Suboxone and Alcohol

Suboxone and Alcohol

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 and disrupt the treatment process.


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.


Ambulatory, or Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Ambulatory, or Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Ambulatory or outpatient treatment does not involve an overnight stay at a treatment facility. Outpatient or ambulatory care may take place at a doctor’s office, medical facility, hospital, mental health or rehabilitation treatment facility. Treatment could range from acute withdrawal management to maintenance treatment.

Less Disruptive and More Effective at Lower Cost

Outpatient treatment for addiction is more acceptable to patients because it does not uproot them from the home environment in order to access treatment. Ambulatory or outpatient treatment 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 confining inpatient treatment, but with addiction inpatient detoxification and rehabilitation is the default modality of treatment, which only serves to perpetuate the stigma associated with the disease.

ambulatory outpatient treatment


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 care tends to be less expensive than inpatient care because less of the hospital’s resources are being used. The cost is relative to the procedure provided by the therapist, physician or surgeon. Insurance coverage applies to outpatient care based on the type of service provided: primary, mental or special care.

When you plan a treatment under Medicare coverage, check whether your treatment is considered inpatient or outpatient. This status makes a difference in how much you pay for nursing facility fees and hospital services such as medications, x-rays, and laboratory tests. Medicare Part B helps patients pay for outpatient care, therapy and preventive services.

Under this plan, you pay a single copayment for each service type, which will not be higher than inpatient hospital deductible. However, multiple services can exceed the deductible.

detox treatment facility group

Most of the doctor’s services are covered by Part B, after the deductible, patients cover only 20% of the cost. Medications given during treatment within the facility will most likely be covered, but you should check regarding prescription medications. In many cases of the outpatient treatment setting, hospitals don’t even provide prescriptions due to the risk involved in taking the drugs at home.

Outpatients care expands operations all over the country because the population demands cost-effective medical care. Based on consumer needs, asking for value-based health care closer to home, this trend continues to grow. More and more providers are listening to that demand, which results in the expansion of outpatient facilities with dedicated care and shorter waiting lines.

Naturally, healthcare moves towards what is best for the patients. Clinics, urgent care rooms, and emergency centers adapt to the outpatient strategy. Additional procedures and services that adopted the outpatient method, include diagnostic, wellness and prevention, rehabilitation and surgical services. For a better understanding of ambulatory care, let’s see which services apply this method of treatment.

Ambulatory Outpatient Care Settings

young family looking at a sunset

Primary Clinic

Patients visit primary care physicians (PCPs) for generic check-ups with a family doctor, pediatrician, or even gynecologist. The PCP also serves as a coordinator for specialized care and ongoing outpatient treatment plan.

Emergency Room

Usually located within a hospital, Emergency Rooms (ERs,) are classified as outpatient care because the overnight stay is not involved. A range of specialized medical services defined within ERs, including x-rays, radiology, and other professional care from certified nurses and specialty doctors. Patients visit ERs in serious illness and traumatic emergency cases.

Outpatient Detoxification and Rehabilitation Facilities

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) treat alcohol and substance addictions while addressing behavioral, psychological, and physical needs in a less restrictive environment of the inpatient programs. IOP combines therapy sessions with the support of friends, family and local community. Outpatient detoxification and rehabilitation programs deliver better outcomes because they incorporate the patient’s living environment into treatment from day one.

The Center For Network Therapy has been highly dedicated to the recovery of hundreds of patients through fully-personalized IOP treatments. Patients participate in the treatment during the day and return back home to their families at the end of the day. Treatment in a familiar environment yields higher recovery rates with a lower chance of relapse at the end of the program.

Outpatient and Ambulatory treatments for anyone to afford

Surgery Centers

When an overnight admission after the surgery is not required, outpatient care facilities, release the patient home at the end of the procedure. Common outpatient surgical procedures include tissue and skin repair, lens implants, simple superficial wounds, and scar tissue repairs, minor orthopedic procedures, wisdom teeth extractions and more.

Urgent Care

Outpatient urgent care clinics provide immediate medical treatments for injuries or illnesses that can not wait for an appointment, but not considered life-threatening when a visit to the ER is needed. In urgent care centers, patients receive dedicated and timely care, while taking off weight from emergency rooms.


In addition to the services above, outpatient care also takes place in the community, home, college, school and work care settings. The outpatient healthcare system continues to expand to a range of industries, driven by the voice of the patients.



In-network with:

Anthem BCBS
Beacon Health Options
Emblem BCBS
Empire BCBS
Horizon BCBS (EPO, HMO, PPO)
United Health/Optum/Oxford
Emblem GHI*


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