Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Buprenorphine Abuse Problem

Buprenorphine abuse problemBuprenorphine is a weak opiate commonly used to treat addiction to stronger opiates such as heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. It is used in this fashion because it has similar effects on the brain, but has a much lower risk of physical dependency than other opiates.

In drug replacement therapy, an addict stops taking their drug of choice and instead receives buprenorphine from a medical doctor. Under a doctor’s supervision, a recovering opiate addict is administered gradually decreasing doses of buprenorphine over a period of time. In successful cases, the dosage would eventually be reduced to nothing and the recovering addict would be drug free.

Buprenorphine Withdrawal Symptoms

Due to the fact that buprenorphine is also an opiate, a person can develop a physical dependency and addiction if buprenorphine is abused. Buprenorphine abuse is defined as taking the drug in larger and/or more frequent doses than prescribed by a doctor. If an individual is consistently abusing buprenorphine and suddenly stops taking the drug, he or she may experience any of the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Intense pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Increase in blood pressure

Signs of Buprenorphine Abuse

Abusing buprenorphine is defined as taking the drug in higher doses and/or more frequently than is prescribed by a doctor. There are certain signs that doctors and health care providers look for that can indicate a person is abusing buprenorphine, such as the following:

  • “Doctor Shopping” – obtaining multiple buprenorphine prescriptions from different doctors
  • Running out of their prescription early
  • Frequently claiming to have lost their prescription

Friends and family members of a person using buprenorphine should also be on the lookout for any of the following signs of buprenorphine abuse:

  • Displaying isolated behavior
  • Unexplained sudden changes in mood or behavior
  • Ingesting buprenorphine in any way other than prescribed
  • Unexplainable lack of money
  • Obtaining buprenorphine through illegal means
  • Stealing, lying or other uncharacteristic behaviors

Overcoming Buprenorphine Abuse Problem

The first step to overcoming a buprenorphine abuse problem is consultation with a doctor. A doctor may place an individual on a carefully monitored tapering program in order to wean a person off of buprenorphine altogether. If buprenorphine abuse has developed into addiction, detox and rehab may be necessary. When treating addiction to any substance, the psychological issues that may have contributed to abuse must be addressed. Addiction counseling and behavioral therapy can help an individual recognize what led to buprenorphine abuse, and teach ways to avoid such behaviors in the future.

Need Help Finding Treatment Centers for Buprenorphine Addiction?

Are you currently abusing buprenorphine? If you are, don’t wait another minute to get help. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your call. Our number is toll-free, so there is no reason to wait. Don’t let buprenorphine abuse develop into addiction. Call now before it is too late.

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