Narcotics refer to substances that relieve pain and dull the senses, and this term is often used to describe opioid drugs. In everyday language, the term “narcotic” often carries a negative association, meaning the drug is being taken illegally or not as prescribed. When taken as prescribed by a medical provider, buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) does not have narcotic properties. When used illicitly, buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) may have narcotic properties.
Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) IS an opioid, so it is a medication that works similarly to other opioids by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain. However, Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is considered to be a scientifically proven, evidence-based TREATMENT for the chronic disease of opioid addiction. Patients who struggle with addiction to opioids who are not taking medications--like Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), methadone, or naltrexone-- are over three times more likely to die of an opioid overdose. Thus, when taken as prescribed, Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is a life saving medication and does not carry narcotic properties.