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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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My son has relaped for the 4th time and is using herion again. I kicked him out of the hou

Resolved Question:

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

Hello there I wonder if you son has tried a Suboxone Maintenance Program. I have seen in some studies that heroin addicts do well in Suboxone treatment. Suboxone is a opoid agonist and antigonist so when people take it will not feel the high they will go on withdrawls because it has some narcon. You can ask your son's doctor about resounces in the community or I can send you some resources.


Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication. Buprenorphine is similar to other opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin however, it produces less euphoric ("high") effects and therefore may be easier to stop taking.

Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin. If Suboxone is injected, naloxone will block the effects of buprenorphine and lead to withdrawal symptoms in a person with an opioid addiction. When administered under the tongue as directed, naloxone will not affect the actions of buprenorphine.

Suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction.

Suboxone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Suboxone

Suboxone can cause death from overdose, especially if it is injected with a tranquilizer. Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor.

Suboxone can cause drug dependence. This means that withdrawal symptoms may occur if you stop using this medication too quickly. Withdrawal symptoms may also occur at the start of treatment due to dependence on another drug. Suboxone is not for occasional ("as needed") use. Do not stop taking Suboxone without first talking to your doctor. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose to avoid or minimize withdrawal symptoms.

In an emergency, have family members tell emergency room staff that you are taking Suboxone and that you are dependent on opioids.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Suboxone may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or impaired thinking. If you experience drowsiness, dizziness, or impaired thinking, avoid these activities. Avoid alcohol while taking this medicine. Alcohol may dangerously increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by the medication.

Suboxone may dangerously increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), other pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicine, including herbal products, without first talking to your doctor.

Before taking Suboxone

Do not take Suboxone if:

  • the medication was not prescribed for you; or

  • you are allergic to buprenorphine, naloxone, or any components of the tablets.

Before taking Suboxone, tell your doctor if you have:

  • lung problems or difficulty breathing;

  • a head injury or brain problem;

  • liver problems;
  • kidney problems;
  • gallbladder problems;

  • adrenal gland problems, such as Addison's disease;

  • low thyroid (hypothyroidism);

  • enlarged prostate gland;

  • problems urinating;

  • a curve in the spine that affects breathing;

  • severe mental problems or hallucinations (seeing or hearing thing that are not really there); or

  • alcoholism.

You may not be able to take Suboxone, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Suboxone is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Suboxone will be harmful to an unborn baby. Use of this medication during pregnancy may cause withdrawal symptoms in a newborn baby. Do not take Suboxone if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Buprenorphine and naloxone pass into breast milk and may be harmful to a nursing baby. Do not take this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.



Your son will also has to agree to go to treatment because all the different treatments in the world will not help if he is not ready. I hope this information helps.

Penny Rayas, MFT and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you