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Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone: 0808 808 2234
Or text DAN to: 81066



What does Suboxone look like?

Suboxone Tablets available in 2 mg and 8 mg sublingual dosages.


Scientific Names

Buprenorphine Hydrochloride and Naloxone Hydrochloride

Generic Name


Effects Of Suboxone

Desired Effects:

Euphoria, reduced anxiety, relaxation.


Headache, Withdrawal syndrome, nausea, Insomnia, and sweating.



It can be dangerous to mix Suboxone with drugs like Benzodiazepines, Alcohol, sleeping pills and other tranquilizers, certain antiDepressants, or other Opioid medications, especially when not under the care of a doctor or in doses different from those prescribed by your doctor. Mixing these drugs can lead to drowsiness, sedation, unconsciousness, and death, especially if injected.


Intravenous misuse of buprenorphine, usually in combination with Benzodiazepines or other CNS Depressants (including Alcohol) has been associated with significant respiratory depression and death.

Reducing Harm

Please view our Reducing Harm page for more information.

How does Suboxone work?

Suboxone is one part Naloxone to every four parts Buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial opiate antagonist - semi-synthetic opiate that acts on opiate receptors in the brain and also blocks them. Naloxone is an opiate antagonist - it blocks the actions of Opiates and is routinely used during emergency resuscitation after opiate Overdose.

Legal status of Suboxone

Prescription Only Medicine.

How Is Suboxone Taken?

Orally or injection. Tablets may be crushed and injected.


If Tablets are injected: Needles and Syringes, water, matches or lighter, spoon.

Medical uses of Suboxone

Used in substitution treatment for Opioid drug Dependence. When taken sublingually as prescribed, the Naloxone component of the treatment has no effect, due to its poor bio-availability through this route. However if injected, the naloxone component will be activated, causing Withdrawal symptoms which makes the drug unattractive for misuse.

Where does it come from?

Diverted from manufacturers, pharmacies, GPs prescriptions.

Helping services

'Street agencies' or projects, sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams, offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, detoxification and prescribing for opiate users, needle exchanges and sometimes support groups and other services such as acupuncture. Some may have extended opening hours and may be open at weekends. GPs and hospitals can make referrals to specialist drug services like Drug Dependency Units (DDUs). These are usually located in or adjacent to a hospital and specialise in helping problem drug users, especially people who are dependent on opiate drugs. They provide counselling, detoxification, substitute prescribing and other treatments. Residential services offer treatment programmes for heavily dependent drug users who are trying to give up. Residents must usually be drug free on admission which means they usually have to undergo detoxification before entry. Programmes usually last 3-6 months, but some 12 steps programmes last longer. The types of programmes vary. Self help groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) co-ordinate local support groups for problem drug users around the country. Families Anonymous run similar groups for the families of drug users.

Parents & other relatives

Many drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents, family members and partners of people using drugs. They may provide relative support groups or advice, guidance and counselling on a one to one basis.

You can view a list of National Drug Agencies.

If you would like to talk about Suboxone problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234
Last updated: 31 December 2012