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Suboxone for Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment

Hydrocodone, one of the more commonly prescribed opiate drugs, works well at relieving pain symptoms associated with most any condition. This drug’s pain-relieving properties also carry a risk for dependency and addiction that many don’t realize until it’s too late.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as many as 12 to 21 million people worldwide reported abusing opiates on a frequent basis, with Americans making up an estimated 1.9 million users in 2010. With ongoing use, hydrocodone and drugs like it slowly dismantle a person’s sense of self and purpose while destroying his or her life in the process.

Suboxone, an opiate addiction treatment medication, addresses the two main challenges addicts face in recovery: drug cravings and withdrawal effects. As a medication therapy, Suboxone supports damaged brain functions, allowing a person to feel normal and function effectively in everyday life. For many people, this added physical support can make all the difference in recovery.


Hydrocodone, a Schedule II class opiate narcotic, exists in various forms, most of which contain combinations of hydrocodone and acetaminophen or hydrocodone and aspirin. Vicodin, Lorcet-HD and Lortab are all brand names for hydrocodone-based medications.

As a Schedule II class drug, hydrocodone belongs to the second most addictive class of drugs in existence, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine. Combining hydrocodone with other non-narcotic agents only works to enhance hydrocodone’s overall effect.

Long-term use of hydrocodone causes extensive damage to brain chemical processes. For people who enter recovery, these long-term effects account for why the potential for relapse is so high.

Suboxone’s Origins


Suboxone is a commonly prescribed medication that helps prevent relapse.

Suboxone, in tablet form, was first approved by the U. S. Food & Drug Administration as an opiate addiction treatment in 2002, according to the National Institutes of Health News. Suboxone ingredients include –

  • Buprenorphine
  • Naloxone

Buprenorphine works in much the same was as methadone in terms of its ability to curb withdrawal and drug cravings. It does this by stimulating the same brain cell receptor sites as hydrocodone without producing any addictive euphoric effects.

Naloxone, an antagonist drug, rather expels opiate materials from cell receptor sites and blocks opiate effects. The naloxone ingredient acts as a safeguard against attempts to abuse Suboxone in injection form.

Relapse Prevention Potential

Unlike methadone, Suboxone’s ingredients act as a built-in relapse prevention mechanism. When taken as prescribed (in tablet form), Suboxone’s buprenorphine ingredient reduces the drug cravings and withdrawal effects that so often drive recovering addicts to relapse.

Meanwhile, Suboxone’s naloxone ingredient remains dormant except in cases where a person tries to get high off Subxone by crushing up the pill and injecting it. When injected, naloxone induces withdrawal effects much like Antabuse does with alcohol. So any relapse attempts are made null and void by Suboxone’s naloxone ingredient.

Ceiling Effect

Compared to methadone, Suboxone has a built-in “ceiling effect” that prevents a person from overdosing on the drug at high doses, according to the Semel Institute. This ceiling effect has to do with Suboxone’s buprenorphine ingredient.

With methadone, too high a dosage amount can shutdown vital bodily process much like addictive opiate drugs can. With Suboxone, buprenorphine’s effects only grow stronger up to a certain dosage level at which point the drug’s effects level off.

As an opiate addiction treatment medication, Suboxone has much to offer in terms of relapse prevention potential and overall safety benefits.