Suboxone and Xanax together are truly a deadly combination. This is why medication-assisted treatment programs screen for alcohol and benzodiazepines before beginning treatment. When combined with either methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone or Subutex) for treating opioid addiction, alcohol or benzos like Xanax can depress the central nervous system so much that it causes respiratory failure.
What People Think About Suboxone and Xanax
Addictive habits are very hard to break. And just because you start recovery, it doesn’t mean that you’re completely out of the woods. So, you may think, “Hey, the doctor prescribed 8 mg of Suboxone, why don’t I take 10 or 12 mg?” However, Suboxone won’t get you high. There’s no euphoria or connection to the brain’s opioid receptors. The purpose of Suboxone is to stop cravings and withdrawal symptoms so that you can handle coming off of opioids. Or, you may think, “I’ll just take some Xanax to take the edge off of what I’m going through. Suboxone and Xanax together won’t make you high. The terrible truth is that taking Suboxone and Xanax together can lead to a fatal overdose.
Types of Buprenorphine Treatment
Buprenorphine has been an effective way to treat opioid addiction for many years. There are two types: suboxone and subutex. Suboxone contains naloxone, which blocks the ability to feel high from opioids. One side effect is that it can cause a person to experience symptoms of withdrawal. Subutex is buprenorphine without naloxone. You still won’t get high, but you also won’t go into withdrawal if you take an opioid with it. (The UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program has a clear explanation about Suboxone for opioid addiction treatment.)
Legal prescriptions for Xanax
Anxiety is a common part of life for people in addiction. Your doctor that prescribes anxiety-reducing medication, such as Xanax, needs to know that you’re taking Suboxone. You absolutely need to tell your doctor about this. If you’re suffering from anxiety or stress, Xanax or another benzodiazepine isn’t your only option. Talk with your doctor about switching medications to something such as an SSRI, commonly known by names such as Prozac. The medication helps your brain process seratonin, a ‘feel-good’ chemical that is naturally present, but may need a boost to conquer anxiety or depression. SSRI’s don’t provide immediate relief, but over time provide a steady, continuous reduction of anxiety symptoms and are compatible with Suboxone.
Working your program
Your treatment center is on your side to end addiction. Yes, there are drug screens so that everyone is on the same page. If your urine drug screen shows you are taking Suboxone and Xanax or some other benzodiazepine, the counselor will ask you to talk with your doctor about it. You may also want to sign a release, allowing the treatment center doctor who prescribes Suboxone to talk with the family doctor. It’s really up to you to stay on the path of beating your addiction. It’s not easy, but it happens one day at a time.