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How to Detox From Suboxone at Home: Is It a Safe Option?

Peter Manza, PhD profile image
Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD • Updated Mar 26, 2023

Detoxing from Suboxone at home is usually safe, as long as you can avoid engaging in opioid misuse as a result of any withdrawal symptoms and returning drug cravings. You should still talk to a doctor before detoxing, however, especially if you were taking Suboxone as part of a medication-based program for opioid use disorder.

There is no reason to stop taking Suboxone if it continues to support your recovery.

How to Detox From Suboxone at Home

The following are some steps you should consider when trying to detox from Suboxone or similar buprenorphine-based medications at home:

Step 1: Talk to a Doctor

If you intend to detox from any substance you’re dependent on, first talk to a doctor. Suboxone withdrawal often isn’t intense, especially compared to withdrawal from full opioid agonists like heroin or morphine, but it can still cause discomfort and you should get the information you need to be prepared. Medical experts can give you advice on how to safely and most effectively go through the detox process at home.[1]

Generally, you shouldn’t attempt to detox from any medication without medical supervision. In most cases, your doctor will design a tapering plan where you slowly reduce your dose.

Step 2: Make Sure Your Home Is Free of Opioids

While you shouldn’t have any non-prescribed opioids in your house as a rule, it’s especially important if you intend to detox from Suboxone. The buprenorphine component of Suboxone, its main active ingredient, is a partial opioid agonist. This means withdrawal from the drug is a form of (often mild) opioid withdrawal, and you may feel drawn to try to use opioids to compensate, especially because Suboxone is generally prescribed as part of a treatment plan for opioid use disorder (OUD). 

Keeping your home opioid free adds more barriers in place to accessing opioids, meaning it will be easier to resist engaging in opioid use when your withdrawal symptoms are at their most intense.

Step 3: Try to Set Aside Time to Make the Process Easier

Withdrawal from Suboxone isn’t as intense as it is from most other opioids, but it can still be an uncomfortable process that can make performing certain tasks more difficult. If possible, set some time aside for yourself to make recovery easier, taking time off work or school. This can help you focus on your recovery and will make sure your withdrawal symptoms have less of a potential impact on your ability to perform important tasks. 

What Can You Expect From Detoxing From Suboxone at Home?

Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone.[2] Of these two drugs, only buprenorphine can cause dependence. 

Buprenorphine withdrawal is generally a mild form of opioid withdrawal, which is characterized by a variety of symptoms often described as “flu-like,” including these:[3]

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Tearing
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

These symptoms can shift later during the withdrawal process and may start to include symptoms such as these:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Therapies & Options That Support Detoxing at Home

Suboxone addiction, rather than physical dependence, is rare. It’s difficult for people who are not opioid naïve to experience euphoria from buprenorphine. 

If you have been misusing any medications, cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful as you try to stop use. This type of therapy can help you build skills so you don’t return to opioid misuse once you are no longer on buprenorphine. 

Many people also benefit from group or family therapy, as it helps them build connections to people who can better understand what they’re going through. This can be a helpful forum to discuss their feelings with non-professionals rather than exclusively talking with an expert. 

Many people similarly find support groups helpful, where most of the people at a meeting have dealt with similar or virtually identical experiences to their own. Group members can offer friendly advice and moral support, helping people to feel less alone in their struggles. 

What Are the Potential Dangers of Detoxing From Suboxone at Home?

Detoxing from Suboxone is almost never physically dangerous. Opioid withdrawal already tends not to be life-threatening, and buprenorphine withdrawal is a generally mild form of opioid withdrawal. The primary concern when someone tries detoxing from Suboxone is that they may fall back to misusing opioids, especially stronger, more dangerous opioids.

As a medication for opioid use disorder (mOUD), Suboxone can help suppress a person’s drug cravings. If they suddenly stop taking the medication, those drug cravings can also return. 

This is why Suboxone and similar medications are usually prescribed on a long-term basis. The benefits they can provide to people recovering from OUD usually offset any negative side effects they may cause, especially if they represent the deciding factor in whether one misuses particularly dangerous opioids like fentanyl. 

Another danger is that a person might try quitting Suboxone thinking it has “cured” them of their OUD. In reality, there is no known cure for addiction. It is a chronic condition that must be managed for life.[4] Addiction treatment almost always works best as an ongoing process. While treatment can and should evolve, it’s rare that the best choice is to stop with all forms of treatment, as this can greatly increase the risk of falling back into drug misuse.

Other Options to Detox From Suboxone

Assuming quitting Suboxone is the best option for you, there are a few options to consider when deciding to stop taking it besides detoxing from home.

The first is detoxing at a treatment facility. This is generally how it is recommended a person detox from stronger opioids, although the more mild nature of Suboxone withdrawal makes this option less necessary in this scenario. However, it does generally ensure you get to detox in a safe, comfortable, and drug-free environment surrounded by trained addiction professionals who can offer help and advice as needed.

Telehealth monitoring is another option. With this type of detox treatment, you can still detox from home. However, you also regularly check in with an addiction treatment professional over the internet through your phone or computer. This helps you get ongoing advice and support for your recovery while still detoxing in the comfort of your home.

In this case, a medical professional will usually design a tapering schedule that allows you to gradually take decreasing Suboxone doses. At the end of the schedule, you will no longer be taking the medication.


  1. Pharmacological Strategies for Detoxification. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. January 2014). Accessed February 2023. 
  2. Buprenorphine. StatPearls. May 2022. Accessed February 2023. 
  3. Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal. National Library of Medicine. April 2022. Accessed February 2023.
  4. The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence: Implications for Treatment. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice. July 2002. Accessed February 2023.

Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD

Peter Manza, PhD received his BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. He is currently working as a research scientist in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the role ... Read More

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