the logo for the art - step nsr recovery program

What to Expect from Suboxone Treatment in North Carolina

If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids, there are various addiction treatment options available to you. One of the most effective ways to treat opioid addiction is using Suboxone. Find out if Suboxone treatment is right for you by calling and speaking with our North Carolina addiction specialists today.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription medication that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Suboxone contains two medications: buprenorphine and naloxone.[1]

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that binds to opioid receptors in the brain and partially activates them. When given to people who are detoxing from opioid drugs, buprenorphine can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.

Naloxone, the other medication in Suboxone, is an opioid antagonist that is added to buprenorphine to reduce the potential for abuse. Naloxone creates something called a “ceiling effect” which occurs when a medication stops producing effects after a certain dose is taken. In other words, if someone tries to abuse Suboxone by taking higher doses than prescribed, they won’t be able to get high because naloxone blocks the effects of opioids.[2]

Suboxone comes in the form of a dissolvable film that is placed between the tongue and cheek (buccal administration) or under the tongue (sublingual administration). The medication comes in various different strengths.




How Does Suboxone Treatment Work?

Suboxone can be used during various stages of the addiction treatment process, but it can only help people who are struggling with opioid addiction. Clients may start taking Suboxone during detox and continue taking it during treatment and beyond based on their needs.

Suboxone During Opioid Detox

Opioid withdrawal symptoms are generally not life-threatening, but they can be intense and lead to relapse without medical support. If you check into a detox program that offers Suboxone treatment, you may begin taking Suboxone 12-24 hours after your last dose of opioids.

It’s important to wait the 12-24 hour period because taking Suboxone too early can result in severe precipitated withdrawal symptoms. After this time period, other opioids will have left your system, and you can start taking Suboxone safely as directed by your physician. Some people are only directed to take Suboxone once per day while others will be instructed to dose twice a day.

During opioid detox, Suboxone can alleviate symptoms of withdrawal. It can even reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services, allowing clients to start treatment sooner rather than having to endure a week-long detox period.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Involving Suboxone

Suboxone is most effective when combined with comprehensive addiction treatment services including behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support groups. This integrated approach to addiction treatment is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is clinically proven to improve treatment retention, reduce the risk of relapse, and boost treatment outcomes.

During Suboxone treatment in North Carolina, clients will participate in a variety of therapies to help them heal emotionally and develop the skills they need to stay sober. Therapies may include:[3]

  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Life skills therapy
  • 12-Step facilitation therapy
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • Recreation or adventure therapy

Suboxone not only alleviates symptoms of opioid withdrawal, but it also reduces the intensity and frequency of drug cravings, making it easier to focus on therapy and your individual recovery.


Recovery doesn’t end when rehab does. In order to stay sober, you must continue treating your addiction and making healthy lifestyle choices. Aftercare services can help you transition from treatment to real life and support you in your long-term recovery.

Examples of aftercare include:

Medication management is particularly important if you are taking Suboxone for your addiction. Medication management involves having regular appointments with your doctor and therapist to discuss your medication adherence, side effects, cravings, and progress in recovery. You may be required to take randomized drug tests to prove your sobriety and receive refills of your Suboxone.

Side Effects of Suboxone

Suboxone may cause side effects, most of which are mild and subside after a few days. Common Suboxone side effects include:[1]

  • Numbness or tingling in the mouth
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Redness in the mouth
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating

If you start Suboxone treatment and have any serious side effects such as difficulty breathing or allergic reaction, seek medical care and talk to your doctor right away. Serious side effects are rare.

How Long Do People Take Suboxone?

How long people stay on Suboxone varies. Some people only need the medication to get through detox comfortably and some stop taking it shortly after they finish treatment. Others will take Suboxone for several years to help them avoid relapse. Very few people will need to continue taking Suboxone for the rest of their lives.

You should never stop taking Suboxone without consulting with your doctor. Your doctor can determine when you are ready to stop taking the medication or when it is time to reduce your dose. Stopping Suboxone abruptly can result in symptoms of withdrawal which, in turn, can lead to relapse. As a result, most people are slowly tapered off of Suboxone by gradually reducing their dose over a period of weeks or months.

Find out if Suboxone Treatment in North Carolina is Right for You

At Next Step Recovery, we understand that addiction is a complex disease with physical and psychological components. That’s why we outline all treatment options for our clients and offer the resources needed to overcome opioid addiction. With the use of evidence-based therapies alongside medication-assisted treatment (MAT), we ensure you will receive a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and goals.

To learn more about your Suboxone treatment options in North Carolina or to find out if Suboxone treatment is right for you, please call now to speak with one of our qualified admissions counselors.


  1. Food and Drug Administration: Highlights of Prescribing Information; SUBOXONE (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets for sublingual administration, Retrieved Feb 2023 from
  2. Harm Reduction Journal: Buprenorphine and naloxone access in pharmacies within high overdose areas of Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic, Retrieved Feb 2023 from
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Medications for Substance Use Disorders, Retrieved Feb 2023 from

Share This Article

Take the Next Step in Your Recovery

Our goal is to help you overcome your addiction and develop the tools you need for a sustainable recovery. Give us a call to learn more about our addiction treatment programs for men.