Suboxone is the brand name for buprenorphine and naloxone prescribed, sold, and used together. This combination of drugs is used to treat opioid use disorder.
It comes in a few forms:
- A sublingual tablet that you place under your tongue to dissolve
- A buccal film that you place between your cheek and gums to dissolve
It’s hard to abuse Suboxone because it contains naloxone. Naloxone is a drug that blocks opioid effects such as euphoria. It also causes opioid withdrawal symptoms when you mix it with other opioids.
If you take Suboxone to treat opioid use disorder, then it’s natural to wonder if the drug could cause you to fail a screening.
The answer is, Suboxone could cause you to fail a drug test for opioids. Tell the person administering your test if you use Suboxone that is legally prescribed.
Here’s what you need to know about Suboxone and how long it lasts in your body:
How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your Urine?
Buprenorphine can show up in your urine for at least 72 hours and up to six days depending on the testing method. Naloxone isn’t detectable in urine drug screenings.
Urine tests are the most common type of screening for buprenorphine. It’s possible to detect the drug on other kinds of tests, but as of 2019, they’re not commonly used.
How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your Hair?
Hair testing can show Suboxone use up to 90 days after use.
Like with other drug tests, buprenorphine and its waste products are the detectable part of Suboxone in a hair test. Naloxone is not detectable in your hair.
How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your Blood?
Buprenorphine has a half-life of at least 24 hours—which means it takes that long for half of it to leave your bloodstream.
At minimum, you should expect buprenorphine to be detectable on a blood test for 48 hours after the last time the drug was taken, but that’s at the low end. It could take up to four days for your blood to test negative or possibly longer.
How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your Saliva?
Saliva tests aren’t used to detect Suboxone use very often, but they have the benefit of working fast. A saliva test starts detecting buprenorphine about 25 minutes after use.
However, buprenorphine and its metabolites (or waste products) leave your saliva quickly, possibly even faster than your blood. Saliva tests aren’t likely to keep detecting buprenorphine for very long.
How Does Your System Process Suboxone?
Legally prescribed Suboxone comes in two forms: a film and a tablet.
Both forms are placed under your tongue or between your cheek and gums, where you let them dissolve over time. As they dissolve, they absorb into your bloodstream through the soft mucous membrane tissues in your mouth.
Once Suboxone reaches your bloodstream, the body and brain effects begin. The duration of action is quick. This can take as little as a few minutes.
The main effects of Suboxone are:
- Control of cravings
- Inability to get high from opioids
- Withdrawal symptoms if you abuse opioids
Once the effects start, your liver is already working to filter Suboxone out of your blood. It typically takes up to 36 hours for one dose of Suboxone to stop working—but the drug can stay in your system for much longer.
How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Lab Tests
The length of time that Suboxone shows up on lab tests depends on a few factors. They include:
- The type of drug tests
- The dosage and frequency of use
- Your metabolism
Naloxone doesn’t cause a positive urine screen because it isn’t an opioid. The other active ingredient is Suboxone is buprenorphine, which is an opioid and could possibly cause a positive screening.
However, buprenorphine is used so extensively in drug abuse treatment that 5, 10-, and 12-panel drug tests don’t typically check for it as an illicit drug. Its potential for abuse isn’t as high as that for other opioids.
You could be screened for buprenorphine if law enforcement (or your employer) has reason to believe that you’re abusing it. But if you’re taking Suboxone for medical reasons, then there’s likely no reason that you would be tested.
If you’re using Suboxone for medical reasons, tell the person administering your test so they can read your test results correctly.
Can You Detox From Suboxone Faster?
Detoxing from Suboxone depends on factors that include:
- Genetics, age, and weight
- Drug use history and habits
- Other substances that you use
There are many factors that you can’t control, like your metabolism and genetics. There’s not much you can do to detox faster.
Still, you can take detox into your own hands by getting help for buprenorphine abuse. You may not be able to detox faster, but you can detox more comfortably with the help of a detox-friendly environment and medical care.
If you’re worrying about detox, then the time could be right to start recovery.
Get Treatment for Opioid Abuse
There’s no better time than today to take your future into your own hands. Residential treatment gives you the freedom to focus on yourself while you recover from opioid abuse disorder.
Your care team will help you choose a treatment plan that’s right for you. Therapy, symptom control, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) are all parts of treatment that are important for your recovery.
Make one simple phone call and you can be on your way to opioid recovery. Call Recovering Champions today to get started!
- Medical News Today: Suboxone <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325827.php>
- National Institute for Mental Illness: Buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone) <https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Buprenorphine/Buprenorphine-Naloxone-(Suboxone)>
- MedlinePlus: Drug testing <https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/drug-testing/>
- United States National Library of Medicine: Does naloxone cause a positive opioid urine screen? <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7978599>
- National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment: Does buprenorphine show up in an employer drug screening? <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7978599>