opioid addiction and the importance of finding the right treatment plan for each individual. Our team of professionals is experienced in using Suboxone as part of MAT, along with therapy and support services to help individuals achieve lasting recovery.

The importance of maintaining connections is recognized by The Edge Treatment Center, which is why it is device-friendly, allowing clients to stay connected with their support networks. We actively encourage family visits and counseling sessions to support the healing process. With a team of licensed clinicians, personalized care is provided through evidence-based modalities. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and how we can support you in your journey toward recovery.

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