Suboxone and Alcohol

Suboxone and Alcohol

Alcohol Addiction

Suboxone is prescribed to treat opioid dependence, acute or chronic pain.
In most cases, the drug helps to overcome addiction and avoid relapse after treatment.

Sadly, suboxone users mix the prescribed medication with alcohol, trying to reach the same high as the opioid agonist.
Mixing Suboxone with alcohol is extremely dangerous; this fatal mix is known for causing breathing problems.

If you are taking Suboxone, please be aware that even one drink is not worth the risk during your treatment. Beer, wine or liquor mixed with Suboxone risk your health, disrupt the treatment process and keep the reward pathways to the brain open. If you are mixing other substances of abuse while on Suboxone, you may need to seek treatment. New Jersey has plenty of treatment options whether in Mendham, or Manalapan, or Colts Neck, or Bedminster, or Morristown, or Westfield or Clark, or Somerset, or Ridgewood, or Upper Saddle River, or Atlantic Highlands, or Red Bank, or Rumson, Or New Brunswick.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a brand name for a combination of opioid agonist buprenorphine and opioid antagonist naloxone. The medication is used to treat opioid abuse and withdrawal. Buprenorphine replaces the addictive opioids to components that work on the same brain receptors. While buprenorphine reduces craving and soothes withdrawal symptoms, naloxone prevents drug abuse at high dosages.

Because buprenorphine is an opioid agonist, weaker then opioids such as oxycodone and heroin, it can still cause and euphoria, especially when mixed with alcohol. The presence of alcohol increases the capacity of buprenorphine to act as a full opioid agonist, with similar addiction signs and overdose risks.

Dangers of  Mixing Suboxone and Alcohol

It’s risky to mix Suboxone with other drugs, but alcohol is particularly harmful. Alcohol is the most abused drug in the United States. When consumed on its own beyond recreational usage, the following risks may arise:


  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lack of coordination
  • Poor judgment
  • Confusion
  • Irregular breathing
  • Seizures and hypothermia (in overdose cases)


Suboxone abuse has also common side effects such as numbness, dizziness, stomach, and sleeping problems. When alcohol is added to the mixture, symptoms become more severe including pain, upset stomach, and moving difficulty. The most dangerous symptom is slow breathing. In extreme cases, breathing can stop completely and even result in death.


Acting similarly to antidepressants, such as Xanax and Klonopin or sedative-hypnotics like Ambien and Lunesta, buprenorphine slows down the nervous system. When it’s mixed with alcohol, which also depresses the nervous system, dangerous relaxation effects breathing and heartbeat rates.

Long Term Health Problems:

Beyond the short-term risks, Suboxone and Alcohol abuse have also serious long-term effects on health. Destructive damage takes a toll on the body:


  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiomyopathy – stretching, and drooping of the heart muscles
  • Stroke danger
  • Liver damage and failure
  • Brain damage
  • Stomach and digestion harm
  • Cancer (mouth, throat, liver, stomach, breasts, and bowel…)


Suboxone and Alcohol Overdose Poisoning Risks:

When alcohol is mixed with antidepressant drugs, liver damage is the most common risk after slow breathing. Together, alcohol and drugs, increase the chance of liver failure. People develop stomach pain and internal bleeding, fluids in the abdomen, and jaundice (known as icterus, yellowish pigmentation of the skin and whites of the eyes.) Buprenorphine in large doses has the same overdosing risks as full opioid agonists, such as heroin. Be aware of overdose symptoms such as vomiting, unconsciousness, depressed breathing and pinpoint pupils.


If you or your loved one experience one of Suboxone abuse symptoms, that doesn’t require emergency treatment, please don’t hesitate to ask for our help. At the Center for Network Therapy, we are dedicated to helping people recover from prescription medication and alcohol abuse. We encourage you to admit for treatment and return to your family, workplace, and community as soon as possible.

Safe Suboxone Withdrawal

Overcoming addiction to Suboxone and alcohol is difficult without professional help. Especially for individuals who are prescribed with Suboxone as a replacement drug for opioid addiction. Usually, when a person abuses addictive substances, he or she also used to the misuse of alcohol. Suboxone can trigger strong opioid cravings when consumed with alcohol. Not only that drinking alcohol is counterproductive during the rehabilitation process, but also long-term health issues develop with time.

Medical and psychological support is needed to overcome withdrawal symptoms and to prevent relapse after treatment. Intensive outpatient program is the most ideal setting for medical opioid abuse. Outpatient detoxification and rehabilitation programs deliver better outcomes because they incorporate the patient’s living environment into treatment from day one. Call one of our treatment experts today to learn about the most suitable outpatient program for your personal needs.

Treatment is available no matter which county in New Jersey you reside in: Morris, Monmouth, Somerset, Ocean, Camden, Monmouth, Essex, or Union.


Related Articles

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Ambulatory, Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Ambulatory, Outpatient Addiction Treatment


Ambulatory or outpatient treatment does not involve an overnight stay at a treatment facility, but it can provide effective outpatient rehab in New Jersey. Outpatient or ambulatory care takes place at a facility that specializes in treating substance use disorders. Treatment at outpatient rehabs in New Jersey can accommodate the needs of acute withdrawal while also providing maintenance substance use disorder treatment.

Less Disruptive and More Effective at Lower Cost

Outpatient treatment for addiction is more convenient to patients because it does not uproot them from the home environment in order to access treatment. Ambulatory or outpatient detox and outpatient rehab in New Jersey is easily accessible and helps reduce the stigma associated with the disease of addiction because it normalizes the disease.

Other chronic diseases, like diabetes or even contagious HIV, do not require constricting inpatient treatment, but for addiction, inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation is the default modality of treatment, which only serves to perpetuate the stigma associated with the disease.

Benefits of Ambulatory Outpatient

Ambulatory, or outpatient addiction treatment is also effective because it incorporates the home environment into treatment instead of isolating the individual suffering from his or her living environment. Individuals suffering from addiction have to learn to live sober in their home environment eventually, and in outpatient treatment, learning skills to live sober in the home environment starts on day one of treatment.

Well over 95% of patients go through inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation, which has so far delivered abysmal results. The national overdose death rate turned down in 2018 only with the wider availability and acceptance of outpatient treatment for addiction.

Among other benefits, outpatient rehab in New Jersey tends to cost less to the patient, as co-pays and deductibles are minimal in for in-network facilities such as CNT, and they are less expensive as overnight stay is eliminated. Private Health Insurance providers usually cover the cost of care, after co-pays and deductibles are met.

Most private health insurance providers prefer that the individual suffering from substance use disorders access outpatient care first. This is because outpatient treatment is usually more effective and the cost to the payor is less. With the emergence of outpatient detoxification for the most acute level of care for substance use disorders, inpatient treatment is losing its relevance.

Ambulatory Outpatient Care Settings



Patients visit a ASAM Certified Addiction Medicine Expert in order to get an evaluation and determine level of care. If the physician determines that the patient is not in need of any intense level of treatment and can be treated at the doctor’s office with therapy and supportive medication, care can continue at the office. Otherwise, the patient is referred to a higher level of care at a facility. Although a physician’s office is an outpatient setting, detoxification is not performed at the office as it requires extended monitoring and a stock of detox-related medications, which, usually, is not stocked in a doctor’s office.


Some programs offer non-acute levels of addiction treatment in an outpatient setting. Usually, these facilities offer IOP (intensive outpatient) and PC (partial Care) programs at these facilities. These are stand-alone facilities that specialize in substance abuse treatment. PC is a sub-acute level of acre and it is step-down level of care from detox (the most acute level of care). Programming is usually 5 days a week on weekdays and lasts about 5 hours each day. IOP programs are a step-down from PC level of care. They usually run 3 times a week and they last about 3 hour each day. After a patient completes the IOP level of care successfully, they are usually referred out to either an ASAM certified physician, Board Certified Psychiatrist or a Licensed Therapist, such as an LCSW, LCADC, for continued outpatient therapy and medication management.

Outpatient Detoxification and Rehabilitation Facilities

The life After Rehabilitation

Ambulatory Detox sometimes referred to as Outpatient Detox, is a relatively new level of care. While the treatment is the same as in an inpatient facility, patients get to go home at the end of the day after spending an extended period of time at the facility during the day under medical supervision and while being administered detox-related medications. Ambulatory Detox helps it more easy to access detoxification treatment as the patient does not have to leave the home environment to access addiction treatment. The Center For Network Therapy is a pioneer in offering Outpatient Detoxification from all substances – alcohol, anesthetics, benzodiazepines and opiates. By offering outpatient rehab in New Jersey, CNT has expanded treatment options for New Jersey residents. America’s leading addiction medicine expert is CNT’s Medical Director and she has been awarded by the Addiction Boards for innovating to the Ambulatory Detox level of acre and proving it to be safe and effective.


Related Articles

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