People often wonder what class of drug Suboxone belongs to. This is a legitimate concern since many patients initially became addicted to opioids through a legal prescription from their doctor and they do not want a similar situation to occur. Unfortunately due to the lack of understanding about Suboxone and how it truly works many people, especially those not familiar with addiction, view Suboxone negatively as just another opioid which leads to the misconception that you are just trading one addiction for another. This is definitely NOT the case and we consider anyone taking Suboxone properly through a Suboxone clinic as clean which was addressed in another post.
So What Is Suboxone (Buprenorphine-naloxone)
In technical terms, Suboxone is a synthetic opioid which means that it is man-made and does not occur naturally such as codeine and morphine. It is unique in that it works as a partial opioid agonist which means that it still attaches to the same pain receptors as any other full opioid agonist such as morphine, hydrodocone, methadone, and fentanyl but instead of fully activating the receptors it only partially activates them. This is in contrast to an opioid antagonist which attaches to the pain receptors in your brain and completely blocks them from working. An example of an opioid antagonist would be Narcan (naloxone) or Vivitrol (naltrexone) which are also both used to help treat opioid addiction.
Because Suboxone is only partially activating your pain receptors you can't really abuse it or overdose on it due to its ceiling effect. You also don't get the same euphoria or "high" that you do with typical opioid agonists which is what makes Suboxone such an attractive treatment option. This is just one feature that differentiates Suboxone from other treatment options such as methadone which is a full opioid agonist that has all the same negative side effects that come along with this class of drug. We talked about the pros and cons of methadone vs Suboxone in another post and one option may work better than the other depending on the individual and circumstances. Whats most important is that you take the time to seek help and let others help guide you in the right direction.