Text us

Teenagers and Suboxone: Guide for Parents

Suboxone, a prescription medication for opioid addiction, has unfortunately become a concerning issue among teenagers in the United States. The prevalence of Suboxone abuse among adolescents is a worrying trend that demands comprehensive treatment and robust parental support.

Keep reading to get detailed insights into Suboxone addiction in teens, shedding light on its symptoms, causes, and available treatment options.

suboxone fda approved treatment for opioid addiction

Key Takeaways

In the US, Suboxone abuse has become a pressing issue among teens, requiring comprehensive treatment and strong parental support. Here is what you need to know:

  • Recognizing physical, mental, and behavioral signs early on can help parents identify and address potential suboxone addiction in their teens.
  • Suboxone abuse in teens stems from genetics, psychology, environment, and social factors, urging comprehensive parental support.
  • The effects of suboxone abuse in teens encompass a range of physical, mental, and emotional challenges that require medical help.
  • Seeking professional help can effectively guide teens toward overcoming substance use disorder (SUD) and building a healthier future.

Guide your teen towards a brighter path by seeking professional help. Contact us at (845) 539-0834 for more information.

Spotting Suboxone Abuse in Teens: Symptoms to Watch

Be aware of the signs that your teen might struggle with Suboxone addiction. By recognizing these symptoms early on, you can provide the necessary support and intervention to help your child overcome this challenge.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms of suboxone addiction can offer crucial clues for parents to identify a potential problem. Symptoms may include:

  • Sluggishness: Teens addicted to Suboxone might exhibit lethargy and lack energy.
  • Constricted Pupils: One common physical sign is the presence of pinpoint pupils.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Suboxone addiction can lead to persistent nausea and occasional vomiting.
  • Constipation: Teens might experience ongoing digestive issues, often characterized by constipation.

Coordination Issues: Addiction to Suboxone can affect motor skills and balance, leading to unsteady movements.

Psychological Symptoms

Suboxone addiction in young people can also manifest through various psychological symptoms, such as:

  • Anxiety and Agitation: Teens may display heightened unease, nervousness, and restlessness.
  • Depression: Suboxone addiction can contribute to feelings of apathy, sadness, hopelessness, guilt, and fatigue.
  • Irritability: Your teen might become easily frustrated or angered without apparent reason.
  • Confusion: Suboxone addiction can lead to cognitive difficulties, causing confusion and trouble concentrating.
  • Mood Swings: Rapid and extreme mood changes are often observed in teens addicted to Suboxone.
Behavioral Symptoms

Observing changes in behavior can be key in identifying Suboxone addiction in teenagers. Look for the signs of:

  • Isolation: Teens may withdraw from family members and friends, preferring isolation.
  • Doctor Shopping: If your teen seeks multiple doctors or asks to go to the doctor more often, it could indicate addiction.
  • Neglecting Responsibilities: Addiction might cause your child to neglect school, chores, and other responsibilities.
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns: Watch for significant shifts in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or hypersomnia.
  • Loss of Interest: Hobbies, extracurricular activities, and passions may lose their appeal due to addiction.

If you observe any of these symptoms in your teen, approach the situation with care and understanding. Reach out to a healthcare provider who specializes in addiction treatment. Open communication, without judgment, is vital to establishing trust with your teen.

Root Causes: Why Teens Fall into Suboxone Addiction

Understanding the potential causes of suboxone addiction in teens is essential for parents who want to help their struggling adolescents. By recognizing these underlying factors, parents can take practical steps to address the root causes of addiction and provide appropriate support.


Genetic makeup can substantially impact the susceptibility of certain adolescents to becoming prone to suboxone addiction.

  • Family History: If a family history of substance abuse or addiction exists, teens might inherit a genetic vulnerability to addiction.
  • Brain Chemistry: Genetic factors can influence brain chemistry, affecting how teens respond to Suboxone and other substances.
  • Risk Tolerance: Genetic traits can impact teens’ risk tolerance levels, making them more likely to experiment with substances like Suboxone.

Acknowledging the genetic component can help parents understand that addiction can not be punished away, as it has a biological component.

Psychological Factors

Younger individuals struggling with psychological challenges might turn to Suboxone to cope with their emotions.

  • Stress and Trauma: Teens facing high stress levels or unresolved trauma might use Suboxone to escape emotional pain.
  • Mental Health Issues: Mental illnesses like anxiety or depression may drive teens to use Suboxone as a coping mechanism.
  • Low Self-Esteem: Teens with low self-esteem might turn to Suboxone to feel more confident or accepted.

Recognizing these psychological triggers can guide parents in addressing their teens’ emotional well-being and finding healthier coping mechanisms.

Environmental Factors

Environmental influences can expose young people to suboxone addiction, even without a genetic predisposition.

  • Peer Pressure: Being around friends who misuse substances can influence teens to experiment with Suboxone.
  • Home Environment: A lack of parental supervision, neglect, or exposure to substance abuse at home can normalize such behaviors.
  • Availability of Suboxone: Easy access to Suboxone due to a lack of proper safeguards can heighten the risk of experimentation.

Understanding the impact of the environment on teens’ choices can guide parents in creating a supportive and nurturing space that discourages substance abuse.

Social Factors

Teens’ social surroundings can contribute to their inclination towards suboxone addiction.

  • Media Influence: Media portrayal of substance use can influence teens’ perceptions and attitudes toward Suboxone.
  • Cultural Norms: Cultural contexts that downplay the risks of substance use might make teens more susceptible to addiction.
  • Lack of Education: Insufficient education about the dangers of Suboxone and addiction can leave teens unaware of the risks.

Recognizing the influence of social factors can help parents open up conversations with their teens and instill confidence in making healthy choices.

Most Common Side Effects

Teens struggling with suboxone addiction often experience a variety of severe side effects. These include depression and anxiety, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, constipation, fatigue, and withdrawal symptoms. Teens addicted to Suboxone might experience these symptoms more intensely, affecting their emotional well-being, daily activities, and interactions with loved ones.

Breathing Problems

Among the dangers associated with Suboxone addiction, breathing problems are the most common. This medicine can depress the respiratory system, potentially leading to slow and shallow breathing. In severe cases, this could even result in respiratory depression, a life-threatening condition that demands immediate medical attention.

Hormone Problems

Teenage years are crucial for healthy growth and development, and Suboxone misuse can interfere with this process. The endocrine system may be negatively impacted, causing irregularities that could hinder physical and emotional maturation. Parents should remain vigilant for any physical changes or emotional imbalances in their teens.

Liver Damage

The liver plays a pivotal role in filtering toxins from the body. Misusing Suboxone, however, can lead to liver damage over time. Since teens’ bodies are still developing, their livers might be even more vulnerable to such harm. Monitoring liver function becomes imperative, as prolonged misuse could result in irreversible damage.

Abuse and Dependence

Teens are particularly susceptible to developing substance use disorder, and Suboxone is no exception. Even if initially taken as prescribed, teens can quickly develop a dependence on the medication, leading to a cycle of seeking higher doses or more frequent use. Breaking free from this cycle becomes increasingly challenging as addiction takes hold.

more than 9 million perscriptions of suboxone are written each year in the us

Teen Suboxone Addiction Recovery: Treatment Options

Effective treatment options are available to help them overcome Suboxone addiction. As parents, your support and guidance play a crucial role in their recovery journey. Let’s explore various treatment methods tailored to teens dealing with Suboxone addiction:

Medical Detox

Medical detox, usually the first step in treatment, involves supervised withdrawal under a doctor’s supervision. During this process, medical professionals carefully manage the physical withdrawal symptoms that can arise when discontinuing Suboxone. Medical detox ensures that your teen’s safety and well-being are a top priority as they navigate the challenging early stages of recovery.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab programs offer a well-organized and supportive environment for teens to recover from suboxone addiction. These programs provide 24/7 medical care, therapy sessions, and activities designed to address the physical and emotional aspects of addiction. Inpatient rehab allows teens to distance themselves from triggers and negative influences, fostering a focused recovery journey.


Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is an essential part of teen suboxone addiction treatment. Therapists work with your teen to uncover the origins of their addiction and develop healthy coping skills. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are commonly used approaches that help teens reshape their thoughts and behaviors.

Support Groups

Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), create a sense of community and belonging for teens in recovery. These groups provide a safe place for sharing experiences, challenges, and successes with others who understand their struggles. Support groups empower teens to build connections, learn from one another, and receive guidance from those who have successfully navigated similar situations.

71% of heroin users reported more than 90 days clean with suboxone

Get Help

If you’re suffering from suboxone addiction, getting help as early as possible is essential. Suboxone addiction is a severe illness that can lead to many problems. Getting help as early as possible can significantly improve your chances of recovery. Call us to get started with treatment.

Our resources are available to help you overcome your addiction with evidence-based therapies and innovative treatments proven by medical science to effectively manage your addiction. Our admissions counselors can help you learn more about the disease and how to keep it out of your life. Contact us confidentially today.

smiling female doctor

A Parent’s Love Knows No Bounds

Parenting a teen struggling with suboxone addiction can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Our dedicated teen rehab facility is here to guide your teen toward recovery. 

We understand the power of holistic healing, offering diverse therapeutic approaches. From individual counseling to family therapy, educational workshops, and creative outlets like art and music therapy, our programs are tailored to your teen’s unique needs.

Don’t wait – take action today. Your teen’s well-being is worth it. Reclaim their future from addiction’s grip. Call us at (845) 539-0834 today, and let us help you pave the way to a healthier, brighter tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Suboxone mostly used for?

Suboxone, a prescription drug, is used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). It helps by reducing withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings, making the recovery process more manageable. It contains buprenorphine and naloxone, which work together to support teens in overcoming opioid dependence.

Is Suboxone an opioid drug?

Yes, Suboxone is an opioid medication. It contains buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist. It means it activates the same opioid receptors in the brain that opioids like heroin and oxycodone do, but to a lesser extent. This helps in reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings during addiction recovery.

Is Suboxone the same as methadone?

No, Suboxone is not the same medicine as methadone. While both are used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs to treat opioid misuse and addiction, they are different medications. Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone, while methadone is a standalone opioid agonist. Healthcare professionals determine the best option based on the teen’s individual needs.

What are the potential side effects of using Suboxone?

Long-term use of Suboxone may lead to various possible side effects, as follows:

Nausea and vomiting
Headache and dizziness
Sweating and sleep disturbances
Irregular heartbeat
Low blood pressure
Difficulty breathing
Allergic reactions
Risk of overdose

By recognizing the potential effects, parents can better understand their teens’ challenges and provide the necessary support and guidance.

We're Here 24/7

Our admissions department is available 24/7 and happy to answer any questions you may have about our facility or treatment options.

Privacy Policy / Notice of Privacy Practices

Text us
                           Text us