Most American doctors prescribe opiate pain management medications to Suboxone patients who are nursing severe injuries. While these painkillers ensure that people get back to full health without unnecessarily suffering too much discomfort, they are sometimes abused.
Many patients end up with opioid dependence and addiction. If you or someone you know is going through opioid detox under expert supervision, there’s a high chance that the doctor prescribed Suboxone as part of the treatment plan.
This drug is commonly used as part of medication-assisted treatments to lessen opiate physical withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine, which is a component of Suboxone, also blocks the opiate receptors in a patient’s brain, which reduces their drug cravings and the risk of relapse.
This medication is relatively safe and typically continues to work for up to three days after being administered. Most doctors, however, encourage their patients to take Suboxone once per day, if possible, at the same time each day.
But getting down to specifics, how long does 1mg suboxone block opiates?
Since a person’s weight, metabolism, co-ingestion of other drugs, and drug abuse history affect how long a Suboxone dose will last, it’s difficult to determine the exact time.
A typical daily dose of Suboxone ranges between 8mg and 16mg. Since 1mg is just a small fraction of the typical daily dose, it’s likely to block other opiates for between 12-36 hours. Although that amount of Suboxone might not completely block the effect of opiates, it would reduce their effect or the intensity of any withdrawal symptoms.
It’s best to work with a medical specialist to receive a customized dose of Suboxone based on your medical history.
HOW SUBOXONE BLOCKS OPIATES
Suboxone is a prescription medication that helps treat people who are dependent or addicted to opiates. The drug blocks receptors that normally interact with opiates, preventing patients from getting high or overdosing.
Suboxone also reduces drug cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms, which helps patients recover and remain sober. When opiates activate receptors in your brain, they flood your system with a rush of feel-good hormones. When you discontinue use of the opiates and there’s nothing to attach to the receptors, withdrawal symptoms occur. As we mentioned before, one part of Suboxone, Buprenorphine, blocks these opiate receptors in a person’s brain and reduces their drug cravings. Another part of Suboxone, Naloxone, complements Buprenorphine. Naloxone attaches to opioid receptors and rapidly reverses and blocks an opioid overdose.
HOW LONG DOES SUBOXONE STAY IN YOUR SYSTEM?
While 1mg of Suboxone is likely to only be effective for less than two days, the drug lingers in your system for a while longer. Many people are concerned that having Suboxone in their system may trigger a false positive for illicit opiates.
The two components of Suboxone have different half-lives. The half-life of a drug is the time it takes for half a dose to leave your body. Five half-lives are typically required for a drug to completely leave a person’s system. Buprenorphine has a 24–48-hour half-life. However once ingested it becomes metabolized as norbuprenorphine, which is typically detectible in urine for up to nine days after taking the last dose. Some people take longer than average and up to two weeks to excrete the drug. The half-life of Naloxone ranges from 2 to 12 hours, so it can leave your system more quickly.
Some factors that influence both how long a dose of will block opiates and how long it’ll stay in your system include:
- Dosage and Frequency of Use – A typical 8-16mg daily dose of Suboxone will be slower to clear from a person’s body than a 1mg dose. A single dose also takes less time than a steadily accumulated amount of Suboxone.
- Co-Ingestion of Other Drugs – Some drugs may lower or increase the rate at which Suboxone leaves your system. Other medications, such as Atazanavir, Reyataz, and Evotaz, may actually increase the amount of the drug in your body, and as such it’ll take longer to leave your system completely.
- Liver Function – The half-life of Suboxone can significantly lengthen in people with poor liver function. People with poor liver may also start off with higher levels of Suboxone in their bodies than those whose livers work properly.
GETTING TREATMENT FOR OPIATE ADDICTION
A wide range of opiate addiction treatment options are available, but not all are suitable for everyone. Depending on how long a patient has been taking opiates and how severe their addiction is, treatment options include in-patient rehabilitation, out-patient rehabilitation, medical detox, intensive out-patient treatment, and partial hospitalization.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opiate dependence or addiction, you’re not alone.
The first step to recovery is admitting that your opiate use is no longer healthy or desirable. While this is one of the most challenging steps, it’s also one of the most important.