Suboxone or Methadone – Which is Right for You?

There are some fundamental differences between Suboxone and Methadone which make them appropriate for different types of people. This article discusses some of those differences.

Suboxone or Methadone?

You can take a month’s supply of Suboxone home with you and when you decide to taper down your daily dosage and quit entirely, a Suboxone withdrawal period is considerably less uncomfortable than a methadone detoxification.
There are some fairly obvious advantages to Suboxone treatment, but methadone also has a long and proven history of efficacy. Will Suboxone help you maintain your recovery as well as methadone could?

Does Suboxone Work as Well as Methadone?

At the individual level, the answer is – that it depends.

Some people will respond better to Suboxone and others will find that methadone works better – it depends largely on the history and length of abuse.

Will Suboxone help you maintain your recovery as well as methadone could?

At the population level, some studies have found a very slight advantage in methadone treatment. Most studies find that both medications work very well.

People that are using more than $100 of heroin per day (or an equivalent amount of prescription opiates) will likely find that Suboxone provides insufficient relief from withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings, and should probably consider methadone as a better choice.

That being said, it is very easy to transfer from Suboxone to methadone, but difficult to switch from methadone to Suboxone (due to the metabolic half life) and so there is some advantage to trying Suboxone first, and switching to methadone if needed/desired.

Factors to Consider When Making a Choice between Methadone and Suboxone

Both medications work very well in keeping people from the abuse of opiates and so either medication is a good choice.

However, if you are eligible for Suboxone treatment (your doctor believes your daily consumption of opiates is not too high) then there are some advantages to using Suboxone first, such as:

  • You can take it at home – you don’t have to go to a clinic each day
  • Suboxone is a safer medication
  • The eventual detox off Suboxone is much easier than the withdrawal period from methadone
  • You can switch to methadone easily if required

However, if you are coming into treatment with a very heavy opiate habit, then methadone is a better choice. Suboxone, as a partial opiate agonist, has only a limited ability to block withdrawal symptoms and so won’t provide complete withdrawal symptoms relief to heavy opiate users.

Getting full symptoms relief is the most important thing, as people that don’t get complete relief from withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings are very likely to relapse back to illicit opiate use.

Choose the Right Medication

Both medications work very well and neither is ‘better’ than the other, it just depends on the situation.

To learn more about methadone and Suboxone, to find out which drug might work best for you or to find a clinic/Suboxone doctor in your area, call our friendly, helpful, and dedicated experts at 866-540-5242 at any time, day or night.

by McKayla Arnold