More Film Review: Suboxone Film vs Tablets

This week I had the first patients for whom I prescribed Suboxone  film report back to me. All but one of six patients preferred the film to the tablets.

The number one advantage of the films was the $75 discount coupon distributed by the drug manufacturer. The patients also said it dissolved much faster and therefore many said there was less saliva under their tongues. Several patients thought they got better absorption with the film for that reason.

The one patient who wanted to go back to the tablets said it wasn’t as convenient to dispose of the packaging for Suboxone film. Since she takes Suboxone for pain and addiction, she takes the medication several times per day. This means she takes one or two doses while at work. She has to be creative with the package disposal, so no one at work will see a discarded pouch and discover she’s on Suboxone.

Every patient said the films tasted better than the tablets. Most indicated that the improvement was significant.

I thought I’d post this feedback for the benefit of patients and their doctors who are considering a switch to the Suboxone film. The drug manufacturer’s discount cards are valid until March of 2011, and I think some of the patients will switch back to the tablets once that incentive is removed.


183 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shannon on December 2, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I would love to know if those same patients are still happy with their switch to the film. I am 29 and have been addicted to pain meds (oxycontin, fentynal, oxy- & hydrocodone) since I was 20. I have been on suboxone for a year and about 4 months, and I too switched to the film about 6 weeks ago. The first couple of weeks I really liked the convenience of them and they did seem to work better, although I cannot understand how anyone with functioning taste-buds could say they taste better. However, the films gradually seemed to become less potent and I’m not sure if they only felt stronger at first because it was something different. For example: when I took oxycontin daily I would actually feel higher if I took a percocet or vicodin, just because it wasn’t the same thing as usual. I have another theory as to why the films aren’t working as well, and it may sound ridiculous, but please hear me out. I have a really long tongue and if it’s behind my teeth, it can’t lay flat on the bottom of my mouth. I think that may have something to do with me producing more saliva than normal or just not being able to keep the film under my tongue. It will stick to it, but within the first minute or two, saliva mixes w/the film and moves all over my mouth, which causes the horrible taste, which causes me to produce even more saliva. I actually noticed a difference yesterday when I fell asleep for about 1/2 hr after placing the film under my tongue. When I woke up I could barely taste the film and felt better than I have recently. I’ve also started having dreams about taking painkillers again, which hasn’t happened since I began treatment on suboxone, but would often happen when I was on opiates and ran out or tried to quit on my own. I haven’t relapsed since I started treatment and am worried that the thought keeps working its way into my head. I quit after becoming a mother and would be completely devastated if I let my daughter and myself down. Sorry about the long comment, but any insight anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.


    • Posted by April Simonds on April 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      I have been on suboxone for 3 years. I was on the tablets up untill recently. My doctor put me on the films and at first I was ok with the idea.Once I started the films I have been noticing they dont seem to be as strong and im craving alot more and I never really did before.Not only that I was at like 8 to 10 mgs a day with the films im taking 24 mgs and still craving.Its hard because I was doing really well coming down off the tablets now I feel like im starting over and it will never end. The cravings are scary to.I had a routine every day with my meds and now after 2 months of being on the films im lost and depressed. So i kind of know where your coming from.


      • Posted by trisha on July 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm


      • Posted by sharon on July 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

        Because they have a protectible patent on the films. It’s about the money, iunfortunately.

    • Posted by Savannah R Wall on July 25, 2011 at 9:44 am

      I have been on suboxone for over a year and i started out taking the pill which I got from a friend and when I went to doc myself I got film. They did work great at first, but they didnt before the month was up and i had to take more meds to keep froming beiing sick therefore I ended up running out!! I am now back on the pills and only get two a day and some times i dont take that much but on the film i was on three a day and i made sure i took my three plus whatever else to keep the edge off.


      • “to keep the edge off.” I prefer my patients take exactly the same amount every day, once a day (assuming no pain issues). That’s because I’m trying to get them out of the mindset that every emotional blip means they need to take a drug. That’s part of the addiction. But if they have physical withdrawal symptoms every day, that probably does mean they need a dose increase. That shouldn’t fluctuate much from day to day.

        Real recovery means that we’ve learned to tolerate negative emotions, so that we can feel “the edge” and still be OK with that. Everyone has daily stresses, and active addiction only brings more of them. Psychological counseling, in whatever form it takes, gives tools to be at peace with life even when things aren’t going the way you think they should.

    • Posted by sammy on September 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

      i agree i love the Film.

      Im in Australia & as of sept 8th i have access to the Film now
      im on 4mg.planning to be off it in 4 weeks .Been on for 5 plus years !

      Im at a sth yarra chemist ,melbourne.
      I pushed my chemist to get it.

      Its so easy to absorb-dosent rot/decalcify my teeth cos absorbs me precisely, quicker.
      I feel empowered for once re reducing off it.
      Ive studied addiction quite a bit.

      My observations suboxone Film etc :

      The taste is slight chemical, the same as the tablet form in oz.
      Some pple are drama queens really.
      I mean compared to getting something like radiation treatment
      a little chemical taste in yr mouth for 2 mins is nothing.
      Harden up people .

      Some people dont like the Film cos they associate from their past addiction medication been in tablet form.
      Its exactly the same chemicals except in film/wafer form.

      n.b 2mg subox is equivalent to 10mg morphine .
      The film absorbs alot more of the chemical.

      I think often its it a conditioned /psychosomatic reaction cos its not a tablet for the people against it,

      Some people still get a high of taking a physical tablet.has been proven a myriad of times with general placebo tablet tests .

      Re delivery:the sachets are easy to open with instructions at top;,
      just fold hard at the dotted line and then rip with your hands or teeth or scissors
      down the side just a little.
      u dont need scissors if u have strong hands ,teeth!

      n.b: the sachets should have a poison/controlled substance warning on them–in oz we are just given the individual sachets not the actual labelled box.

      im sooo glad to get the Film, as i can cut the 2mg Films up easy
      with scissors at home when i get down to 1mg dosing -reducing soon.

      In Oz the smallest suboxone tablet is Reckitt brand 2mg & its a pain
      to cut up as its very crumbly.(is texture of Berocca- aerated )

      Im going to cut the 2mg strips in half then eventually quarters & i bought myself a small plastic pill container-u knw the ones with breakfast,lunch,dinner,bedtime on them .

      I then put the cut strips in container & put a small piece of cotton wool in the box to airtight the space
      Is great then i can go to work and just pop the 1mg or 1/4mg film into my mouth,no dramas.

      In Australia sadly alot of pple on suboxone some 40%,lie to to ther docts or chemists & divert, inject or snort their pillls so obviously their resisting the Film form.

      Also a few of these “people” sell the tablets blackmarket to i.v heroin users & jail
      imates for good $ –
      you apparently cant i.v / snort as easily with the with Film.
      So these pill dealers cant make as much money,

      Thkyou mr reckiit,the maker of subox film.
      I plan to off in 8weeks.ive been stuck on darn tabs for 5 years.ive made you enough money!
      it saved my live initially though.
      goodluck to all,sam


    • Posted by Sharon on October 24, 2011 at 1:44 am

      I’ve just started on the fim for 4 days now i’m taking 4 mg and i feel like i’m withdrawing, i don’t like them at all, i feel acky all over, hot and cold, sweatinh, uckly in the tommy, and i can’t think straight, i don’t feel the way i normally do when i have the 4 mg tablets, i will be going back to the tablets.



      • Posted by smallfry14 on January 12, 2014 at 12:18 am

        i have been on the film 8mg,they just switched me to the tablets same mg cause my insurance wouldnt pay for the strips for some reason anymore.i actually just got the tablets yesterday,i still have a strip left,so i have not tried the tablets yet.i think the strips have worked really well,do the pills work as well as the film does?i am araid they wont

      • They should work just as well.

      • Posted by smallfry on January 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm

        i took my first pill this morning,i kinda think it taste better than the film soon to tell if it works as well as the film does,or if it works.

      • Posted by smallfry on January 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm

        this is for,janaburso,your a doc,for this type of thing i i think you know what i am talking about,and you know what your talking you think there is a difference in the pills or film strips.the very first time i seen my doc,he said alot of his patients say the film is more affective.he does not even really prescribe the pill,or offer it.only reason he gave them to me is my insurance would not pay for the strips anymore after the first of the year.i would have to pay out of my own pocket if i stayed on strips,400 dollars.i use to pay 60 when they covered them.i guess it really doesnt matter if its the strips or the pills,just as lomg as they work.i was just use to the strips,and knew they worked

      • I really do think they are equal in their effect.

    • Posted by stacy verette on February 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      I too have gone through the exact same thing. I have bn on the fims for a while now and i have began to notice a change in the past few months. I never had the dreams either when i was on the tablets, nor did i feel as withdrawn. I am talking to my doc today regarding this matter because i have bn clean for 5 years and i feel like i want to use againg sometimes and never felt like that on tablets. It sucks…


      • Posted by Level on February 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

        The only difference between pill form and film is u can’t snort the film! I also like the pills better but I have my reasons, what are yours?

    • Posted by george on August 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      thats why im sticking with the tablets because i dont want to take that risk.. thank you and good luck.. George


  2. I find film much better,seemed stronger ,but I think because it absorbs better,once you get used to it,it might feel less strong,but it is still better,You lose alot with the pill I took pill for 2 yrs,now Im on second month of film. Ross


  3. Posted by John on January 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I have been on suboxone pills for 2 1/2 years. My Dr. told me it was a requirment that all patients have to be switched to film. Not all her patients but all patients everywhere. It is different than just popping a pill in mouth and it tastes stronger to me. I like the taste of the pills but the film seems to taste different (unpleasant) to me. As far as strength, I see NO difference.


    • Posted by Joseph on May 4, 2012 at 11:16 am

      This is bull ,I am writing this as of May 4th 2012 , I am on the sub pill form , My M.D.
      asked me if I have ever had a problem with Snorting or using I.v. i replied no … he looked in my nasal passages and arms and agreed and put me on the pill ..

      “I think”, Dr’s tell people this when they feel like these may be abused by the INDIVIDUAL patient . Also as they have serial numbers on each packet they feel the patient is less likely to sell as they have to bring the empty packets to pharmacy to re -up . Just my opinion however , but i do know they have pill form still as I currently take it …


  4. Posted by brenden on January 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Film is weaker i AM SURE OF IT. I have taken the film and then switched back to the sublingual. I get more out of 2mg of the pill then I do 4mg of the strip. I know that sounds impossible, but I’ve tested the theory. When I take 2mg of the strip, i find myself needing more by the end of the day. When I take 4mg of the strip in the morning, i Make it through the day and Im sort of hurting the next morning, 24hrslater. When I take 2mg of the pill, i go all down feeling great. and most days i wake up in the morning feeling like i dont even need anymore but i take 2mg anyways to stay on schedule. PILL FORM BETTER. STRIPS WERE STRONGER WHEN THEY FIRST CAME OUT. I STILL HAVE 18 strips from the first month they were out and when i cut a peice off those, it is noticabley stronger that the strips i have now. IMO


    • It’s so interesting to hear different patients’ descriptions of the relative strength of strip versus tablet forms of Suboxone. Of course, the drug rep from Reckitt Benckiser assures me the strips aren’t at all weaker than the tablets.

      I’ve had feedback now from about sixty patients who have tried the film. I estimate that around 75% like the strips better. The other 25% say the following: it sticks to their teeth, it’s ackward to get rid of the packaging if they dose while at work, it’s not as strong, it tastes worse than tablets. Lest some people think these patients are making excuses in order to keep getting the more easily divertable tablets, let me assure you that these patients are doing great in every other way. They have jobs, go to recovery meetings, have no unexpected results on drug testing, and do random pill counts without difficulty. I think they have legitamate reasons for preferring the tablets.


      • Posted by Jodi on January 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm

        I am 35 year old mother of three wonderful kids and I have been addicted to pain pills ( vicodin ) for about 8 years. It started when I was really sick one time and my mom eho had the best intentions started giving me one darvocet after the other and I found myself not functioning like normal without them in no time. I suffer from severe headsches and when I had one she then started to give me vics because of her back problems her Doc gave them to her so she always had them and long story short next I Knew I couldnt get up in the morning without first taking a vic. My mom kept me supplied because she jated to see me sick and sadly she passed away a year and half ago and she was my world iv just not handled losing her well but also iv not had her vics to fall back on which is a small problem compared to not having her here I miss her so much. A friend of a friend introduced me to subutex shortly after and she was given alot of them at a time so she gave them to me so i took about a half og an 8mg daily until the past week she and I had an argument and now im not getting them from her. Another person I know gets suboxine which I would rather jabe subutex but they have been giving me a suboxine here and there but im in bed sick every other day and its taking a toll on me and my poor kids who just want me ok and im trying to find help.. I need to know how does a person like me without any insurance get a Dr that will see me and give me my own script so maybe I can take sub on a normal dosage and try to get myself where im not addicted? Any advice would be great… Thanks, jodi

      • There’s no easy way out of opioid addiction. You’ll need to be willing to do the work of recovery.

        First, go to either of the following websites: or and get a list of doctors who prescribe Suboxone in your area. Start calling them, and find out what it takes to get started. Many, if not most, will want payment upfront, before the first visit. (My office lost a bundle before we started doing this) If you have Medicaid, they may pay for your treatment. Compare prices, and ask how much the initial fee includes. Is it just for the doctor’s visit, or does it include drug screening, blood tests, or counseling? Pick the one that sounds the best to you.

        If you can’t afford any Suboxone treatment, you have another option. In fact, even if you get on Suboxone, it’s a good idea. Both Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous are free, can be found in nearly every town, and have worked for millions of people worldwide. I’ve met many recovering opioid addicts in the rooms of both 12-step programs. I’m not sure there’s a central website for AA meetings, but for NA go to and you can put your zipcode into the meeting search, and find meetings closest to you.

        Go to a meeting, tell people you are new, and ask for help. And take the suggestions offered.

        and please let us know how you’re doing.

      • Posted by Karl on February 11, 2011 at 2:37 am

        This is a reply to Jodi. I had no insurance and still don’t have insurance. I have been on suboxone for 6 months and the cost has been taking a toll on me. However if you are serious about getting treatment then beg, borrow or steal the initial $200 you need for the doctor and then get your prescription partially filled. I couldn’t afford paying for a 30 day supply so in Pa. you can get partials. Any amount you want when your paying cash. So even if you have to go and buy a couple days supply at a time. Do what ever it takes to get on suboxone. It is the best solution for getting off opiates. Agree you will have to eventually get off suboxone but with the doctors help weaning you off when ready is allot better than what you are doing now. Call you pharmacy and ask them about there policy regarding partials and cash vs insurance. Good luck. Your a good mother.

      • Janaburson,

        Can you please explain to me how the pills are more divertable than the film? Given that all outpatients in the US are given their doses to take home, I simply cannot understand how the film is harder to divert? It is equally convenient to exchange a packet of film for money as a tablet. Even in countries like the UK and Australia, most patients can eventually take-home a large proportion of their doses.

        I’m sure Reckitt has chosen not to disclose to the prescribing doctors that Suboxone Film is actually much easier to inject than Suboxone tablets. As the film is easier to dissolve, requires much less volume of water, and lacks the binders and impurities of the tablets that are difficult to filter, the film is actually much preferred over the tablets by those that inject their Suboxone. I cannot understand how doctors could not predict this outcome?

        I highly doubt that the medical profession would not be as impressionable towards car salespeople as they have been towards Reckitt’s reps.


      • Very good question!
        When I asked the RB drug rep that question, she says it’s because each packet containing the film is numbered. I think she said that each box of films has the same number. When doctors ask their patients to go for random pill counts, it’s obvious they’ve diverted if they return to the pharmacy with empty packets or packets with the wrong numbers. With pills, you could buy back some pills and no one would know the difference. That’s their line of reasoning.
        I think the films maybe are a little bit more difficult to divert, but of course it’s not impossible. Clever addicts have already seen how they can get around this problem. And the other trouble is that not too many doctors require pill/film counts. I do them, and have had problems with only two patients. Neither was doing all that well in recovery anyway and I’d suspected something wasn’t right with them.
        As for injecting, addicts writing in to this blog have made it very clear that both the film and the pill can be injected in some peoople. Why they don’t feel withdrawal….I can’t answer.

      • Posted by sammy on September 13, 2011 at 4:53 am

        Janab, have u thought that it might be a habitual,psych reasons people dont like the film?
        or perhaps do you think the actual fillers dont agree with some people?.aWhat Are the new fillers in subx film? I like to know what im ingesting.(will look on Reckitt website another time.)
        i suppose the film material would be a vegetable/starch based gum or such.
        and glues the subx to the film?

        Re: General medication:

        “a tablet” or “a pill” is such a powerful historically loaded symbol.
        mothers little helper….

        Off topic; can u cite or link some interesting documented experiments on the
        power of placebos.

        Generally speaking,just look at they way young people chew up Panadol/ibuprofen etc ,just for a minor headaches-is crazy.

        People with Real,chronic pain must shake their heads at this
        neurotic behaviour……if only they knew real pain…

        One example of many : i remember another forum, was this poor distressed lady with social phobia that was on 5 different antidepressants at once,from same doctor-thats insane.

        luck to all.keep sharing.

      • Posted by ChadCR on May 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm

        “As for injecting, addicts writing in to this blog have made it very clear that both the film and the pill can be injected in some peoople. Why they don’t feel withdrawal….I can’t answer.”

        First things first, let me be clear that I mean ABSOLUTELY no disrespect toward you or your practice. On the contrary, I am thankful every day for people like you who devote a significant part of their lives toward helping people deal with opiate addiction. I cannot understate how much of a blessing Suboxone has been for me with my addiction.. I’ve held down a full time job at a hospital for going on two years now, I have my own car, my own apartment and I hold myself and only myself responsible for any and all of my actions and/or decisions in life.

        However, I feel like doctors who legally licensed to prescribe this drug should be more well educated on how it works. Instead, I feel like most doctors base all their information on the 15 minute schpiel the drug-rep’s give doctors in an attempt to get them to prescribe this med.

        You stated in the quote above, that you are unsure why people don’t get withdrawal after injecting Suboxone.

        First let me be clear; ANYONE and everyone can inject Suboxone (buprenorphine: naloxone formulation) so long as they do NOT have any full opiate agonists in their system. What causes precipitated withdrawals is when somebody has a full agonist opiate clinging to their opiod receptors, and then they take suboxone. Because Suboxone has a much higher binding affinity than normal opiate agonists, it will out-compete the full agonist (heroin, morphine whatever) at the receptor site EACH and EVERY time. Essentially the full opiate agonist clinging to your opiate receptors gets pushed off the receptor sites by the buprenorphine, causing withdrawal.

        This has absolutely NOTHING to do with naloxone. The Naloxone in Suboxone is added in such a ratio that it will have NO effect, no matter if you are taking one strip or three strips. It is not the Naloxone sending people into precipitated withdrawals, it is the buprenorphine out-competing any full opiate agonists and taking over the receptor sites due to its extremely high binding affinity. So long as no full agonists are in the body, anyone can inject Suboxone without being sent into precipitated withdrawals.. That not to say there are no other ill-effects from IV’ing Suboxone (as there are MANY), but precip’d withdraws are not one of them.

        The only reason Naloxone was added to Buprenorphine (in the ratio that it is), is because the drug company needed a way to keep the patent alive and maintain their exclusive sales/distribution of this formulation (which is ridiculously overpriced).

        Doctors that are prescribing this drug NEED to be aware how it works. Do the research on your own… don’t believe everything the drug-reps try to sell you on.. This is all basic information regarding buprenorphine maintenance and it scares me to think the doctors LEGALLY LICENSED to prescribe these meds are unaware of their course of action.

        For the record, I take my Suboxone as directed. My knowledge on the subject comes mostly from the internet, and there is certainly no shortage of this knowledge out there.. I would however like to see doctors taking the initiative to THOROUGHLY educate themselves on what they are prescribing, and just how exactly that the drugs work.

        Thanks for all you do, Doc.

        Have a great evening all, be strong, and work a solid program. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us 🙂

      • Thanks for writing. many if not most people do get withdral from IV suboxone if they have been using only buprenorphine. Though as some readers have pointed out, the withdrawal doesn’t last as long as the effect of the buprenorphine, since buprenorphine has a longer duration of action than the naloxone. We haven’t seen the numbers of people injecting suboxone in this country as with buprenorphine tablets in other countries, like France and Scotland, where there was no naloxone in it.

        Suboxone 8mg tab or film has 2mg of naloxone in it. The average dose of Narcan required to reverse an opioid overdose is .4mg, so there is a good dose of naloxone in the films/tabs.

        Actually, Suboxone/Subutex is the only medication that I know of that requires doctors to take an 8 hour training course and obtain a special license and petition the government in order to be able to prescribe it.

        I’m impressed by the variety of experiences readers describe with buprenorphine alone, and buprenorphine in combo with naloxone. It’s become apparent to me that buprenorphine is more abusable than the drug company says. This blog has educated me in many ways. All I can say is that patients are very different.

  5. Posted by Roberta on January 13, 2011 at 2:28 am

    I have been on the suboxone pill for 31/2 years. In two weeks, I start on the film. I am having mixed feelings about the film. I hear people talk about the film, i get the same comments as here. I will let you know how I feel about it then. What I do see is the ones selling thier pills are the ones that complain. I’m not saying everyone that complains are selling, but the ones I’ve talked to are. The others that are doing what they should seem to be as happy with the films. I do know that sometimes the pills seem weak at times also.


    • Posted by sammy on September 13, 2011 at 8:12 am

      Yes, judging by net chatter,is harder for people who buy blackmarket subox to inject,snort the Film.So there screaming at there suppliers to get tablets again.

      I read a topic heading when searching sub film where pple are actually trying to
      dissolve the Film then snort it up their noses! I hope their eyes turn orange.

      Mind you these are the type of people who inject,snort Valium and Xanax.
      Insane in the membrane.

      Because of idiots like this in Australia subx is tightly restricted.(have to go chemist minimum twice a week to pick up doses).

      If we want to travel overseas, we can only get max 8-10 days takeway supply.
      I went to a health retreat in Bali & could only travel for 10 days.
      Im very lucky i didnt get BaliBelly (the common severe gastro there)
      Then i wouldve been stuffed.
      Imagine if you had to go to family funeral o/s-makes it tough.


  6. Posted by JB on January 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I have been sober for almost 10 years, and have been taking 8MG of Suboxone Tablets since they came out. Recently my insurance company switched me to Film. The first two days, everything seemed ok, but then, on day 3, I started to feel like a had a cold – and I thought I did. Then day 4, started to have lower back ache, watery eyes, and couldn’t sleep. Finally, I took another 4mg of film, and everything went away. So, the potency does not equal that of tablets. Why? I don’t know, but I read on another website that their claim that patients “prefer” it over tablets, is suspect. Based on my experience – I say emphatically, I prefer tablets, merely because I can take my prescribed amount. Now, if they keep me on film, I’ll have to increase to 12 or 16mg – and I’ve NEVER taken that much in tablet form. They need to do more testing – or maybe we are the trial participants. Fun.


    • Posted by Styles Loophole on July 4, 2012 at 1:29 am

      Simply not true. If you use the film properly there should be no problems. Actually should be better. Cut the film in half and carefully use a magnifying mirror on a stand even with your face. Your veins should look huge in the mag mirror. Carefully roll tongue to one side with one hand and lays the half piece on the largest vein you can see. Wait a minute, and then place the other half of the film on the other side of your


  7. Posted by bobbyr on January 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I have been on suboxone tablets for 4 yrs. they switched me to film. I enjoy the film better for some reason it seems a little stronger and the reason being i don’t think you lose any in your saliva you get the full shot .also if you want to cut it in half it is easier .I take 16mg a day but what i have been doing is cutting my film in half and doing that twice a day . for me their is a psycological issue. in march i am starting to wean off this medication i hope it is the right choice because for me i don’t if i am using the subs. for a crutch just to use more opiates.


    • Posted by Krystle on July 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      I am also on 16mg of suboxone a day just got switched to the films, I used to take mine split up 8mg in the am and 8mg in the pm I thought that was working just fine but then I recently changed docs and was told their is zero evidence that taking your meds at different times has any greater effect than taking whole dose at once! They say that part of addictive behavior is reaching for a pill every time you feel the need, he said that they are trying to get people out of that mind set so dosing once a day is more logical! I am having trouble with this I find my self still dosing several times a day I have yet to try all 16mg at once and seeing if it lasts the whole day, have you? I have been on suboxone sine April 2005 and am scared at the thought of trying to get off them I have lived my whole life around addicts and then being an addict, so I know no other way! All the good things that have happened to me the birth of my daughter, my great relationship all these good memories happened while on suboxone so for me it is more than a crutch, it’s my life! Don’t want to be on them for ever but I am scared for life without them! Any body else have these feelings?


      • Hi Krystle,
        For the purposes of treating addiction, it’s best to take Suboxone once per day, even if you are on multiple films or tablets. Your doctor is right – it’s better to only have to think about it once per day. The opioid blocking effect lasts longer than 36hrs in most people.
        But for my patients who also have chronic pain, I do advise splitting the dose into two or three time per day, because the anti-pain effect of each dose lasts about 6 hours, unlike the anti-withdrawal effect.

        Some patients decide to stay on Suboxone indefinitely. You can read the blog post of an interview I did with a patient who decides to take Suboxone every day just like he would take blood pressure medication. Is Suboxone a crutch? That depends on how you view it.

        I have to wear glasses (or contacts) to see much of anything. I heard an ad on the radio for a “new” technique to teach people to do without their glasses, to stop using them as a crutch. The ad to say the eyes got “lazy” from wearing glasses and you should be able to train yourself to have good vision and be strong enough to do away with glasses. The people who placed the ad can help, of course, for a price.

        That sounds silly to me, since I know the real problem is that my eyeballs are too long, bringing the focal point to an area beyond my retina. . Lenses focus the image on the right area of the retina. It’s physics. There’s no way to will my eyes to be different. Yet obviously the people writing the ad felt people who were glasses are using a crutch. Well, maybe I am…but it dramatically improves my life so why not?

        Most want to taper off at some point. If you get treatment for the psychological part of addiction, you may wish to try a slow taper when you feel you’re ready. If you don’t feel ready then you probably aren’t. But the taper will go better if it’s extended over four to six months.

  8. Posted by Steve on January 29, 2011 at 2:04 am

    The film is a joke ! Not even close. Also, tapering is much easier on the pills. It takes twice as much film to get the same affect. This is a fact, as I have both and tried many experiments. The pills are superior in EVERY way ! Don’t let the joke be on you, demand the pill form or you will never be able to taper.
    I have finished a pill taper without much trouble, but after a recent relapse I tried to taper off the film. NO DICE. If you are tapering you will need the pills, I promise.


    • Posted by marie on February 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      its all in your head. the doseage is EXACTLY the same for the tablets and the strips. the brain of an addict does crazy things…


      • Posted by nonya_biz on June 19, 2011 at 7:51 am

        the dosage my be the same on the film versus the tablet, but there is a difference in the bioavailability of each delivery method.

        dont be so quick to dismiss what an addict says as ‘the drugs talking’. instead, realize that addicts are people too and they can tell when things are not right with their body. as a suboxone patient that has utilized both the strips and the pills (i was a patient for the FDA trials of both the pill and the strip), i can tell you that the strip is much less efficient at delivering the drug to your receptors.

        your attitude is indicative of people that know nothing of addiction. your quick to blame the addict without having any first hand knowledge to base your incorrect assumptions on. in the end, your ignorance is a disservice to the entire therapeutic process and will only hinder the recovery for those you want to see get better. compassion, not skepticism, helps addiction.

    • Posted by Karl on February 11, 2011 at 2:51 am

      I can say the pills have taken a toll on my gut. I don’t care how careful you are it gets down your esophagus and causes heartburn to no end. I just requested the film and am anxious to see how it works. My doctor tried to talk me out of the film because he thinks the bad taste and nasty crap when dissolving is a deterrent and will easier to taper off of than the film. I think that is a little old school however he may have a point. I was tired of having to sit with my head held forward so the saliva doesn’t go down my throat. I just took my first dose of film and can say it worked well, no garbage to dissolve, orange taste wasn’t over powering like the pills. We’ll see.


    • Posted by Mike on September 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      It maybe a joke to you but everyone’s chemistry is different. The plasma levels of the film are more greater because of better absorption. Do your homework


  9. Posted by danielb on February 10, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    man…. idont know about the film. i was on 16 mgs pill a day for about a year. then switched to film so i could use that coupon. i cant tell a diff. on strength. they are the same to me. however i always seem to get the film stuck to the back of my front teeth. when i try and position it correctly i end up gettin it stuck all in the backs of my back teeth. when it happens my mind gets to thinking…shit now its not gonna work right for me and end up taking more. i have came down from 24 mgs to 8 mg a day but i find myself taking 12 mg about every 3 days. idk why. those days i feel like i need them. my legs ache awefully. i need to get off this shit bcuz its way to expensive i have no insurence. im paying close to 1000 a month on dr and meds. any advice would b great. i know nobody that takes this stuff. b4 suboxone i was on 85 mg’s of methadone for a year and a half. and one more ?. how come somedays when i take my normal dose, i feel as if im a little high. but normally it doesnt happen only once and a while.


    • I’m going to copy and paste what I’ve already said to another person wanting to become completely drug free. It’s not easy, and you have to do the work of recovery. But the rewards are wonderful – you get freedom. this is what I’ve said:

      If you can’t afford any Suboxone treatment, you have another option. Both Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous are free, can be found in nearly every town, and have worked for millions of people worldwide. I’ve met many recovering opioid addicts in the rooms of both 12-step programs. They are happy and completely opioid-free. I’m not sure there’s a central website for AA meetings, but for NA go to and you can put your zipcode into the meeting search, and find meetings closest to you.

      Go to a meeting, tell people you are new, and ask for help. And take the suggestions offered.

      and please let us know how you’re doing.


      • Posted by elliot on April 10, 2011 at 9:27 am

        I know quite a number of addicts who can not stand the “rooms” and have done well on medication alone. It is very difficult to kick by going to 12 step meetings and it is a set up for failure. Most 12 steppers do not advocate the use of Suboxone-they want a person to go cold-turkey (or with God or some “higher-power”). NA has a less than 5 percent recovery rate in any case . . . Much less than that for those 5 years into the program. It is much too easy to push 12 steps on people if you have never taken part in such programs.

      • The most successful patients I have are on Suboxone and enthusiastically participating in 12-step groups. By successful, I mean they are happy or at least content with their lives, not using any other drugs, and living a productive life.

        Have you gone to Narcotics Anonymous and asked around to see if any members are in recovery from opioid addiction? Since it’s an anonymous group, there’s obviously a limit to how much information can be obtained from these groups in a formal study, but most addicts will talk openly with you if you ask them, as long as it’s before or after the meeting. Drug of choice usually isn’t a part of a good meeting.

        I think AA looks at medications as an “outside issue” and they don’t take a stance. NA has published a pamphlet that says they do advocate complete abstinence from all drugs, but that people on methadone or Suboxone are still welcome to come to their groups.

        I doubt the accuracy of that 5% recovery rate. Statistics can be slippery when used in the wrong way. If you are counting how many people are successful out of all the people who ever attended one meeting, that could be right. I’d be more interested in the success rate for people who go with the intention of really doing who the 12-step program asks, like 90 meetings in 90 days, get a sponsor & use the sponsor, do service work, etc. People who do those things are going to be a different crowd than those who go once because they want to be able to criticize the 12-step program. The available literature clearly shows that 12-step recovery is as effective as relatively intense individual one-on-one counseling.

        I personally believe it’s not the only path to recovery, and not right for everyone. But it is one path to recovery, and millions have walked the path successfully.

        Just taking medication like methadone or Suboxone can help people immensely, and can be life-saving. That’s why I prescribe these meds. But taking medication is not the same thing as being in recovery. The disease isn’t just physical. There are almost always emotional, mental, even spiritual aspects to the disease of addiction. The medication is only treating part of the disease. By the way, I think that’s true for most chronic diseases.

        By the way, what makes you think I’ve never taken part in such programs?

      • Posted by Elliot on April 18, 2011 at 7:24 am

        I figured you did not participate in NA because I assumed that you are not a recovering opiate addict, but I could be wrong. I don’t know any other way that you could legitamitely participate in NA.

        I certainly agree that there are alternative ways for people to recover, and after some 200 NA meetings, I feel qualified to say that NA, or other 12 step programs, are definitely not for everyone. Unfortunately, 12 steps are widely touted as the “Gold Standard” for recovery, especially by the medical establishment. Too many people have been steered down that path, only to return to drug use as a result of feeling so alienated at the meetings. And while NA states that it tolerates the use of methadone and suboxone, it is greatly frowned upon and users are often made to feel unwelcome. As are atheists.
        I am not sure why you are interested only in statistics of those who are able do 90 meetings in 90 days, get a sponsor, etc. There are many addicts who can not get anywhere close to that, feeling compelled to drop out long before that. To play devil’s advocate, Why not measure statistics for those who are able to get a one year chip??? That certainly shows determination . . .

        Supposedly, Scientology has an even better “recovery” rate, but one doesn’t hear too much about that.

        On a separate note, Do you have any intention of reporting to the manufacturer of Suboxone film that so many people find the film strips to be weaker than the tablets ?? It certainly is interesting given the official information. Perhaps patients should be reporting their experiences directly to the FDA ??

      • Dear Elliot,
        Addiction treatment outcomes, with counseling, are dose related. More treatment = better outcomes, in study after study. That’s the reason I’d prefer to see statistics for people who go to 90 meetings in 90 days rather than for people who go to two meetings per week. The “dose” probably isn’t high enough.

        There’s not much information about Narcotics Anonymous, but studies of AA’s effectiveness have been conducted since 1945. A metanalysis of thirty-three studies, done from 1945 until 1990, shows a positive association between the frequency of AA meetings attended by an alcoholic and increased abstinence from alcohol. In other words, an overall summary of these studies shows that the more AA meetings attended, the more likely the alcoholic stayed sober. (1) However, there were two of the thirty-three studies that showed a negative association, meaning that more AA meetings was associated with less time of sobriety. At times, organizations that oppose Alcoholics Anonymous quote one of these two studies and give no information about the other twenty- nine studies.

        Of course, it may be that alcoholics who are more motivated to stay sober go to more AA meetings, and the number of meetings attended was thus a marker of commitment to sobriety. Was it the degree of motivation of the person, rather than the AA program, that produced the better outcomes? Later studies done in the 1990s controlled for the degree of personal motivation and still showed a positive correlation between number of meetings attended and sobriety. (2)

        Later studies looked not at the number of AA meetings attended, but rather the degree of involvement of alcoholics in the AA program. Several studies showed that the degree of involvement was a more important determinant of length of time of abstinence from alcohol than just the number of meetings attended. Multiple studies, looking at outcomes other than abstinence from alcohol, have found that AA attendance was also associated with emotional well-being, serenity, and finding purpose in life. (1)

        If you took a blood pressure pill twice a week, you’ll have worse outcome for your blood pressure than if you took the medication every day.

        OK, maybe that’s a bit simplistic and not a perfect analogy, but you get my drift.

        I don’t think it has to be 12-step. I think other organizations, like LifeRing, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, or Celebrate Recovery probably have similar results. But they there aren’t as many meetings of these groups, and that makes them more difficult to study.

        1. Tonigan, J. Scott, “Alcoholics Anonymous Outcomes and Benefits,” in Recent Developments in Alcoholics, Volume 18, Research on Alcoholics Anonymous and Spirituality in Addiction Recovery, edited by Marc Galanter and Lee Ann Kaskutas. P 357-372.
        2. McKeller J, Stewart E., Humphreys k, “Alcoholics Anonymous and positive alcohol-related outcomes: cause, consequence, or just a correlate?” Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2003, April, 71 (2) p 302-308.

      • As for the question if I am a recovering addict: The Eleventh Tradition of AA, and NA, says: “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion. We need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”

        The internet with blogs hadn’t been invented back then, but I’m pretty sure the spirit of this Tradition would be in favor of anonymity.

        That’s why even if I were in recovery, I wouldn’t say so at this level. I’ve given good reviews to books on this website written by people who for all practical purposes violate this tradition. They say they are in “a 12-step group” but don’t say which one, which seems a distinction witout a difference. But that’s their choice and I honor it. The books they’ve written can help a bunch of people.

        For myself, I wonder: if I were in recovery myself, would it make a difference in what I say on this blog? Would that give me more credibility? Or less? Would the focus be more on me than on the information I present? Or if I am in recovery and don’t reveal that, is it misleading people in some way? Shouldn’t I let everyone know my biases? Is it anyone’s business?

        I don’t know the answers to these questions. I do know that we’ve seen people, mostly celebrities, break their anonymity and tell the world they are a member of NA or AA. Then they relapse, and it may damage the reputation of NA or AA. Or it may make it harder for that person to get back into recovery, due to misplaced pride. In the case of celebrities, they probably never had any anonymity in addiction anyway, and the press maybe broke their anonymity about recovery. But I think that kind of announcement has the potential to hurt both the recovering addict and NA, if a relapse occurs.

        So at the risk of sounding like I belong in a cliched spy movie: “I can neither confirm nor deny.” And yes, that is a bit of a cop out, since I’m the one that brought it up in the first place.

      • Ok janaburson I am in recovery and it is not breaking any anonymity by stating that, however, if I were to say that “Sheila” over there is in AA because I seen her there, now that is breaking tradition of anonymity. Meetings are meant to vent, meet other recovering people and tofind out they stay sober one day at a time, not to keep track of who said what when and where. We all have different stories and have different lives, there is no right or wrong way to do it except to do it like I said one day at a time, if it keeps you sober and content then so be it . There is no score book no one keeps track how many times you have relapsed or gotten sober. What matters is that you keep moving forward and don’t give up. But I mainly feel that if you were an addict/alcohic you wood say so Jana

      • No, actually that’s the twelfth tradition that says you shouldn’t tell other people who is in recovery. The eleventh specifically says we “Need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and film.” I’m not in any danger of being on film, or even the radio for that matter, but I think blogs are a kind of press.

  10. Posted by Karl on February 11, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Can anyone direct me to some very good NA online chat sites? I am having trouble finding them.


    • Posted by Mayerstein on February 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      The whole idea with NA is to go to live meetings. When I went to NA I tried to find online meetings and could not because they want you to physically interact with other recovering addicts. NA wasn’t for me, but I did find a killer Suboxone online support at Awesome people, live chat, message boards, tons of advice. Highly recommended to all, even those considering to go on sub. Check it out!


  11. Posted by nohopeindope on February 13, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I’ve been abusing and addicted to every opiate in the book.It all started when I was around 15 (I’m now 27)and I went to the dentist to have a tooth extracted and he prescribed me vicoprofen and I loved the high so much I use to steal and beg my G’Ma (may god bless her soul) for her meds.It went from 2 at a time to where I wouldn’t even get out of my bed unless I had 5-10 L10s and they just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, so from hydrocodone I went onto methadone,oxycontin and dilaudid from snorting then eventually shooting.Then I was introduced to heroin, it was everywhere in New Orleans where I originally lived till katrina doing a few hundred dollars a day of any kind of opiate I can get my hands on. Katrina and suboxone pretty much saved my life.well to get to the point I started suboxone 3yrs ago I was prescribed 3 pills a day. Instead of putting all 3 of them nasty pills in my mouth at once I only put 1 in and told myself that I would put the next 1 in after that, but that 1 worked for me I didn’t need 3 so I was taking 1 a day for about a year. Then 1 day I was running low because I was helping a family member out and I only had 2 for the whole week, so I was reading some stuff online about subs and I decided to snort 1/4 of a sub pill and snorting that 1/4 worked better then me taking a whole pill. it didn’t seem to last as long tho, so I have been snorting 1/4 a pill a day doing 1/8 in the morning and the other 1/8 that evening and it was like I got addicted to snorting it.It was ridiculous I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t go back to taking it sublingually. It started making my nose clog really bad where I couldn’t breathe without nasal spray and it started making my chest and back hurt, and I believe it was from the crushed suboxone dust went into my lungs and from doing it for so long it just started messing with me.well I got tired of snorting them.I do agree with that snorting them works better, but it causes nasal and breathing problems.well I finally got tired of it and today when I went to the Doc I got switched to the film.I didnt have a chance to try them yet because I had 1/4 of a tablet left today,but tommorrow I do plan to see how they work and I don’t plan on going back to the tablets even if the film doesn’t work as good, if I have to take more I just have to take more. And I refuse to go back to being a junkie.Thank You suboxone for saving my life and Thank You Hurricane Katrina for getting me the hell out of New Orleans.Oh yea another thing is that I do live with pain everyday of my life from a major vehicle accident that left me with 4 broken ribs a broken nose a fractured vertabrae and a fractured frontal sinus cavity that left me with plates in my head and I live with back pain and severe headaches everyday, but I also believe that the suboxone causes some headaches to and I’ve read alot that the naloxone in the suboxone can cause headaches.Even living with the pain that I have I refuse to go back to opiates even though the subs doesn’t help with any of my pain, that’s why I don’t get why they prescribe it for pain.I’m sorry for running on and writing so much.


    • Posted by Mayerstein on February 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      The naloxone doesn’t absorb into your system if taken sublingually. I’m sure if you were/are snorting it ( which considering your sinus issue is an incredibly bad idea, but not a smart idea for anyone) I would assume the naloxone would make it into your system, giving you headaches. I’ve been on and off of sub for 5 years now ( back and forth due to more and more surgeries) and I’ve never gotten a headache from it. I do suffer from migraines and do get opiate headaches if I take too much dilaudid or oxy.


  12. Posted by Unknown on March 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I have been taking suboxone tabs for about a year and now have switched to the sublingual films as well and I, too, am SURE that the films aren’t as strong. When I take 2 mg of the pill, it works great but when I take 2 mg of the film, i don’t feel it working at all so I take more- up to 4 mg and THEN I finally feel it work. I DO NOT think the potency is the same. I wish the film worked as well as the pills did for me. I don’t like the change…it’s not working for me.


  13. Posted by Unknown on March 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    i WISH it was all in my head..and if it was ALL IN OUR HEADS why do a majority of us feel the same?


  14. After being on Sub tabs for about 2 years, my insurance switched me to the film. Because I take 2mg four times a day, I have to cut the 8 mg strips every day, which is a hassle because the 2 mg strips are rarely available to my pharmacy. Like some of you, I noticed that the film is slowly losing it’s potency. I have to have more just to feel normal. I’m 100% certain that if you cannot just sit and allow the film to dissolve for a good 15-20 mins, with a closed mouth and no talking, the medication does not absorb into your body the way it should. (Therefore, you don’t feel as well as you should on your usual dose…making you feel like you need more). Also, I have Gilbert’s Syndrome, which is a syndrome that causes high liver enzymes, and when I was on the tabs, my enzymes were fine, but now that I’m on the film, I have frequent liver pain attacks and my enzymes are more elevated. There is no doubt in my mind that the film is imperfect and not as beneficial as the tabs. Quite frankly, I feel like a guinea pig. I can deal with the awful taste of the film, which is much more harsh than the tabs. The film tastes like poison, in my opinion, as opposed to the tablets tasting more like candy.


  15. Posted by film hater on March 15, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I have to agree with the people that are saying the film is weaker. When I was taking the tabs I never went over 4mgs/day, now I take at least 8mgs of the film. I am demanding to be switched to the generic subutex, as 14 of them at Walgreens is only $65, which is less than $5/pill, compared to the $8-$12 I get charged for the suboxone tabs. I have been on the patient assistance program and it runs out in August, so I get my films for free. And I’d rather pay for the generics than get free films. They aren’t what they are made out to be.


  16. Posted by film hater on March 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    And being the fact this blog is run by a Dr who rx’s suboxone, I’d like to know if you’ve done a drug analysis on the Suboxone tabs and the films and compare the amount of buprenorphine in them. I am curious as to why I always feel like I have to take more. I don’t know if it’s a dependence issue because they are in fact stronger and get you hooked quicker, or if they are indeed weaker than the tabs. That I would like to know, kind sir.


    • Dear Film Hater,
      Nope, no answers for you here. The drug company says the tabs and film deliver exactly the same amount of medication. I can’t explain why so many people say the tabs are stronger, or the films are stronger (I’ve heard both).

      That’s the only answer I have for you, kind ma’am.


  17. Posted by Tippy on March 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I have been on suboxone pill for one year and five months. I have just switched over to the film because I was fortunate to qualify for a program where the Suboxone company is paying for my medicine for one year. At the beginning of March, without warning, they will only pay for film from now on. I have been on the film since the first of March. I feel like crap. I’m having headaches and just ache all over my body. Not good. Don’t know what to do. I may have to suck it up and start buying my meds again. I was perfectly happy with the pills. Any advice???


  18. Posted by joe on March 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I definitely feel the gel tab are weaker. I am scared because I can’t afford the pills and must go through the Patient Assistance Program.


  19. Posted by elliot on April 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I also prefer the pills and believe they are more effective/stronger. Given so many reports of patients preferring the pills to the film, how does the Dr. feel about this now?


    • The doctor feels…uncertain.

      The drug company says film and tabs provide the same blood level. I’m sure they had to prove this in order to get the film approved.

      But I’ve had a number of patients say they didn’t feel as well on the film. At first, I prescribed whatever the patient preferred. Now, I’m more cautious.

      Having this blog has really opened my eyes to the number of people who misuse the tabs. I don’t post all of the comments from addicts who write in about how, exactly, they misuse the Suboxone tablets, because that’s more appropriate to a website for addicts, not for those seeking recovery. But I’ve posted enough of them so that readers can see the tabs are being misused.

      Then on the other hand, I’ve had people writing in to describe how they misuse the films too.

      I remain…uncertain. But I can say I’m much more selective about who I’ll accept as a new Suboxone patient. If the person has a relatively unstable lifestyle with multiple drugs of abuse, I’m much more likely to refer him to a methadone clinic, at least until he’s made progress in recovery. Now I prefer getting patients who have been stable at their methadone clinics, are tapering their dose, and want to change to Suboxone. It seems these patients do much better. Most of those patients have progressed in recovery to the point they know that using drugs isn’t what they want out of life, and have already made changes to support their recovery.


      • Posted by elliot on April 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm

        Do you beieve that the majority of those espousing a preference for tablets are actually seeking to obtain them for misuse? It is certainly not that way with this patient, and I can, without a doubt, say that the tablets are preferable. It should be noted that the tablets are now available as generic, so I don’t see why so many people would contrive a preference when they can simply get the generic version, or even the brand name, if that is what they want. Given my own experience, I am taking these patients stated experiences at face value. I think that the drug is, for some strange reason, more readily soluble in the tablet form, although of course the manufacturer is saying the dosage is identical. It would be interesting to hear about a second asseessment by you of more of your patients on this precise point.

      • Certain patients, no, I know they’re not saying they want tablets to misuse. Some of these patients have been doing well for years, and they’re in stable recovery.

        But then there are the ones I don’t know as well. I do have a few patients who prefer the tabs, and they occasionally have a positive urine drug screen for illicit drugs, and it’s like pulling teeth to keep them in some sort of counseling. On the other hand, they have jobs, they keep appointments…I didn’t worry so much about it until I started to see how many people snort the tablets.

      • Posted by Melinda on June 11, 2012 at 10:51 pm

        I think the ‘snorting abusers’ are probably doomed from the get-go. If someone used cocaine or other ‘snortable’ drugs, then watch them. I love seeing the care, compassion, & understanding, yet caution this Dr. Janaburson is illustrating on this blog. I am a 33yr old mother of two girls, ages 15 & 13. My husband & I’ve been married for 16yrs. I never even causually drank alcohol. Sure, as a teen I tried drugs but nothing that became a lifestyle. I was 24 yrs old when I tore my tendons & ligaments in my left ankle for the third time, the first two times I was playing high school basketball. Anyways, the third time in 2004, I had to have a steel plate & pin placed in my ankle. The Dr. I was sent to post-surgery stated that I needed 10mths of physical therapy & pain management. (What pretty, lil words.. pain management.) I did not realize that those words meant NARCOTICS. So, I had this notion that pain pills would make me sleepy. I actually was going to nursing school at the time but my mis-education about pain pills was partly due to noone was annoucing how terribly misused they were nor addictive until the late 2000’s around my geographical location. Drugs were: pot, meth, ect… not pills. Well, I took pills every 4 hrs as the bottle said. I never realized I was high because I thought I was ‘feeling better’ from surgery, not high. Then we went to the lake one weekend & I didn’t take my bottle because I thought pain pills made me sleepy & I wanted to enjoy myself. Before we got back home Sunday night, I was having terrible sneezes, cold sweats, running to the restroom nonstop, I TRUELY THOUGHT I HAD CANCER! Though, my husband reassured me that I had the flu or a bug, I started looking up my symptoms online as soon as we got home. I’ll never forget how embarassed I was when I seen the words, “narcotic withdrawal”, & “rehab for recovery”. I wanted to tell my family then thought, “Oh! No! They’ll just tell me not to take no more & then I’ll really feel I’m dying”. I hid my problem for 5yrs before I got help through an outpt program with suboxone as treatment. In those 5yrs, I lost my home, my vehicle, jobs, my life, & almost died twice. All this could’ve been avoided had people not of made me feel that getting help was for ‘the crazy or mentally ill’, as well as the bad things my family had heard about suboxone; like how its as addictive or just as bad, ect… like those on this site who misuse them. Well, now its 2012, I have a beautiful, 3bedroom home in the country, a Chevy Tahoe, lots of nice things, my familys’ still together (Although we went through yrs of struggle), and most of all… I’m alive & very happy! Most people with jobs & families are too busy to post on this site, so the bad people are outnumbering the good on here. The people saying things negative are giving suboxine a bad reputation, when I know for fact I’d be dead today had I not sought help. I tried cold turkey just to end up in the hospital having seizures, my blood pressure sky high, & the drs. thinking I was having a stroke before I got help. Theres sooo many terrible things that happened, its unreal looking back today! I’m posting here to say, “THANK YOU to Dr. Jana & the others who see the benefits of saving 1 life, even if 10 others abuse the suboxone”. My daughters are thankful as well, so is my husband, sisters, my mom, grandparents, ect. My life is back to normal & I’m almost done with my suboxone taper. I will warn those who think it can be done through ‘speed-tapering” will most likely fail! I feel as if the program allowed me to get my life back to normal, while not having to run the streets for meds nor wreck more havack on my body. I feel the programs that are geared with longevity end up being successful, as they give people time to rebuild their lives, hopes, & dreams.
        Ps. I will say, I honestly knew some people who preferred film but I, myself, felt that the film was noticably, arguably not as good as the tablets. After trying film for the 2nd time, my Dr. ran tests with me withdrawing, with me taking the pill under my tongue, & then a third test with the strip. They concluded that the longest curve on the bell test metabolized 3 times faster when I took the film, and ultimately moved me back to the tablets. I never thought, oh its like a pill, nor the other silly things I read here. I only thought of one thing, getting my life back without feeling like I was dying from withdrawels. Anyone who says its in your head.. nope, you’re very wrong. Withdrawels are something that I’d not wish on my worst enemy. There’s bad apples in every bunch, so don’t let people like my old self die in vane by giving this drug a bad name.

      • Well said, thank you very much for writing.

  20. Posted by elliot on April 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I find this topic fascinating, especially since the manufacturer has a patent on the film, and would clearly prefer that people go with the film. Any plans to follow up on your earlier inquiries, maybe with a larger sample of people? Or are you convinced there is nothing to all of these folks stated preference except that some of them snort tablets?


    • No, as I said, I know some of my patients in good recovery prefer the tablets, and I prescribe the tablets for them. Some hate the taste, some think they don’t work as well, one hates to carry the packaging since it has the word “Suboxone” on the side in big letters. They have their reasons, and I respect that. I have no problem with these patients.

      I have misgivings about prescribing the tablets with other patients, particularly if they aren’t doing so well anyway. That causes a dilemma for me – go with patient preference, or insist they get the film – which isn’t taper-proof either, but may be less “snortable.”

      I’ve already talked to all of my 100 patients about switching to the film, and know everyone’s preference. Maybe I should attempt to summarize this information in some way…


  21. Posted by Ross Talley on April 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I have been on subs for 3 years and my doctor just switched all their paitents to the strips. I had gone from 90 pills to 30 over 2 years on my own free will to try to wean off. As soon as the strips came i noticed they were much less effective. I use to be able to take half an 8mg in the morning and half at night. The next month my doctor put me on 45 strips (150%) increase. For the past 4 months I have plateau and cannot imagine getting through a month with less then 45 strips. I protested to my doctor to switch me back and it is not their policy. I recently found out that the real reason they put everyone on strips was the numbering on each packet can be traced back to you. So if you are selling them and some kid gets arrested with 5 of your strips they can take that 5-digit code and it will come back to you. So i guess it would be smart to scratch that off if you trade your strips for pills like I do or if you sell them….I couldn’t get my doctor to tell me WHY they weren’t willing to put me back on the pills and I asked is it because what I just said about the code and trying to keep people from selling them and she said yes that is exactly why….


    • Posted by film hater on April 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      It’s just a lot number, in no way can they track it back to you. If you check your films, all the numbers are the same, which just means they came from a certain batch. Several other people have the same number as you right now as I write this, so I wouldn’t worry about that at all.


      • Posted by Ross Talley on April 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm

        Well if you say so I don’t know why my doctor would confirm my suspicion about the code, I originally heard it from a long-term suboxone user and friend. Then after 3 months of asking to switch back with NO REAL REASON why I wasn’t allowed she finally said that is why. So I still don’t know.

      • Posted by film hater on April 10, 2011 at 1:35 am

        I’ve been told by my new/old dr (I went back to him cause he rx’s me the generic subutex, which is a god-send by the way. But the one nurse said the DEA was really trying to crack down on suboxone diversion, so maybe that’s where your dr got it from? But more likely, it’s because your dr is recieving kickbacks from Reckitt-Benckiser, the manufacturer of Suboxone. Somehow they managed to hold onto the patent for suboxone for a few more years, but have already lost the patent rights for subutex, hence the generic tex and no generic box right now. So RB invented the strips so they know they will have at least another 7-10 years of price controlling and dr controlling with the patent rights to the films. Believe me when I say this, well over 90% of dr’s rx this medication for the money only. Most have little to no interest in your sobriety or well being. The fact that one doctor can make about $10,000/month from suboxone patients alone is proof enough, and all that money for about a total of 8-10 hrs/month of work. The RB reps now are going about it as the tablets are bad all of the sudden and pt’s should only be rx’d the films (along with kickbacks for rx’ing them). It’s all about the benjamins, always will be with drug mfg’s

      • Hey! I resent your comment. “Most have little to no interest in your sobriety or well being.” If I didn’t care about what happened to my patients, I wouldn’t be talking myself blue in the face trying to encourage, cajole, and wheedle patients into getting involved in some kind of counseling/recovery program. Some, thankfully a minority, prefer to just take the tab/film and forget about doing the real work of recovery.

        And the figures you cite about the amount of money made from suboxone patients are ridiculous.

        Plus, what kickbacks??? I’ve never been offered any kickbacks, from RB or any other drug company. In fact, it’s now illegal for drug reps to even give out pens with the drug name on them. RB did ask me to be a speaker for Suboxone, and I’ve declined. I hear it pays very well, but I think it can’t help but affect my outlook, so I’ve never done that for any drug company.

        You are right about the films and the patent. Of course RB wants to hold their market share. This makes them exactly the same as every other pharmaceutical company. If you think these drug companies need better regulation, then quit your bitching and write your congressman.

        Do you see any commercial ads on this blog?? No. I don’t make a penny from this blog. I do this blog on my free time, and I put a lot into it. I do this because I’m passionate about helping addicts find their way to recovery, and I love being a part of that. All the other addiction med doctors that I know feel the same way.

        Please try to refrain from accusing me – on my own non-commercial blog – of doing my job only for the money. I thought about just deleting your irritating comment, but thought it could serve as a good example of the ignorance that’s too prevalent.

        Jana Burson M.D., author of this blog site

  22. Posted by film hater on April 10, 2011 at 2:45 am

    I didn’t say you specifically, I’m sure you fall in the 10% who actually care. But what does it say when the dr who rx’s you suboxone is actually a pediatrician by day and suboxone dr by night? You may actually care about your patients, and I and others that read your blog would love to have you as a doctor, because in reality, most just don’t care. It’s easy money, that’s all. And sure, the kickback thing may be a myth, but you only had to attend an 8 hour course and then you were able to rx Suboxone, correct? Plus, you can charge what you want, and most docs charge anywhere from $100-$500 and more just for induction. I in no way am putting you in this class of doctors, but you have to admit that their are doctors out there that do it for the money and nothing else. I even asked the pediatrician I used to see why he did it. His answer was, “money is tight right now, and we need what we can get.” I know I’m not the only one in this boat who feels their dr could give a damn about them as a patient. You go in, doc says how’s it going, you leave with a rx. Dr just netted $100 in less than 5 mins. Times that by amount of patients and if dr requires bi-monthly or even sometimes weekly visits and that equals $$$


    • To play devil’s advocate: Suboxone is the only drug that I know of where the doctor has to take a special course in order to get a special DEA license to prescribe it. Any doc with a regular DEA license can prescribe OxyContin/meethadone/morphine for the purpose of treating pain.

      Like it or not, medicine is a business. This is apparently what the U.S. wants, as we do not have nationalized healthcare like other civilized nations. I have my own feeling about this, but that’s off point. You have to pay the doctor, and the drug company, if you have diabetes and need medication. Many medications are very expensive, particularly if they’re new. I don’t know why you expect the disease of addiction to be granted special status. Medical care is expensive. You have a deadly disease. Why shouldn’t you have to pay the doctor treating it?

      Most of the time (not always) patients say they spent much more money during active addiction.

      But I’ll concede that a 5 minute visit isn’t enough. I schedule 15 minutes for follow ups. Some patients should be seen weekly. On the other hand, I have some patients, on Suboxone now for four years and doing well, that I’ll see once every two months. That’s my limit, and some patients will complain about that, even.

      Your comment leads me to believe I’m clearly not charging enough…..kidding.


      • Posted by film hater on April 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm

        I appreciate the reply, again, and I fully understand all of your points. It’s just irritating in knowing firsthand that there are doctors who are in the suboxone treatment business solely for the money alone. A doctor should only be rx’ing suboxone if he/she has a sole reason(s) to do so, i.e. they went through it themselves (Dr. Junig comes to mind, and he runs a great site btw), or that they really want to help somebody through their addiction. Even the doctor I see now has a sort of clongomerate, if you will, in running a clinic. He has several doctors on staff who only come into his office on certain days to see their suboxone patients, hence his office sees well over 200 patient’s/month. I started seeing him in 2004, and not once was I told how to ween off of the suboxone or when I would, so I’ve been on this medication for 7 years now and how am I supposed to get off? Maybe its because they know I pay my bill in full every visit and always have a clean urine sample. It’s saddening from that perspective.

        Also I am sorry to kind of “derail” the overall topic here, which is the suboxone films. And again, I am happy to be off of them and have comfortably settled back at around 2-4 mg/day on the subutex, compared to at least 8mg/day of the film. The only way I could make the film last longer was when taken rectally, which did seem to up the BA, but I’m not one to be taking my medicine that way.

      • Rectally.
        That’s a new one. I did have a female patient who used it vaginally, but I discouraged this because I was afraid it might damage delicate tissues.

      • Posted by Melinda on June 11, 2012 at 10:57 pm

        Ps. I want to add to my large comment, on up top, that, “Dr. Jana Burson, not only seems to genuinely care about helping people recover from addiction, but she’s also taking the time to post on this blog for free… just to help others!”. God Bless You!!

  23. Posted by film hater on April 10, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I’ve used that method before with the suboxone tabs to get even more BA out of them as well. Obviously IV’ing would be the best, but I’m not into shooting pills. But yeah, dissolve a few milligrams in luke warm water, and use one of those baby syringes with no needle and stick it up there, lubed obviously. It’s fairly common practice if you google it among long time users. Just have to make sure your bowels are clean first, lol. But it really does increase the BA of the subs, hence longer legs with smaller doses. I would just caution making sure your equipment is sterile as to prevent any infections.


  24. Posted by kelley on April 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    i definitely agree with everyone who says the film isn’t as strong and it isn’t just our minds playing tricks on us. i was told by my dr that her patients had told her the film seemed like it worked better. so when i got my 1st script i was thinking that it would be exactly the same if not better. i’m taking 1 1/2 of the 2 mg strips a day. the day i switched i noticed my legs getting a little bit restless like they used to when i would start withdrawing from opiates. i thought maybe i should just get up and move around some. i soon felt extremely exhausted and thought i was getting the flu. then i talked to a friend who had the same thing happen. something isn’t right with the film. however i’ve been taking the film for about a week and i’m starting to feel better. it’s like i cut down some but i didn’t.


  25. Posted by rick on May 2, 2011 at 6:16 am

    The strips do not work the same as the tab. They stick to your teeth, lips, toungue, and the effects do not last as long. Glad my doctor gives us a choice. Everyone that went to film is back on strips. They say they changed it because people were shooting them up. Now, they have it made. It is much easier for them to shoot now. I prefer my tabs and if they took them away, I would be back on pills.


  26. Posted by rick on May 2, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I didn’t know you were a doctor. I really hope they don’t take away my tablets. I am doing the best I have ever, in these last few years. 12 years of constant pain and regrets. The film doesn’t work as well. I would have to take double my dose, which is 3 8mg tabs. I never felt the effects of the film. Something is weird about it. I believe it was rushed for the patent or the shooting scare. I say to the doctors, check my arms and body. I have never shot up. I hate needles. I really hope there is enough complaints to keep the tabs. Our doctors around here are starting to write only film. I say to them, if it is the same, let the patient choose. Everyone reacts differently. The film is not for me. I have a good caring doctor. Guess I am lucky. They wanted everyone on film. Thats why they gave the discount card and now that it is running out, tabs will be coming back. I wish they would give me a card for my tabs. Thank you for this blog. It is cool. Best regards, Ricky.


    • Thanks Ricky. You’re not the only one who has said the same thing about the films. Many of my patients switched to the films, then asked to switch back. Most of these patients are so stable that I’m not worried about them misusing their medication, and for whatever reason, the film doesn’t work for them. I’m fine with switching back to tablets.

      I know the manufacturer has been touting the numbered package as a deterant to diversion of this medication to the black market, but I’m not completely sold that it’s any safer. As you’ve pointed out, it seems like I’ve had more people writing in to this blog talking about injecting the film. That’s disturbing.


  27. Posted by rick on May 2, 2011 at 6:45 am

    I have read more now and thanks. I hope you post this for others. I do not misuse or snort them. The film does not work as well. Point. Blank. The film is being dropped in a spoon and shot up. They love it. If someone is wanting tabs, they are being true to their word, most I would say. The film is misused just as much. They put it in whatever, keep the package, and on they go. No matter what, there still is a market. It is people like this that hurt the rest of us. I get scared because when I tried the strips, I was sick again. Not as bad as before, but I felt bad. Maybe they are made somewhat different. If anything, they gave the shooters the easy street. Snort ot shoot? Which one would you consider more dangerous? I have been on them for 3 years. The only time I thought about using drugs was when I was on strips. That is why I am concerned. If they go away, I will switch to Methadone. I don’t want to but I don’t want to be sick or feel bad. I will not pay thousands a month for something that doesn’t help. I suffered for an entire month on strips. It never got better. As a patient, I am familiar with drug dealers, users, abusers. The game so to say. Films are abused just as much. The cover does nothing. Chewing gum wrapper and you are good. I believe, when all is said and done, film will be proved to have less effect then a tablet. It has to be. I am not the only one. Out of 102 patients that switched, only 17 are on strips now. I mean no harm by my words. Just interested on your point of view.


    • I’m in the process of surveying my 100 Suboxone patients to see what they prefer, and why. I’ll put the results on this blog.

      Snort or shoot, either way is active addiction, and that person needs to get into treatment. If they are being given Suboxone prescriptions, they should go either to an inpatient, drug-free treatment or go to an opioid treatment centers. More and more, these centers prescribe buprenorphine in addition to methadone. The nice thing (or the bad thing, according to your view) is that patients still have to come every day for at least three months. This provides more observation and interaction with treatment staff.


      • Posted by Kelly on May 31, 2011 at 9:07 pm

        I went to an in-patient treatment program and thought that it would be anti anything (even prescription drugs) and within the first week I was ready to leave from panic and misery. I had a horrible first weekend after detox because I had taken a handful of methadone, which I knew nothing about, and started withdrawal AFTER getting out of detox. On Monday I got to see the doctor and told him how I was hallucinating, couldn’t sleep, and was sweating so much I was soaked but shivering. He asked me if I was really telling the truth about my opiate use and I thought why the hell would I lie about that. I would have never guessed that I would be put on suboxone because first of all I figured it was a no drug place and second I wasn’t one of “those people” that had gotten that bad. Why I thought that after using them everyday for 6-7 years and using some of them with a needle is beyond me. I REALLY really wanted to get clean and I just really couldn’t! I have never dealt with a drug that is so physically and mentally addicting and I’ve done em all! A person really doesn’t know what they are getting themselves into. My doctor in treatment called up to the nurse and told her I was going thru opiate withdrawal and to start me on suboxone. I started 2mg right then and within no time I was feeling so much better! I honestly can say that I couldn’t have done it without subs no matter how many times I went to treatment! When my brother and sister went to treatment (in prison or court-ordered) they couldn’t hardly get an asprin and guess what happened when the got out? They started doing more drugs than ever! I was told that in N.A. and A.A.that there might be people there that have a problem with me being on suboxone. Well, if we wanna start judging people who are just doing their all to stay sober I have a problem with ignorance and A.A.! Personally I can’t stand to sit in a room with a room full of whiners that never get tired of talking bout themselves and their sob stories that are only interesting to them. I haven’t been to a single N.A. or A.A. since I got out of treatment 8 months ago. I’m sick of talking about it and i go a long time without even thinking about drugs or alcohol and don’t need to be reminded. Some people need it to stay sober. I need suboxone to stay sober. Every A.A. I have attended has been bad for my health because I leave thinking about drugs and alcohol. All that matters is that I chose to get sober and I did. If there is something that is going to give me the best possible chance of staying that way I’d be an idiot NOT to give it a shot. Ramble ramble….

  28. Posted by Julia on May 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I have been on suboxone for a little over two years now, and strated out taking the tablets up until about six months ago, when my doctor switched everyone over to the suboxone films. Before he switched me he was telling me that they were so much easier to handle, because you didn,t have to get the powder all over when you break them in half if you take less then the 8mg tabs, plus he said they disolve alot faster and don’t taste as bad, but I think the films are alot harder to handle then the tablets. I hate the way you always have to find a pair of sissors every morning when I get out of bed. Then sometimes I rip the film trying to open the package. Plus if you only take half of one, then you have to put the other half somewhere for the next day, and you can’t just put it back in the bottel, like you could the tablets. My pharmacy gives me mine in a box, and the box just falls apart. Then I’d have a better chance of dropping them somewhere. I have a 14 month old son that loves to pick up everything he can get his hands on and put it in his mouth. His father is also doing treatment with me, and there has been two times now that I have found pieces or halves of strips on the floor. Thats probably the biggest problem I have with them. Its to dangerous, and easy to loose track of. Plus I don’t think they are as strong at the tablets, but before I got put on them, my doctor told me that they were more concentrated then the tablets, but I think he just says stuff like that to me just so he can get me to agree to his ‘plan’. Even though I’m having a hard time with the films, I’m glad I started doing the treatment. I think that they need to have more doctors that can be licensed to prescribe suboxone, because I know some people that drive like an hour and a half just to get to the clinic. There are so many people that need this treatment, and not enough doctors that caqn provide it.


    • Please store your medication in a lock box away from your child!!!

      If you can’t do that then don’t fill the medication. Your child can die from putting a film in his mouth. If I were your doctor I’d stop treating you for being so careless and endangering your child. You can’t be trusted with medication.


  29. Posted by Tyan on May 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I’ve been on the film for about 6 months and was on the tabs for about 2 months and I really can’t tell a difference in the two except the film has a much stronger and much worse flavor than the tablets. I always feel sick. I get hot all the time and almost throw up and it’s completely miserable. I dont’t think the tablets did that to me and I’m going to try switching back. I cringe just thinking about taking my film but I do because no matter how bad suboxone tastes it has kept me sober for 8 months which is a lot longer than I ever stayed sober when I tried to quit without it. I went a month once because I took myself away and stayed with a friend in a different city who didn’t use drugs, but the whole time I had dreams about using and I was miserable. Immediately started using when I got back. Suboxone has also kept me off the alcohol which helps keep me off the coke so as much as I can’t stand it and as sick as it makes me I will continue to take it. I was on 16mg but now I can only stand to take 8mg which seems to do as much as 16mg for me. Does that seem weird and am I setting myself up by deciding on my own that I don’t need 16mg and cutting down to 8? I can’t really tell anymore but I have no cravings and that’s all i really care.


  30. Posted by john on June 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    DR BURSON, I think you have a great website and im so glad to see an md take such an interest in suboxone therepy. Ive been taking suboxone for three years now at 32 mg a day. Im thinking this is the highest dose they can prescribe because once a year my drs office has to call my insurance to get permission for that 4th pill a day. I switched to the film a couple of days ago, and as far as im concerned, i will never go back to the pill form. I noticed a big difference in the film. For me personally it works so much better than the pill. I am kind of worried about my dose but have noticed such a positive change in every aspect of my life. Do you think my dose is too high or do you have patients on that same dose? Ive tried to take less but have such bad cravings even after all this time being off the opiates. I dont understand all of the negative comments about the film but i guess everyone is different and maybe the pill just works better for others. i can tell you that the film seems to kick in a lot faster than the pill and the couple of days that ive been on it, ive taken less than i would with the pill. I just hope this lasts since the negative comments about the film seem to outweigh the positive. i thank god for mds like you and my own dr. he reached in and pulled me from the fire and saved my life. Keep up the great work.


    • Thanks for writing!
      No, it sounds like you are on a dose that works for you.

      In general, patients don’t get much more benefit from 32 milligrams compared to 24mg, but as you have pointed out – people are different. Out of my 90-plus patients, I have two on 32mg. They are doing very well, and I’m not worried about them.

      Patients who report withdrawal on any dose other than 32mg cause some doctors to be suspicious the patient is diverting (selling, giving) medications to someone else. So your doctor may want you to do random pill/film counts. I ask my patients to go to their pharmacy within 24 hours and have the pharmacist count their medication. I fax my own form to the pharmacist where she can record the date, date filled, number remaining. Most pharmacists are happy to do this. Since many of my patients live farther from me than their pharmacy, it’s more convenient than driving to my office for a count. Besides, I’m only in my office 2 days per week.

      If your doctor voices concerns about your dose, you could let him know you’d be willing to do film or pill counts so he can be reassured. Of course it’s still possible to divert, but a great deal more difficult.

      I’ve also started getting liver function tests (simple blood tests) on my patients periodically. That’s especially important for patients with hepatitis C.


  31. Posted by Adam on June 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Hello janaburson, I just wanted to make a point, about your comment to Julia. I think you misunderstood her point. I am on the strips myself, and about a month ago, I was in the process of moving back to my home state after graduating from school. One day I took my meds (which is 12mg so I always have half a tab) and I put the strip back in the package and tried to fold it up. Well somehow in the 6-7 steps I took the strip had fallen on the floor even though I went straight to the pill bottle. Luckily i’m very cautious and checked to make sure, and when I noticed it wasn’t in there I didn’t stop or let their kids into the room until I found it. This has happened quite a few times as for some reason it can often be very hard to keep a half a strip in the film package, even if for just a few seconds! I am not saying this to get on you about Julia, but only to point out that even if she does keep her meds safely stored(which I always do) it’s very easy to loose film just while taking it if you take a dosage that leaves half a film behind, and I think you should warn any patient on a dosage that is not a multiple of 8, as even if something horrible like that happens, even the best case scenario, they will be short on meds! (Not good!) So I honestly urge you to mention this to any film patients on say 4,12, 20mg, etc. as it can happen much easier than you would believe, and if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody, because I am VERY careful with my meds. Just food for thought. Thanks for the blog!


    • The poster said she found halves and pieces of her Suboxone film on the floor where her baby crawls. If she is either unable or unwilling to make sure her Suboxone remains out of her baby’s reach, she shouldn’t be on the medication. I know I wouldn’t prescribe for her.


  32. Posted by tika on July 16, 2011 at 5:23 am

    lol……pharmacutical co is big, big f’en money and for sure its about power and money…….it always is and always will be when it comes to big powerhouse corporations……….dr’s are doing it for the money, sure they’re a few who care but most are making big profits and for a fact kickbacks are common in the businessworld….

    addiction has the lowest success rate out of just about anything so they know they will have patients for long, long time…they do their research……

    100% the film is weaker, off an injury blah, blah i was on meds for pain and coming off and 1/2-1 8mg pill would work…….same dose of pain meds and i am on my 3rd 8mg film and still feel a little WD…its money and control…..

    i am 10yrs clean through AA and while not the most involved it helped me tremendously…….bottom line is drugs aren’t the addicts problem, not even close

    either you want to and will do recovery or you dont and wont………as simple as that…… all the other talk is BS…you can justify and rationalize anything

    to the Dr’s on this board why are people ( your patients?) on suboxone for years if you care about your patients than there is no reason anyone should be on this stuff for more than 3 months maybe a little longer if he/she was insane on the dosage of opiates…..any longer and it is just another opiate addiction and a way to make cash off patients….i mean really lets cut through the BS if were talking about recovery……i am blown away about hearing people on this stuff for 2,3+ even 6 years….knowing that dr’s are prescribing this med for this long is an instant fact that they are in it for the money!!………no other reason is possible

    i am an addict, i know what detox, w/d and how long it is to wean someone off something………addicts are prolly better at Dr’s in this area as they have physical experience

    if it is ok for corporations and DR’s to make a profit off addition than whats wrong if the addict makes a profit selling his tabs?…….really you think the government cares about addiction?…no they care when they’re not getting or someones taking away their piece of the pie……..

    amazing with all the corruption and BS that the U.S. does and supports that this is the best country to be in………the others are way worse


    • Well aren’t you just a little ray of sunshine?

      I am the owner of this blog. I’m a doctor. I spend hours each week – for no money at all – maintaining it because I think people with addiction need more information about their options. It’s my passion, for some reason.

      “all about the money…” Do you work for free?

      I now work for myself, prescribing Suboxone in my own office. I can have only up to 100 patients. That’s far less than if I treated any other disease. By the time I pay fixed overhead, (rent, internet/phone, power, malpractice insurance, numerous registration fees to the med board, DEA, professional societies etc., salaries for areceptionist/scheduler/book keeper and the addiction counselor, PLUS much more), in the average week I make about $20 to $50 per hour. I’m not complaining. I love what I do, and it’s not like I’m out in the heat digging ditches. But I did train for about a billion years and took on considerable debt to get the training to do this. Also, I’d make much more doing just about anything else in medicine. If I wanted to make bundles of money, I wouldn’t specialize in taking care of people who usually have little money and no insurance. But I get paid with the thrill of seeing someone’s life completely change for the better, and knowing I had a small part in that. Then that person affects about four others: spouse, children, etc and so the whole community benefits.

      In one of the original studies, two groups of opioid addicts were treated with Suboxone (1). Both groups got intensive counsleing. One group was tapered off Suboxone over six days, and the second group was maintained on Suboxone. At the end of six months they compared the two groups. Of the group that tapered over six days, none were left in treatment. Twenty percent were DEAD of drug overdose. In the group maintained on Suboxone, none were dead, and 75% were in treatment and doing well. Suboxone treatment also usually saves the average opioid addicted person money. (2)

      Suboxone isn’t a cure. It’s a treatment for a chronic illness, opioid addiction, that works well for many people. It doesn’t work for everyone. If it’s not working for you, find a different treatment.

      1. Kakko et. al. 2003
      2. Rosenheck et. al., 2001


      • Jana, do you also admit that Narcotics Anonymous and a 12-step based recovery is not for everyone?

        I attended NA for 4 years. In those 4 years, I whole heartedly believed their catch cries; that the “only true recovery is through the 12 steps”, that it’s “the steps or death”, that you must “keep coming back”, and most importantly that I had to hit my “rock bottom” in order to “surrender”. Today in my relative state of sanity, I now see I suffered 3 heroin overdoses while going deeper into crime addiction in an attempt to reach this rock bottom, this epiphany, this state of “surrender” everyone spoke of. Needless to say, that moment never came. Those 4 years were an endless cycle of periods of complete abstinence, interrupted by some of the sickest and damaging periods of “relapse” under the illusion of powerlessness, which very nearly killed me.

        Jana, as a medical professional and NA advocate, do you believe in the concept of the “rock bottom”, even though it has now been proven as potentially the most dangerous myth perpetuated in recovery circles? Do you believe that one is too many, and a thousand is not enough, or more accurately that an addict cannot stop once they use once? That there is no such thing as a ‘slip’ or a ‘lapse’, and that once an addict picks up they are powerless over the “physical allergy”?

        Fortunately I came to my senses and found other peer support based recovery programs – namely New Life and SMART – and it didn’t take me long to learn to live a clean life. Unlike NA, both these programs concede that different approaches to recovery work for different people, even NA!. When I tell my old NA peers I’m no longer doing NA, their responses are either of distancing themselves, or preaching that I will relapse unless I return to their fellowship. This, to me, is the definition of arrogance, not spirituality.

        Jana, as a medical professional and NA advocate, do you also refer your patients to other more evidence based peer-support groups? ie SMART recovery? Can a doctor who practices the 12 steps concede that their method of recovery may not work for their patients as well?

      • Hello Tommy,
        I refer patients to 12-step recovery because it’s an evidence-based program, meaning we have data from studies to show 12-step participation reduces relapse and improves life satisfaction scores. I don’t routinely refer to SMART recovery or SOS, LifeRing and others because we don’t have this same evidence for these groups, and because there are very few meetings to be found in this state. California has the most non-12-step organizations but there just aren’t that many here in North Carolina. I’m not saying these organizations don’t work, just that there haven’t been studies to give data either way. I suspect they do work.

        Personally I don’t think 12-step recovery is the only answer for everyone. I’m not sure 12-step programs say that either, though it can be the opinion of individual 12-step members. In fact, AA’s literature says, “We realize we know only a little…” and one of their traditions says membership needs to be by attaction, not promotion. In other words, 12-step members have found a way that works for them, and if you want the recovery they have, they’ll do what they can to help you. Twelve step recovery has worked for millions of people in hundreds of countries, but if you don’t want the kind of life 12-step recovery gives you, it won’t be for you.

        I do think there are many paths to recovery. It’s just that we have the most evidence about this particular path, and it has a proven track record. If you are traveling from point A to point B, and you’ve never gone that way, would you blaze a new trail or take a road that’s laid out, well-marked, and known to take you to point B?

        I don’t understand the concept of “rock bottom.” What is this? Really, it’s death from the disease of addiction. That’s the lowest point addiction will take you. So members of NA haven’t reached real rock bottom even if they’ve lost family/job/home/money/health, if they are still alive. I think each person gets to decide their bottom. In other words, you get to the bottom when you stop digging the hole and seek treatment for this disease. Some people have a higher tolerance for pain and misery and it may take them longer to get into treatment, or they may not have treatment readily available to them.

        So no, I don’t think 12-step is the only path to recovery. If a patient prefers SMART, I’ll accept that as treatment, but they have to be able to go to enough meetings to help. Some of my patients prefer pastoral counseling, and I’ll also accept that as treatment, as long as I have a way to verify that they actually get treatment and discuss their addiction and recovery.

        Most addicts do feel renewed cravings after they have an episode of drug use. This is a biochemical process, and we can see it on brain PET scans. Even after years, use of a drug that the patient used to be addicted to “primes the pump” of cravings, and the pleasure centers of the brain become more active. This does put the patient at great risk for loss of control over drug use, but whether it turns into a full relapse depends much on their situation. Does the patient have a good support network? Do they live where it’s hard to obtain their drug, or do they live in the middle of crack town? Are they emotionally in a good place or are they in the middle of an emotional crisis? These other factors do influence whether the patient can stop or will continue to use.

        I hope I’ve answered your questions.
        Jana Burson

      • Posted by Melinda on June 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm

        Dr. Jana, You are correct!!! I know for fact that 3mths of a suboxone program is just enough time to get a pt feeling better, let alone living a totally drug-free life! It took me 3-4mths just to stop sweating, even with suboxone. After that time, I began to rebuild my life as tapering. The fast fix will not work! People didn’t get hooked on pills overnight, so they’ll not recover overnight! It takes time, hard work, & monitioring by a Dr. who cares… not speed through & you’re all better! Thats setting some pts up for failure! Sure, some pts will naturally recover faster, some require more time, & some will follow the protocol to a t. But whoever said 3mths to finish, is one of those people that others can truely say, “it was in their head”.

  33. Posted by tika on July 16, 2011 at 5:27 am

    why do the tablets and especially the film taste like CRAP……..also the dissolving time is 5 times what is directed………i have to leave a tab in my mouth for at least an hour to get the full effect………..if i did it the way it says i would be on 4 times as much……….you have to leave it in until you can no longer taste any of it, thats the only way i have found it works the best with the least amount

    any one know of any tricks for taking it bilingually


  34. Posted by Mike on July 22, 2011 at 3:13 am

    I thank god that I have a Dr that really cares. My dr always takes my concerns seriously. I have been a friend of his for some time now and he has really looked out for me. I have never once relapsed or misused any drugs ever since my dr put me on suboxone. For all that are not happy with your drs you should just change your dr. there are plenty of drs that are willing to help patients that are SERIOUS about being clean. And for all that are saying drs are greedy for charging them then blame your self. your dr did not force you to go and abuse drugs. its just like all the people who get mad at drs for not rx vicodin or some oppiate for some pain that can go away with some simple asprin. I too used to always bit** at drs for not getting my way but after befriending a dr and seeing his views I really cant Blame any of them for there attitudes. As far as suboxone tabs vs film i do agree that the film as not as good. If you dont like the film take my advice ( assuming you are always passing ur urine test) and talk to your dr with some respect and voice your concerns. If the dr dont listen then its simple. SEE ANOTHER DR. Not all Drs are the same. And no drs do not get a kick back from the sub company.


  35. Posted by Krystle on July 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I have been on suboxone since April of 2005, I have been doing really good & it works for me, just recently I had to go through a big mess because my doctor of 5 years decided to seek another profession I was sad to see him go:( seens how he changed my life! I have now been taking the films for about a week now I am on 16mg a day and with the tabs that was the perfect amount I am finding with the films at 16mg a day I am having WD I get all anxious & uncomfortable in my own skin yawning, achy legs and the dreams of using are back, I am going to talk with my doctor and try to switch back or get a higher dose, even though I should be working on weening down not continue to be upped! I am afraid that because I just started with this doc and we don’t have a good strong relationship yet that she might just not understand. I was doing good and feeling good once we got my dose right now it’s like I am back to the beginning and I don’t like the feeling! Also I am finding every since I started the films I have had a headache every day for the past week since I switched over, I hope my doc listens & understands but am afraid nothing will change because off all the misuse from other patients, wish me luck and hope everything works out for the best Thanks for the blog glad I’m not alone in this!


  36. I wasn’t a long time opiate addict (maybe a year and a half). But once I started using opiates I fell in love with them. My crazy little brother just moved in with me and I found that by snorting a roxy or taking a methadone then I could deal with him a LOT better. But then I started taking more and more, and the physical w/d was the worst thing I have ever gone through. Then in March of 2011 I found out I was pregnant and I was still addicted to opiates. I was so scared for the health of my unborn baby that I wanted to tell my dr about my problem, but at the same time I was terrified that my dr would call the authorities and report me so it took me a while to tell him. I tried stopping cold turkey, on my own but the w/d was worse then I EVER remember it being and I did research on the internet about w/d’s during pregnancy and the effect on the baby and it’s worse for the baby to w/d. So finally I decided to tell my ob/gyn and he referred me to a high risk dr who would help me, so he said he would anyway. The 1st high risk dr I went to said there was nothing he could do and told me to go to a methadone clinic. Which in my case isn’t possible b/c I don’t work nor do I have a car and the closet clinic is an hr away, and you have to go there everyday and pay a lot of money, everyday. Then I went to another high risk dr and he told me the same thing. I was tired of pills and getting sick so I stopped myself again, but this time I ended up being hospitalized for a week. Finally my dr prescribed me suboxone tabs and I feel so much better. I don’t have to worry about where I am getting my next pill from, and my dr is going to taper me down before the baby is born. Thank goodness that my dr won’t give me the film. After what I have read I don’t want it. Not only do I not want it, I take a 1/2 tab twice a day so the film wouldn’t work too well. I am proud to say that I have not had a prescription painkiller since June 24, 2011 and I want to keep it that way.


  37. I just took my first film about an hour ago. To me, it seems stronger. The literature says the absorption rate is higher so I was thrilled. Now I’m not so sure. I guess I’ll have to wait and see. Thanks to all of you for being here for each other!

    Best Regards,



  38. Posted by Helper43 on September 7, 2011 at 3:43 am

    I have read so many responses and gotten so many doctors percentages, 2 things are clear to me. For some people the film is better and for some people the srips are better. Why? Physiological individuality? Who knows, we are still in the stone ages of medical research.

    Another thing that I am 100% sure of. Subutex (without the Naloxone) is far better than Suboxone in any form. I know for a fact I feel the Naloxone, even though I spit it out. I was on subutex for over 5 years. They switched me to suboxone, first strips, then pills. It’s not close to subutex in terms of strength and consistency. I think it is due to the Naloxone.

    While I am at it…..the subutex has rendered me hypo thyroid and lowered my testosterone off the charts. And I have read hundreds of posts from men with the same problems from sub. And it is impossible to get off the stuff once you are on it for a long time. Agonizing to try a slow taper. Worst decision I have ever made. It causes severe depression when taken over long periods of time as well. Dr. Scanlan is the first doctor to come out about this, and he is DEAD ON WITH EVERYTHING HE SAYS ABOUT IT. Do not take this drug for more than 3 weeks or you are asking for a life of misery.

    Doctors are getting rich off this drug. When I first started almost 6 years ago, the doctor I got it from had a family practice. He closed that down. Now he just sits at home, while his “addiction specialist” (who has never taken the drug and knows less about it than I do) interacts with the sub addicts and calls in prescriptions for sub. He doesn’t work anymore! It’s making him rich. It’s making drug companies rich. The consumer suffers.

    People are losing their lives. Not dying, but turning into zombies, losing jobs, losing family from divorce. Buprenorphine is a horrible drug to take long term. It will take EVERYTHING from you. Good drug to use as a detox tool but if you want to live a life worth living, do not go on maintenance. God bless.


    • Hello and thanks for writing, but what you say isn’t what most people experience with Suboxone.
      My patients tell me it has saved their lives. They aren’t using illicit opioids anymore and are able to get and keep jobs, have better health, etc because they aren’t out looking for pills every day. I suspect you haven’t engaged in much counseling. It sounds like you’re blaming the drug for your addiction rather than facing up to the fact you have a potentially fatal disease.

      Some patients have an extraordinarily difficult time getting off Suboxone, but most say it’s an easier withdrawal than from other opioids. I’ve had numerous patients taper off – yes, it’s best to do slowly – and as far as I know they’re still drug-free. It looks like four to six months are needed to taper for the best outcome.

      Buprenorphine does not cause severe depression, but there’s a high rate of depression in patients who have addiction. It should be treated as a separate problem. I suspect you’ll feel a whole lot better if you get treatment for it.

      Getting rich off suboxone?? OK, there are some doctors do price gouge, and charge a thousand dollars for the first visit. That’s a minority. Most charge exactly what they would for the time and attention required to treat any other disease. I see patients for an hour for the first visit. I do a complete history and physical and decide if buprenorphine is right for them. I charge $200, which is the same thing I charge people for an hour visit for any other illness. Do you think doctors are also getting rich off the people with diabetes and asthma? Maybe, if you think healthcare should be free – but that’s a whole different issue. Why do addicts think their treatment should be free? If you’re going to an overcharging doctor, call around, change docs.

      I only know as much of you as was in your comment, but I suspect you’re blaming the drug, the doctors, the drug company for all of your troubles because easier than being accountable for your part in your addiction. You didn’t chose to get the disease of addiction, but you can chose what you’re going to do about it. If you wait for some pill or potion to fix you, it’s not gonna happen.

      Yes, opioids do lower testosterone levels. Methadone is perhaps the worst, but all opioids can do it. I’m not sure about the hypothyroidism. I’ve never heard or read anything saying opioids can do that.


  39. Posted by Deadhead-Dan on October 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Wow, like most things on the Internet, there’s no consensus on which is better so I”ll have to find out for myself. I’ve been on Subox tabs for almost three years, and my sober date is 5/6/10 from alcohol, opiates, and all mind altering substances. Point being, a recovery program is absolutely necessary to stay sober, and Subox is only a tool in the toolbelt that helps me, along with meetings, service, psychotherapy, meditation and prayer, etc. My doc gives me periodic urine tests to make sure I’m clean and the onoly thing that ever shows is Bupren and Nalaxon. My wife went to pick up my monthly prescription (12-mg a day) and it’s the first time I’ve been given the strips. I was perfectly content with the tablets but I’m curious about the film. I will post my opinion in a couple days. I’m not looking to rock the boat as 3/4 tablet in the morning and afternoon has been just fine for me the past 18 mos. Also, in my opinion, there is a bit of a “lift” that comes with a second dosage later in the day. Not a high, but just a little afternoon pep for the remainder of the day/evening. Not always, but usually. Just my two cents since I saw this being discussed earlier.


  40. Posted by Pharmaco on October 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Reading these posts from people I can only assume are in the US is shocking to me. In Australia treatment is free, most Doctors are also free. Many of the doctors prescribing pharmacotherapy in Australia do not charge the patient a cent. The medication itself costs about $25 per week, irrelevant of dose. Meaning it’s $25 for a weeks treatment if your on 2mg or 32 mg.

    How can Doctors be in this for the money? I only see people genuinely trying to assist people in a bad situation.

    Unfortunately there are always people who are greedy but most doctors, at least here in Australia are in this for the patient.

    Unfortunately I believe the low cost here trivialises treatment for many individuals making non-compliance with the treatment regime much easier. As there is no large financial commitment people appear to jump on and off the program as a method of substituting for their drug of choice.

    At the same time there are many who would be unable to afford treatment if it was any other way and for that reason I feel a completely free or extremely low cost treatment is the best approach.

    Before anyone accuses me of being another money hungry doctor taking advantage of addicts I’m actually in treatment and have been for around 6 years. If I hadn’t taken that route I would not have completed my degree in engineering, my thesis, got married to my long term girl friend or have a successful career.

    The Suboxone Film is starting to be pushed hard in Australia and I’m interested to see so many reports of what appear to be either lower bioavailability or quicker metabolism via the new delivery mechanism. For this reason I’m recalcitrant to switch… unfortunately I suspect their will be significant pressure considering the lower risk of diversion with the film. FYI Allow of tablets are diverted when dispensed at pharmacies by the patient holding the pill in their mouth until they can remove the slightly wet tablet. From what I hear diverted tablets tend to be smuggled into prisons..


    • It’s always interesting to hear how things are done in other countries.
      As I’ve pointed out repeatedly, medical care for all illnesses cost money in the U.S. Since we don’t have universal health care, the patient has to pay, whether it’s out of their own pocket or through an arrangement with an insurance company. Addicts who complain about the cost of addiction treament in the U.S. need to remember that many people with other chronic diseases also have to pay out of their own pocket if they don’t have insurance.
      Is that because doctors are money hungry? Obviously I have my own opinions, namely that there are too many people between the doctor and the patient that take their cut but do nothing to provide the actual care. How much money do we spend paying the salaries of people who “manage” healthcare benefits? I’ve read somewhere that 30% of our healthcare costs are due to administrators and their salaries.
      If you don’t like the situation, help to change it, by voting for candidates interested in bettering our healthcare system. We are the only “advanced” society that does not have universal healthcare.


  41. Posted by Tommy Derelicte on October 19, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Thank you so much Jana for taking your time to respond to our queries and opinions.

    I am from Australia, and today I had the pleasure of experiencing Suboxone Film for the first time. I had my dose a couple of hours ago, and have already done a bit of an appraisal.

    Benefits (for me):
    – It dissolves faster, less accumulation of saliva, and it’s easier to talk with it in my mouth.
    – Its packaging is less recognisable to others, and storage is easier without the need for pill bottles.
    – The pharmacist seems happier to dispense it, given people can’t “spit it out” as easily. However, we also get ‘take away’ doses.

    Negatives (for me):
    – Tongue burn.
    – Taste lingers longer.
    – Increased bioavailability. Nobody I know has been told to reduce their dose to compensate for the increase in bioavailability when switching. I feel an increase in buprenorphine effects, and the ‘mild buprenorphine stone’ that comes with an increased dose.
    – Headache, most likely from increased bioavailability..
    – Most importantly, there is a definite mild feeling of precipitated withdrawal post-dose. I have experienced precipitated withdrawal from naltrexone, naloxone and buprenorphine in the past (unfortunately), and there are some definite symptoms with the film. A couple of minutes post dose, I had raised goosebumps, dizziness, anxiety, “speediness”, all the unpleasant feelings of precipitated withdrawal. Fortunately these only lasted half an hour.
    – More expensive than generic buprenorphine.

    Overall, at the moment I am still preferring the pills.

    I have also been told that the naloxone is not as stable and degrades more easily in the film. Given there is a lack of research into what chemicals it decomposes into, and their effects when taken daily for years, I have chosen to keep my film in the fridge. There is some interesting reading here, and a culmination of studies, of film vs the pills:


    • Posted by Tommy Derelicte on October 19, 2011 at 4:35 am

      ‘The claimed benefits of the soluble film need to be weighed carefully against its clear disadvantages and against the risk/benefit profile of the currently available sublingual tablet. Naloxone is extremely unstable in the soluble film formulation, degrading rapidly to a large number and high levels of impurities, whereas naloxone is relatively stable in the sublingual tablet. As naloxone is present only as an abuse deterrent, compliant patients taking the soluble film would be exposed to unnecessary additional risks with no concomitant benefit.’


    • Posted by Tommy Derelicte on October 19, 2011 at 4:37 am

      Apologies for the split posts. I should disclose that I am presently on Pegasys (Interferon / Ribavirin) treatment, so am likely more sensitive to side-effects from the film.


  42. Posted by mike manfredi on November 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    i just recently got out of detox 2 weeks ago. while i was there i was given 8mg of tabs in the mornin and a 2mg at night. after i left the hospital i was given 7 days of medication to take home with me.. which were in tab form.. i just went to the doctor yesterday and he prescribed me 3 weeks of suboxone in film… i took my first dose this morning and i hate it… it taste worst than the tabs, but seems to be stronger.

    another thing is that these things are expensive 90 dollars for a week supply. i was thinking about switching to methodone cause it is cheaper but my friends say that it is more addictive than heroine and have been on it for over 2 years. i have only been on suboxone for 2 weeks and i already feel that i don’t need t anymore


    • Methadone is a full opioid, and overall, most people feel it’s harder to taper off of methadone than buprenorphine (Suboxone) though a minority say Suboxone is harder.
      But stopping opioids isn’t the problem. Most opioid addicts have stopped over and over again. The studies are clear that if you don’t get counseling to help you make life changes, you are at high risk of relapse, particularly after only two weeks.
      Please talk to your doctor about these concerns. Methadone is cheaper, but can’t be prescribed from the doctor’s office (I”m assuming you live in the U.S.) and you have to go every day for a dose at an opioid treatment center.


  43. Posted by mike manfredi on November 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    where can i get the 75 dollar coupon?????
    i have only been able to get the 45 dollar coupon….
    mike m


  44. This is a great post. The film is awful. 2 months of trying it has made life hard. I had to take twice as much, and even so, the effects did not last long. I love the easy dissolve of the strips, but I would rather have the tablet anyday. I am happy to report I am back on track and having no more withdrawl symptoms. Something isn’t right with those strips. They have had so many complaints that the Dr. is writing tablets again.


  45. Posted by Alex W. on January 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    “Study 20-273-SA compared single doses of the 8/2 mg soluble film with the 8/2 mg sublingual tablet. It showed that the bioavailability of buprenorphine from the soluble films is significantly greater than from the sublingual tablets: AUC and Cmax are increased by 20% and 28%, respectively. The bioavailability of naloxone from the soluble films is also significantly greater than from the sublingual tablets: AUC and Cmax are increased by 30% and 41%, respectively.”

    I have been taking suboxone for the past 2 years and my doctor just switched me from the tablets to the film. I have never taken the film before so I am curious about the differences which leads me to this site. Although majority of the people on this forum seem to say “the film doesn’t work as good for them” or “the film is not as strong”, I do have a friend that just got back from rehab and said not only did he like the film better, but he was actually working out the first day of his detox instead of laying in bed miserable.

    So which is it? Does the film work better? Or worse?

    Well for me, I won’t know that answer until tomorrow when I get my first script of strips.

    But I do have a theory:
    After reading the results from the studies shown above, I’m starting to think that maybe it’s possible that the films have a greater bioavailability, causing an increase in buprenorphine, but also an increase in naloxone. And anybody who has ever taken naloxone after taking an opiate knows EXACTLY what that does. In short, it sends you into immediate withdrawal. So why would they put naloxone in suboxone when suboxone clearly contains an opiod? (or “a partial opiod agonist”).
    Well, it’s supposed to stop people from abusing it (shooting it up, snorting it). It’s made so that if taken properly, under the tongue, only a small amount of naloxone enters your bloodstream which doesn’t create any withdrawal symptoms.
    My theory is that the higher bioavailability is creating more naloxone to be drawn into our systems. It’s still not that much….but it’s enough for people to notice a difference. So the naloxone is mixing with the buprenorphine more, which is causing people to feel very very mild withdrawal effects, which in turn makes them think the medicine is “not working as good” or “wearing off”.

    The only thing I can’t figure out is if that were true, why do people report that taking more of the strips makes them feel better or like a “normal” dose of the tablets would make them feel?

    Sorry about the long post…but I haven’t heard this theory yet so I wanted to test it.
    What do ya think Doc? Does my theory hold any water?

    -Alex W.


    • Thanks for the study citation. You may be on to something there. I’ll run this by some doctors I know who are more learned about absorption/bioavailability and get back with you.


      • Posted by elliotlessing on January 4, 2012 at 7:40 am

        I doubt it.The naloxone only has an effect if taken by injection or maybe snorting . .

    • Posted by guest on March 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      I am a mother of a daughter who was an addict. She finally decided enough was enough..wanted her life back and was willing to do everything she could to get clean.
      She was put on the tablet’s (suboxane) and she was doing great..she was getting her life back and doing very well. Her doc switched her over to film’s and life has become a living hell for her.She is now craving opiates and must fight this everyday of her life. Also she is constantly sick on the film’s.she has the strangest symptom’.s Something is very very wrong with these film’s..


  46. Posted by eternal on January 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I have done a lot of experimenting with my suboxone dose. I have been on subutex, suboxone pills and now suboxone films. I have been on and off suboxone for around 5 years now. It has totally saved this girl’s butt. So, I have been on the films for a single week now and at first noticed they seemed stronger for sure. Then, quickly they have become slightly less potent. Through talking with many addicts and through my own experimentation, I have come to conclude that this drug is a tricky one and that most people all have slightly different experiences. Just slightly different, but enough to know this drug does not effect all people the same. Ditto with other drugs. The drug itself is the same, the body chemistry from person to person differs, therefore, the reaction differs. I believe the FDA is pushing this on us and touts the tale of what this medication does. Yet, I KNOW through experience (the most important credential I know of), that suboxone is different for everyone and that suboxone effects change in me also. Or should I say the effects of suboxone in my system have confused me from time to time and don’t make real practical, clinical sense. Some days I need a little less, some days I need a little more, some days I need a LOT more. It is a neverending cycle of, How is my medication going to do for me today? The doctors want to push their information on us and any real difference we tell them is always,” The addicts mind misbehaving”. Well, I can honestly say that this drug is the wackiest one out there. It always seems that I am having to readjust my dose. This is hard for an addict to do that is truly trying to be clean. I am trying to loose the addict mentality and having to adjust my dose regularly causes me to question myself. Am I taking this just because I feel a little weak or do I take this because I am really uncomfortable and in honest need?? I believe we are being duped by the manufactuers, and that more testing needs to come out of this. I am all for the pill form, since for me it is tried and true. Let them try new things out on people not fighting for their lives and sanity. All the mess with the patenting of this medication is causing us (the client) is all about money. It seems a bit suspect to me, the entire way they have offered it as an only option for the poor…and it still cost the same. Where I live anyways. I will continue my trial with the film and will definitely come back and share my results. I believe the best thing we have as addicts is our voice, we come together and share our experiences, to help one another. That is so very far away from addictive behavior!! One small step at a time. Good luck to any who choose suboxone, it is truly the best way out of opiate addiction I have seen. We still have along way to go fighting this battle. Finally there just may be enough addicts wanting to spend their money to get out of hell, to cause some company to do something for us for a change.


  47. Posted by Alyssa on January 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Hi everyone. This is gonna be a long one, but I really wanted to get this out there and find out if anybody has shared my awful, agonizing experience. I am a 24 year old female with 1 year and 2 months of sobriety and Suboxone use under my belt, after a 7 year addiction to oxycontin, percocet, roxicet, etc… It’s my first time posting here (or anywhere else, for that matter). Usually, I just read through other peoples’ posts for answers to a question I might have, or just out of curiosity. Today, I came across this site in an effort to find out if there was anybody out there who had similar problems with the Suboxone sublingual FILMS. However, all I’ve been reading about is the argument that the FILMS are no different than the TABS, or the FILMS are less potent than the TABS… but no one has mentioned anything like what I went through. I began my Suboxone program on October 10th, 2010 (10/10/10 is a pretty cool quit-date, no?) and my doctor started me on 8mg/day of the Suboxone sublingual TABS. I found these little orange pills to be my saving grace and have been slowly tapering for the last year (down to 1-2mg/day now). However, after about 4 months of using the TABS, my doctor’s office made the switch to the FILMS. I was assured that these FILMS would be better tasting, quicker to dissolve, and have the exact same effect as the TABS. That there was absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in the medication and I should experience NO adverse reactions. I was actually a little bit excited to start the FILMS, because, lets face it – who really enjoys sitting in silence for 10-20 minutes with a wad of nasty tasting orange goo in your mouth? Speaking of which, has anybody ever accidentally sneezed while taking your Suboxone? I have, and as gross as it was, I laughed pretty hard afterward. But I digress… So I began taking the FILMS and had no problems for about 2 months (and yes, I always alternated under which side I placed the FILM). It wasn’t long after my 2nd script refill (approx. 2 months after beginning the FILMS) that I began experiencing some discomfort underneath my tongue. I frequently get canker sores so I thought it was probably just one of those, and didn’t think much more of it. Until I started noticing some swelling and redness, and the discomfort turned into irritation and pain. Every day this progressed until it got to the point where I needed to call my Suboxone doctor. He was not in, and so I left my message with the receptionist and made sure to tell her EXACTLY what was going on. 5 days later, still no call back, so I called again, and the receptionist was acting like a total bitch, stating that the doctor hasn’t called for a reason and that he would get to me whenever he could. When I asked if I could please speak to another doctor, because I thought this was becoming an emergency, she simply stated “No” and hung up the phone. I began crying because I didnt know what else to do. All the while, I couldn’t stop taking the medication because I’d go through withdrawals, so while all this was progressing, I was still continuously taking the FILMS (which burned like all hell when placed under my sore and swollen tongue). By this time, I could barely speak because the swelling and pain had gotten so bad (you could actually see the swelling on the outside of my neck, underneath my chin). I had to take my tongue ring out because the swelling had been so bad that my tongue was almost covering the top ball. This was absolutely excruciating. At this point, a thick, white film had started to develop over the entire underside of my tongue, and the bottom of my mouth. I figured it was time to go to the emergency room. Now, its an unfortunate truth that Suboxone is not very well known in the medical field. There are very few doctors and nurses who have ever even heard of the drug before, let alone what its used for and how it works. I explained to the ER nurses and doctor what the problem was and showed them my mouth, and that I was certain it was a reaction to the Suboxone. I then had to explain to them what Suboxone is, what it’s used for, and what it does. The doctor told me that the irritation had gotten so bad that it had turned into an infection (hence the white film covering the entire bottom side of my mouth), and she prescribed some antibiotics, and heavy-duty anti-inflammatories, telling me it was a damn good thing I got there when I did. She also said that this was NOT an allergic reaction, otherwise it would have manifested itself sooner (rather than not showing up for 2 months after I began using the films), and not only that, but since the drugs in the FILMS are the same as those in the TABS, it should have happened LOOONG before this, since I had been on the TABS 4 months prior to the FILMS. To this day, I still have no idea what caused the problem, but I DO know FOR SURE that it was the FILMS. My Suboxone doctor put me back on the TABS and I’ve had no other problems since. However, after this whole ordeal had passed and I was back to normal again, I had several FILMS left over from before this happened. I did a little experiment. For 2 days, I took my regular dose of Suboxone in the FILM form (instead of my TABS), and sure enough, after just those 2 days, I began feeling the discomfort and slight swelling and redness on the underside of my tongue again. I, of course, immediately stopped with the FILMS and threw the rest away, continuing only with the TABS from then on.

    So, I guess what I’m saying here is… To all of you who had posted about the people who think the FILMS are different is only in their head – I am living, breathing, DOCUMENTED proof that this is not the case. Now, I am not saying that it’s not that way for some people, because I could definitely see how the power of the mind could influence it… But in my case, it was definitely a physical problem for me. My doctor had said that in the years he’d been working with Suboxone patients and attending Suboxone meetings and all the research, he had never heard of anything like my case before. He asked for my permission for him to discuss me and my case in out-of-state meetings and interviews, and document the case on Suboxone websites and discussion boards. Several months later, he told me that the other Suboxone doctor at the clinic had a patient go through something similar to what I went through with the FILMS and they had to switch her back to the TABS as well – however, her case wasn’t as severe as mine (probably because HER doctor got back to her immediately!)

    I’m sorry this was so long, but like I said, I really felt like I should get it out there and I’d be incredibly interested to hear your feedback. What you think may have caused it, if you or somebody you know might have gone through something similar, or if you have any idea what it was (since it wasn’t an allergic reaction).

    My one and ONLY idea of what could have caused it is this (and really, it’s just a thought because I honestly have NO clue what it could have been): The fact that, when you place the TABS under your tongue, they dont stick in place. They move/slide around and don’t stay in the same place – whereas, the FILMS become very sticky when moisture hits them. They don’t really move around the area much and they just stick to the same place. Maybe this could have caused the irritation which then turned to infection. I have no idea, and any and all comments are welcome.

    Thank you all so much for reading,


    • Hello Alyssa,
      Thanks for writing. I’ve had one patient who had burning under her tongue on the films. You could see the underneath portion of the tongue was a beefy red, and rough, not smooth like it should be. We switched back to the tabs and she had no further problems.
      I think something in the film (besides the buprenorphine) gives some people a contact dermatitis.
      I agree it’s horrible that your problem went on for so long, because the solution is simple – switch back to the tabs.
      The drug company that makes Suboxone says that the films are less likely to be sold on the black market, but I don’t think this is true. The last four patients I admitted to my Suboxone practice had all tried Suboxone on the streets to see if it was going to work before they paid a doctor. All of them were getting the films on the street.


  48. Posted by Alyssa on January 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks so much for your reply. It’s nice to know that I’m not some freak of nature and that this didnt just happen to me lol. I feel like if my doctor would have gotten back to me sooner, it never would have gotten as bad as it did and probably never would have even gotten infected because, like you said, the solution is simple – just switch back to the tabs.
    As for the films being less likely to be sold on the street, I dont understand where they get that from, because it’s not anymore difficult to sell an addict an 8mg film strip than it is to sell them an 8mg pill. Before I got into the program, I had heard of Suboxone from friends who bought it from other people off the street when they were detoxing from lack of pain killer availability. I had never tried it before I went through rehab because I didn’t really know much about it, and instead, suffered through the withdrawals until I could find my next fix. I didn’t believe that it worked the way people said it would, but boy was I wrong. I began my program, but hadn’t started on the Suboxone yet. I thought I’d be fine without it, but then I never stopped using and I was already several weeks into my program. I was being drug tested 3 days a week, but coming up clean because I was using Tramadol and Ultram to get past the withdrawal symptoms, since I knew it wouldn’t show on their drug screens. Well, then I truly decided I wanted to quit, and I came to “class” withdrawing pretty badly. They sent me to talk to the doctor and he insisted I try Suboxone.
    I swear to God, that drug saved my life. I’m now 14 months sober and slowly weaning off the Subs.


  49. Posted by lisa on January 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Hello my name is Lisa im a 35 year old mother of one but im also a recovering addict. This is my first time visting this website and i couldnt believe how informative and helpful it actually was for me so thank you janaburson. The reason why i ended up on your website was because i was researching the differences between suboxene tablets and suboxene film strips. See from 1998-2005 i underwent 7 surgeries under my arms to remove cysts also known as hydradanitis (i think thats how its spelled). With each of the surgeries i developed severe infections and permanent nerve damage after the 3rd surgery which caused me to not only be placed on anti-biotics and nerve blockers, but also massive amounts of pain killers. I was taking 2 40 mg oxycontin pills for 1 1/2 years then the rest of the time between 1998-2005 i was prescribed 360 oxycodone pills every month for almost 6 years. That was the worst time in my life. Aside from cigarettes i wasnt dependant (addicted) to anything however during those years i found myself not being able to function without the meds i didnt even recognize myself i felt like i was in a medicated fog. Finally in early 2005 when i was finally in the clear with all the surgeries i wanted to get off the meds so over the next 3+ months my doctor slowly weined me off the pain killers but when i got down to taking just one oxycodone a day i still found myself having withdrawls so my doctor suggested putting me on either methodone or suboxene. Well i had heard of methodone but i had never heard of suboxene so after researching both of em i went with suboxene. I started my first round of suboxene on April 6, 2005. I started at 12mgs and eventually my doctor and i found a good balance at 16mgs so I’ve been taking 2 8 mg pills for the last 6+ years along with substance abuse counseling twice a month which has been a good balance for me that is up until recently. Like many others who have written comments on ur website i too was switched from the suboxene tablets to the film strips. Now with all medications i know that theres a transitional period that the body needs to go through before you know whether a medications gonna work or not, however ive been taking the film strips for over a week now and i can honestly say that i dont like them. I dont feel the same way i feel when i take the pills. The strips dont seem to be as potent i feel tired and irritable almost like im having mild withdrawls and for the last 4 out of the 7 days since the switch ive had intense headaches. Now im not suggesting that any and or all of these symptoms that im having are because of the film strips, however i do know that i wasnt having any of these problems or feeling like this when i was taking the pills . I plan to see it through and finish the rest of my prescription but if these symptoms persist, im gonna talk to my doctor and see if he can put me back on the pills. Like the old saying goes if it aint broke dont fix it Thank you


  50. Posted by SubPatient on March 11, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Hi, I just stumbled across this blog while reading up on the suboxone film. I had taken the tablets during my first successful attempt to quit using heroin/oxycontin and went back to school and got a good job after I got clean. Life was good, got married had a child and everything. About 2 1/2 years into my new improved drug free life I fell at work and injured both my knees. Now 2 surgeries later, and 2 more to come I have been caught in addiction/dependance again and my wife was threatening to leave me over it. I have just seen a new suboxone doctor last week and the thing is I don’t have insurance right now as they say I make a little bit too much with my worker’s comp a month to qualify for medicare.

    I have a perscription for 30 suboxone tablets (which I have always taken due to my insurance that wouldn’t pay for the film), but in the mean time until I get this filled I managed to borrow a few strips off of a friend. I have been taking the strips for 3,4 days now and I am in complete withdrawl all day/night long. They are not working at all. I am perscribed 3 tablets a day and today I have taken 4 films just to get the “runs” under control as yesterday I took 3 strips and fell asleep on the toilet to wake up to a heck of a mess. If I were perscribed film all the time, I don’t think I could do this as my orthopedic surgeon had me on a medium dose of Opana for my severe knee pain. I’m not sure if the Opana is playing a part in these severe withdrawls while I’m taking the strips because I had never even tried Opana on the street as it was way too expensive for me at my level of use back then. Not sure what is going on but I will know better tomorrow when I fill a partial script of my tablets because it is finally payday. I was seriously thinking about getting some more Opana from a family member earlier today but I am glad I didn’t, as I really don’t want to lose my wife and my son over my pain and addiction.

    The flim is new to me, but so far I just don’t see it helping me as much as the tablets did, what I noticed so far is that they seem to work fairly well at the onset but don’t last more than 2 hours and the sickness returns with a vengance. I feel bad for those of you stuck on the flim as your only option, when I was on my last week at my old suboxone doctor’s office I had to wait to see the doctor because the RB sales rep came unannounced to meet with my doctor. I was sitting right outside the meeting room and they didn’t bother shutting the door. I heard her say that the company is pushing all patients towards the film to “get people away from pill form drugs as this is what they may have been abusing all along”. After reading out the patent issue I am convinced that this was just her excuse to have all of my old doctor’s patients switch to film form to keep their customers. She told the doctor to only perscribe film from now on, but there is a certain insurance in my area that does not cover the film thankfully was the insurance that I had.

    Now that I’ve been stuck with the film for a few days I can see why people are unhappy with it. Some people I know that are stuck with taking the film claim it is only half as effective and instead of taking 2 tablets a day they have to take 4 strips a day to keep from W/D and this shorts them in the end and actually pushes them back to pills for half a month. Is the film actually feeding the addiction that it is supposedly supposed to help stop? This is a serious issue that the company should attempt to fix and find out why this is happening.


    • Suboxone doesn’t work for everyone. Even at big doses, you’re still sick. Please tell your doctor. I suspect your doctor will recommend you be admitted to a methadone program.
      The theory that the films are less likely to be diverted is only that – a theory. It’s of no use at all unless you do random film counts at the pharmacy, to see if the packaging matches what was dispensed.
      Over the last three months, about half of the patients I admit to treatment have used Suboxone on the street. Nearly all of them say they used the film. And all of them said they used it to treat withdrawal, not to get high. I’ve had people write in to the blog that the films are easier to inject, though i’m not convinced this is true.
      Reckitt-Benckiser is doing a great job of marketing its strips, but I’ve seen no benefit other than that $45 off coupon each month. I really think they work about the same as the tablets. I have patients who swear the films are stronger and patients who swear the tablets are stronger.

      R-B is just doing what drug companies do – trying to hold its market share. Every time I’m tempted to criticize them, I need to remember they were the only drug company willing to put the time energy and dollars into bringing this medication to the point it was approved by the FDA to treat addiction. It has made life much easier for so many addicts who were struggling before. They do need to get credit for that. Other drug companies had no interest in making a drug that treats addicts, assuming there was no money in it. I believe that they bought the rights to buprenorphine from another drug company that had no intention of making or marketing it.
      Are they doing some kind of sketchy marketing? In my opinion, yes. But I honor them for making the medication in the first place!


  51. Posted by Disabled Paratrooper on March 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    This film is not as strong as the pill, not even close. I’m a disabled veteran and became physically dependent on pain meds after about 4 years of being on fentanyl and dilaudid. I never abused narcotics, as I never took more than prescribed and I quit when I wanted to, even against the doctor’s advice. However, I was on a lot of pain meds, about 800mcgs of Fentanyl (8 patches at once) switched every 2 days with dilauded for breakthrough pain). I was off the pain meds for about a year and I never really returned to being normal again so I went back to the doctor and he gave me subutex.

    I have been taking subutex three times a day for around 3 years now and it has been great. I take it for pain and physical dependency on opiates. It has allowed me to once again have a life, where I have gotten back into school and am able to maintain straight A’s. I’m also able to raise my two small children. The past three years on subutex has allowed me to maintain a normal life, with friends, school, family and just about everything else. However, something happened to my doctor and as a result, his office was closed without notice. This forced me to have to see another doctor. This new doctor is nice and all, but he says the government (of course!!!) doesn’t like him prescribing subutex so he put me on suboxone, which I don’t have a problem with because he assured me it was the same thing, only with a protection from people abusing it. I just switched from three 8mg subutex pills per day to three 8mg suboxone films per day and my world has turned upside down. I am having withdrawals and my pain has returned with a vengeance. I’m taking these films as directed and it feels as if I’m not taking anything. My children, school and life are now on the line and I just don’t understand why my doctor would try to fix what wasn’t broken. I was doing so good on the subutex. I am now hopeless once again.


  52. I am a long term Cancer patient. Doctors put you on higher and higher medication with no where to go. Pain is horrible. Well I was told about suboxone and it seemed very hopeful. It was life changing. Because all I wanted was to live my life.. I was way to young to give up. Any ways the suboxone was the best thing I have EVER found for serious spinal pain. I had the pills for a long time. I believe the pharmacy just filled my prescription with film because thats what they had. Although I do notice my pain is elevated and Im constantly trying to stretch and help my pain levels. Although it helps for a few minutes the pain in constant the rest of the day and night. I have no history of addiction and I just want to live a normal life. So I’m not trying to help addicts.. Although there is something DIFFERENT about the strips. I’m not sure what it is. I do intend to look at the molecular make up of each … Curious.


  53. Posted by ryan baumgartner on April 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    ive been reading all the above and i do think there is somthing going on with the flims ive been on suboxon for years off and on and the pills work a 100 times better then the films and its killing my pocket


  54. Posted by chris on June 8, 2012 at 2:50 am

    How come suboxone don’t help me i am 15 and I have been taking 8 milligrams strips I think I don’t let them dissolve right


    • You need to call the doctor that prescribed them for you, and tell her how you are feeling, please.


    • Posted by Melinda on June 12, 2012 at 1:34 am

      You are too young to consult anyone but your doctor for care. It worries me for you & I don’t want you having the life that I lived in my 20’s. Please catch this early & nip it in the bud! Have fun, you’re 15 so drugs should be the last thing you even think about! Enjoy swimming, boys/girls/friends, riding the atv, vacations, school, planning college, ect. You have a long, beautiful life waiting for you… or an ugly, dark miserable path that will leave you with regrets. Choose the beautiful life!! Talk to your doctor openly & honestly. You’re 15, they will be more willing to make dang sure that you beat your specific problem!


  55. Posted by rebecca on June 24, 2012 at 2:06 am

    I have been on the saboxone 8 mg2mg tablet and they really wrk,now my dr changed me to the 8mg2mg saboxone film and I am hurting within 2hrs after I take it! What do I need to do?


  56. Posted by Monicka on July 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    My opinion is that..”that one patient is just using that as an excuse. You cold go to the bathroom, every job has to let you go, or else it’s abuse. I dought people are going to dig threw the trash!! What makes me wonder how does she take it at work then without anyone seeing?? One other choice would be doing it quick and then shoving the rapper in your pants pocket. Thats my thoughts.


  57. Posted by Brandon on August 8, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Put me down as another who knows the films are not the same as the tabs. Was doing great for years, and took the films and now feel terrible.


  58. N.a.. at a 5% success ratio is exagerrated. They don’t count the ones who drop out(90%) which puts it at a 1% success, which is esentially zero. Also, there is a much higher suicide rate for those who attend 12 step programs. I’ve been on suboxone for 5 years 16 mg film , and would’nt dream of getting off . I have a normal life, and I don’t sit around with a bunch of crying baies who want to get high.


    • Zero percent? No. Tell that to the millions worldwide recovering in 12-step groups. NA does work, but like any treatment, you have to participate for it to work. If you were prescribed suboxone but then didn’t take it, it wouldn’t work either.
      There aren’t any records of success rates for NA, because it is an anonymous group that doesan’t participate in clinical trials. Anyone who quotes figures is either making them up or estimating, at best.
      It doesn’t sound like you’ve been to NA, or at least not to many NA meetings. I’ve gone to plenty of open meetings, and what I hear are people grateful to be out of the morass of addiction. Most of what they share is about how to live the life they want by applying spiritual principles. The few surveys done on people in AA show they score high on life satisfaction scales.
      At any rate, NA isn’t for everyone. I’m very glad you’ve found a way to recover and be happy. That’s the bottom line.


      • Posted by elliotlessing on August 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

        I’ve heard that NA has a less than 2 percent recovery rate.That is failure in the scientific world. If someone reported a cure for cancer at a 2 percent success rate, their “cure” would be considered a failure and they would never be funded again. How can it be said that NA does work if there are no “records of sucesses”?? How do you state that there are “millions” recovering, and then in the same breath state that there are no success rates because its all anonymous? No offense, but that is like talking out of two sides of your mouth at one time . .

      • Maybe I misspoke. Let me explain.
        When doctors and scientists look at the success rate of a given treatment, the definition of success has to be clearly defined. For example, a study may define success as at least one year of no drug or alcohol use. Another study may define success as six months of no drug/alcohol use. That’s a narrow and precise definition of success rates. In this kind of study, a group of patients are usually followed over time and compared to a group not receiving the given treatment.
        To my knowledge, there have been no studies where patients entering NA are followed over time to see how many achieve whatever the definition of success, and compared to a control group.
        Membership surveys, completely voluntary, of 12-step members are done by both Alcoholic Anonymous and Narotics Anonymous fellowships from time to time. We know approximately how many people attend AA and NA across the world, but we don’t know what their “success rates” are because the structure of the group and their policy of anonymity. Presently, Narcotics Anonymous holds over 58,000 meetings are held per week in at least 131 countries. Alcoholics anonymous has over 2 millions members worldwide, and around one million in the U.S. and Canada.
        The last survey NA did, in 2010, showed the average member had clean time of 9.1 years. However, the survey may have been more likely to be completed by NA members deeply involved in the program. It’s not hard to imagine that a newcomer to NA with a few days clean may not be as inclined to fill out these voluntary membership surveys.
        So yes, we have an idea of how many people worldwide attend 12-step meetings, but that alone doesn’t give information on success rates.
        And so much of it depends on how you define success. Studies of addiction treatments are difficult to compare for this reason.
        Many treatment centers do give wrong impressions by manipulating statistics. For example, a center may say they have an 80% success rate. They may not tell you that’s for people who complete their treatment. If half their patients drop out in the first week and aren’t counted, it’s not such a great success rate. And successful for how long? If they check their patients a week after leaving treatment they will certainly have a higher success rate than if they follow those patients for a year and then see how they are doing.

      • Posted by elliotlessing on August 14, 2012 at 8:10 am

        So, if I understand then, you are saying that it is premature to judge the effectiveness of 12 step groups-that those who tout the “success” of 12 step groups are not basing their claims on anything of scientific value.

      • No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying there have been no ramdomized controlled trials that show the precise recovery rate of NA. For some reason, you quoted a “recovery rate” of 2%. What does that mean? How do you define recovery? Who did that study and how?
        I can give you results of studies that do support the overall effectiveness of 12-step meetings, but is that the same thing as “recovery rates?” No.

  59. Posted by Greg on August 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I tried the film for a couple of months back at the 1st part of the year. One dose I would feel high as a kite (dizzyness echos in my head high) then the next I would feel like I didn’t get any medicine from it at all.Now my Dr is making me change to the film. I am quitting Suboxone due to this. Hope the withdrawal symptoms are not too bad.


    • Posted by jess on August 29, 2012 at 3:59 am

      I get severe headaches from the strip. Migraines, nausea its terrible! I switched back to tabs


      • Posted by Aimee on August 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm

        When a person starts taking Suboxone, whether the pill or film, it can cause severe migraines and headaches for up to a few weeks after starting it. I know because it happened to me when I was prescribed the pills.

  60. Posted by Horus Kristos on August 31, 2012 at 11:38 am

    hey ppl, thought i would throw in my experience in with the mix. I have been on both the tablets and the strips so i feel i am qualified to comment on the difference between the two. I have read this entire form, it took a while and my only reason for reading it and even looking up the subject was that I too noticed a difference between the two. I experienced certain side effects on the strips that i never noticed on the tabs, def the bumps on the tongue but mostly acne, after being on the strips for a few days i began to get horrible acne, mostly on my back, and theres arent your run of the mill zits either, some of them turn into cysts or boils and leave scars and can be quite painful, i get some on my face too but my back and shoulders is the main area affected. I read up on some other forums and found that this is pretty common, however i could not confirm if it was only confined to the strips, Im pretty sure it is though based on my experience, That should def add that as a possible side effects on the label, some ppl that experienced it even said that their doctors told them that there was no way it could be related to subxone, which i think is bull. But i do think that it is only a problem with the strips, I was wondering what exactly is the difference between the two? what else does the strips have in them that the tabs dont?

    Secondly, on the issue of subxone on the black market and the issue of injecting it, I have heard and seen that the strips are much easier to inject than the tabs, the general rule of thumb is that you want to make sure that your not injecting more than 2 mgs of the naloxone at a time. Also the percentage of people that inject subxone is pretty low, Most people that purchase subxone on the black market do so for combating withdrawl only, and i dont know anyone that has to worry about pill checks or whatever. there was about 2 years difference between me being perscribed the tabs and the strips and during that time i went back to doing oxy cottin every day, and sometimes when money was low i would buy a few strips and sometimes i would iv them just for the needle fix, or because i didnt want to wait the hour for them to kick in if i was in severe withdrawl, and i could only do this with the strips, not the tabs. People that buy subxone on the black market usually only buy it for withdrawl, not to get high, so i dont see how the strips prevent this, besides the pill check method, they are def easier to inject.

    And my last point, I think doctors wayy overshoot the dosage of subxone, When i was addicted to oxy cottin(80mg-200mg a day) and was low on money i would buy a strip or two to tide me until the next wave of money came in and i found that i could make one strip last up to 5 days if needed and i would not experience any withdrawl, i would just cut the strip into 4 or 5 pieces and take them once a day. When i entered into a treatment program and got put on it legally they wrote me a a script for 3 a day. I still dont take more than a half of one a day if that. A low dose goes a long way for combating withdrawl, i think its crazy how doctors try and put you on a high dose, i even asked to be put on the lowest dose possible and i was still given 3 a day, and now i havent even taken any in about 3 days because of the acne thing and im not going to take any until i am in extreme withdrawl. And another thing i noticed, when i was put on this a few years ago it was only supposed to a short time thing, like a few months tops, now i know some ppl that have been on it for years and havent even started tapering down, I thought the point of this stuff was to help you quit, not replace your addiction. thats all, interesting forum, would be interested to hear if anyone on here noticed the acne thing, seems common on the other ones that i read.


  61. I can tell u all the film is stronger. I been on suboxine for 8 years. I started out taking the pill for 6 years and then got put on film. When I run out of film and if I find a sub pill I take it and it don’t even work for me anymore after being on the film. And u people who say u take 3 pills a day and u still feel bad that’s why u feel bad cuz the more of suboxine u take the worst u feel and the reason is because the blocker is covering your opiod receptor all the way up and none of the opiod can get in. That’s why u feel bad still. Trust me the less u take the better u will feel. It took me 2 years to figure that out. The only reason I ran out a couple of times is cuz I only get 30 and every once in a while I take a half extra when I’m hurting in my back bad. If anybody has any questions about suboxine feel free to ask me on here. Good luck everyone


    • I have three questions Kenneth, I really hope that you reply. Do you ever get broken and brittle strips, or those that just look old? and if so do they seem weaker in strenth? the last question is: why do you take more when your having that pain if you say the less you take the better you feel?


  62. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that
    over again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!


  63. I am a 26 year old Female… And I have been addicted to oxys for about 4 years. I am on the suboxine Film, I tried tablets and I did not like them… Honestly They saves my life… I had a different experience with mine though, I started taking suboxine 8 mg a day and after the 6th day I forgot to take my dose, Then the 7th day I thought you know what I still feel fine so I am not going to take the next dose until I feel myself getting sick…. and I NEVER got sick the only thing that happened was Mental withdraw, and thats when I took myself to my outpatient drug class and went to meetings, I figure the suboxine is for withdrawl pain, and I was not feeling any, so why would I keep taking it? (meanwhile my dr. said “Jessica if you feel this is the right decision and you are not feeling any pain or withdrawl symptoms at all then okay,”So I stopped, I never ended up getting sick… And I was very addicted for years I snorted my pills then ended up in jail, and drug court and so on… Anyways the mental part of my disease is the hard part but everyday it is getting easier… with the help of meetings and my drug class that is court ordered but I STILL enjoy going I love going actually.. So yea thanks ! LOve Jess xoxoxo


  64. I have read through every one of these post and the consensus seem to be overwelming reguarding the strips, but I cannot convince my doctor of this. I appreciate the doctor that has taken her time to read and respond to alot of these post. when I try to convey my experience with the strips to my therapist or my doctor become suspicious of my motives. I feel like I was on my way with the pills, now I feel back like I am struggling, and all there willing to do is up my dose and that is a lot of money and some times one strip does not effect me like another. its miserable, but what can I do? I hope you guys havent quit posting to this site.


    • Posted by jsiloman on December 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      I think you should try to find another doctor who will give you benefit of the doubt. or at least threaten to. It is your life-you are the patient, and you shouldn’t have to deal with doctors who act like that (although there are an awful lot of them these days).


  65. Posted by Susan on December 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    the pills work great. but the strips are lame. It looks Some have more suboxone on them vs. other strips I hate the strips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  66. Jana, I read a lot of these replies… I have been on suboxone for 7 years, I am 25… I have not had 1 relapse since doing the suboxone program the correct way… Wich means taking the correct dose, not to little…of course there is people abusing suboxone, but there is many many more its helping… And for the comment of shooting IV suboxone… People who do that aren’t doing a hole pill they do quarters to get passed the naloxone.. My insurance is making me switch to tablets starting January… God bless you Jana


    • Thank you for reading and commenting. I assume your insurance is switching you to the generic buprenorphine? Since the name brand tablets won’t be available for much longer.


  67. I need a website I can get $75.00 dollars off suboxone films


  68. Posted by Roberta on April 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    When you are prescribed suboxone does your weight play a role in the dosage? Or does everyone get the same dosages? My daughter is 17 and has been jailed twice for drug use,would I be able to get her on this med? She will be released in 3 days and I dont want her going down the same road again.She has been through drug addiction programs and nothing has worked for 3 years now. Jailed twice that doesnt even work. Im very worried she’s going to die! Dhhr even admitted they can not help her. Or do I have to wait a year until she turns 18? It could be too late by then.


    • The dose has more to do with opioid tolerance than body weight.
      Yes, buprenorphine (Suboxone) has been used in adolescents and it works well. However, it only works for addiction to opioids. You didn’t mention the specific drugs but I assume it’s mainly opioids.
      At 17, you still have the authority (I think) to admit her to an extended adolescent treatment program. That may depend on what state you live in. If I had a 17 year old daughter, that’s the route I’d go. After she turns 18 you have no legal authority.


  69. Posted by Getting Better on February 23, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Hi there. I commented on one of your blogs regarding Suboxone about a year ago. You’re a busy, hard workin’ lady, and I don’t expect you to remember me, BUT, I promise, I do remember you, and I want to send a HUGE “thank you” your way, for taking the time to email me, and answer my questions the way you did…. At the time, I spoke to you in desperation, asking your advice on how to find, and handle a Suboxone prescribing doctor. I explained to you that I was a “relapsing addict”/busy mom/PTO member/active mother in our school and community, etc., at the time, all was falling apart, due to my newly resurfaced dependency issues…. I felt compelled today, to give you a thorough update. If you have the time to read, and would like to, great… if not, I understand. I very much admire you for your interest and true CARE for those that suffer from addiction…… Sharing my story with not only you, but others that might benefit from hearing it too, seems a good thing to do right now…. I’ll recap some, before I delve into where I’m at now: My relapse occurred, around 2008-2009 when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. The RA affected/affects my shoulders, to the point where I can’t reach over my head. Anyways, I was prescribed Hydrocodone for pain. I took those as prescribed for a while, and over time, began searching for “more”. One thing led to another, and before long, I was purchasing and consuming large amounts of Opana off the streets. My family, home and life, was falling apart, at a shockingly fast rate.. the bills and mortgage weren’t being paid, my marriage was in turmoil and everything SUCKED… you all know how it works… So, being the notorious “self medicator” I’ve been known to be, I chose to attempt solving my problem without a doctors help. I started experimenting with Suboxone that I was buying off the streets. I was actually prescribed Suboxone during my first run in with addiction (right after it first came out in 2003), and was blessed with great results. I can confidently say, that Suboxone played the biggest role in my 6+ year recovery period. Shortly after I started that, I discovered a good dosage, that not only cured my cravings, but also addressed my pain (8mg per day, split into 2 doses that I took morning and night). My reasons for treating myself, with meds off the street, were in part, because we live in a small town, where even the doctors are known to “talk”, and quite frankly, I believed it was easier to meet my needs myself. I spent about 1 year, doing things the way I just described, and realized pretty quickly that my method was undependable and dangerous. I found myself sick often, and without access to the meds I so depended on to live normally, and in a constant “search” to keep my medicine rolling. I spent many long hours, trying to find a prescribing doctor, that was taking new patients. No such luck. Very frustrating. I managed to maintain a very undependable, yet somewhat helpful Suboxone regimen that at least kept me from tearing our lives apart, MOST of the time, for about 2 years. Here we are now though…. things have FINALLY panned out for the better, through a series of what SEEMED to be, very unfortunate events….. My husband and I got pulled over about 2 months ago, for not wearing our seat belts. We expected that the officer would walk up the car, scold us a bit, give us some tickets, and be on his way….. No such luck…. the first thing he said was, “Step out of the car please”. Our first thoughts were, “Seriously!? For not wearing seat belts?”….. Let me note now, that at that point, my husband and both had squeaky clean records, in both criminal areas, and areas of driving. One thing led to another that morning with our over zealous officer friend, and before we knew it, he was calling in the K-9, due to our refusal to “let” him search our vehicle. I was charged with “possession of a schedule 4 drug” (Suboxone)….. Not cool…. I hired an attorney, and attended my first court date, where I was told that because I’d had no prior criminal history, I had the option to choose this wonderful program called “pre-trial diversion”… Assuming I was able to pass their mandatory 1 year probation period (drug tests, home checks and all), this program would result in my charge being completely dropped… never to be seen nor haunted by again. Sounds great in theory, but to a Suboxone dependant person, it sounded more like a death sentence. My vision of the events to come, looked something like this: Attempt to quit Suboxone cold turkey in order to pass frequent drug tests, get very very sick, become ridden with giant cravings and intolerable pain, either consume Suboxone again, or worse, pain killers, fail a drug test, and wind up in jail… not only facing my original possession charge, but also, a new “probation violation” charge on top of it… Not cool…. At that point, I decided to reach out to a long time friend of mine, whom had been a nurse for many years, and also had battled addiction/dependency in the past. That’s when things starting looking brighter….. Amazingly, she confessed to me, that she had been taking Suboxone for almost 5 years, due to a relapse of her own. All this time, and I didn’t even KNOW she was on Suboxone, nor did she even know I was in active addiction again! She told me about her “small time” doctor, whom wasn’t particularly a “Suboxone” or “addiction” doctor necessarily, but whom had a passion for helping people in ALL areas of need…. She recommended that I set an appointment with him, tell him everything, and ask for his help. Three days ago today, I met my new primary care physician, and began my OWN, legal, Suboxone treatment plan. Life works in very mysterious, and also amazing ways. What seemed like a nightmare, turned out to be my saving grace. Now, I will have my OWN, legal, dependable Suboxone treatment, and can actually feel HAPPY about the pre-trial diversion program I’ll be starting next month. My new doctor believes strongly, that my personal addiction problems, are probably more along the lines of pseudo-addiction. I had never heard of pseudo addiction, and consequently wasn’t aware that such a thing could possibly be my real problem… Now that I’ve spent some time looking into it though, I can comfortably agree with his opinion. Clearly, Suboxone is just as useful for pain, as it is for addiction management. I found it to be just as effective in managing my pain, as the Opana was. I haven’t felt like I needed more Suboxone all the time like I did while taking pain killers, and of course, it allows me to keep my life together. My personal opinion on the “strips vs. tablets” subject, is really quite strong…. During my time running all over the place, from Suboxone patient to Suboxone patient to illegally obtain my medicine, I often found myself faced with the ever so frustrating comment, “I only have the strips right now.”…. I’m very aware, that the tablets have a “higher street value”, and I believe the reason for that is quite simple…. the strips are not as effective…… I paid $5.00 more, for tablets, then I could have paid for strips, because the effects and relief were literally TWICE as good… I felt like crap when I took the strips… I had to take twice as much of the film, as I did the tablets, which translates to them only working half as well… All the strips were good for, as far as I was concerned, was to keep me from being so ill, and in so much pain, that I couldn’t leave the couch… the strips allowed me to get off the couch, but nothing more… and most of the time, when I did get off the couch after taking a strip, I felt like running into town, to buy whatever drugs I could find to cure my horrible symptoms… I don’t know the REASON for the difference between the 2, and I only have 1 possible theory that I believe might make sense… the film dissolves much faster than the tablets… maybe it doesn’t stay in my mouth long enough to properly enter my system… I really don’t know? When I informed my new doctor that the strips don’t work as well, his bluntly responded with, “I consider that a red flag. The tablets have higher street value, and when a patient claims that they don’t like them, I have to wonder why.”…. I promised him that I certainly had no intention to sell my medication, and that I would prove that to him through my actions… I encouraged him to PLEASE call me in for pill counts, anytime he felt the desire, so that I could show him my appreciation for the Suboxone treatment.. I would definitely NOT do anything to screw it up… I have zero interest in doing anything other than take my medication as prescribed, so that I may continue living a normal, fun, happy life….. I do wish more studies would be done on that subject though… I know I’m not the only person out there, who receives FAR less benefit from the strips vs. the tablets… I find it frustrating that the only thing professionals think of and assume when tablets are requested, is that their patient may have ill intentions… It seems to me, that it would be very beneficial for Suboxone patients, if they did whatever needs to be done to prove that strips are just NOT right for everyone… Never the less though, things finally came together for me! I’m being prescribed the tablets, I’m not gonna wind up in jail, and I’m functioning normally and well, for the wonderful family I’ve been so blessed with… I truly, LOVE my life now… 🙂 I ALMOST loved it when I was treating myself, but just wasn’t quite there… I’m there now though, and I am one VERY happy mother, wife, sister, cousin, niece, daughter and friend! LIFE……. IS……… GOOD……… and Suboxone is a MIRACLE DRUG! 🙂


    • Great newsm thanks for the update.


    • Posted by Jerry on February 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Suboxone strips are proven to be stronger than the pill form, period. I agree with your Doc’s diagnosis of your condition. You have conditioned yourself to believe that the pill form is better for you. Hence, a form of Psuedo-Addiction. I have been on both and the pills suck. This medication is not good for you. I am on a taper down to get off within the next year. I cut 4mg. every 6 months. Right now I have just cut down to 8mg. per day. Splitting your 8mg. dose in half further exudes your addiction behavior. My next cut I will be switching to Zubsolv which is a little over 5mg. but is said to be as effective as 8mg. of Suboxone. I stand firm in believing that anyone that would want pill’s would have bad intentions. They taste like shit. They offer no co-pay. The only value over the strips is the street value. I get mine free. What my insurance doesnt cover the co-pay does. This mediaction is not good for you. Take less with the same effectiveness. Go Zubsolv.


      • I debated about whether to post this or not, but it’s a good example of how some people think.

      • Posted by Jerry on February 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm

        My doctor sat down with me and discussed everything. And he basically did the opposite of what I maybe wanted or at least what he thought I wanted. He told me film only. He said there is a less chance for abuse. Do you really think it’s a good idea to prescribe your patients a 30 day supply at a time and only see them again when they are out???? Most cases it’s not. It’s a quick way to get cash. There are also so many people that if you pill counted them I could go borrow off of a friend or someone in NA. Which has all been done before. Film you just cant do it. they come in a box of 30. They are all serialized with numbers. If you make a list of pro’s and con’s of pills vs. film, it would be a landslide. Please name one benefit of the pill???? Stronger???? Maybe but thats up for debate. The rest is all film. You being the Doctor, I would love to hear how you think.

      • According to the studies submitted to the FDA, there’s no significant difference in the absorption or blood levels of buprenorphine when delivered by sublingual tablet versus the film. Most patients prefer the film because it dissolves faster, but every patient is different. I’ve had a few patients who aren’t able to use the film, and I’m quite sure they’re in good recovery.
        I think you are confusing physical withdrawal with addiction. With addiction, a patient has the obsession and compusion to keep using more. Patients – doing well on suboxone – lose that compusion. If they don’t, then this medication won’t work for them, and there are those patients who are too sick for this type of treatment.
        Many of my patients on Suboxone do go to NA, and get benefit from it. They don’t share about it at meetings, though. I have many patients on Suboxone who do individual counseling are are doing very well. They work, have great home lives, are happy and productive. Do you discount all of that success just because they take suboxone each day? I don’t. I think they are blessed to be out of active addiction.
        Of course I don’t prescribe a month’s worth of medication the first time I see a patient! Each patient makes progress at his/her own pace, and I give progressively longer prescriptions depending on their drug screens and participation in some sort of counseling.

      • Posted by Jerry on February 25, 2014 at 9:33 pm

        It usually doesn’t go over well to share the fact that you use Suboxone in NA. Most addicts look at it like ” Active Addiction “. Which I agree. I take Suboxone, and I agree. I also can say that I am just as dependant on Suboxone as I was other opiate’s in the past. The only difference is I can function in a more normal way and cover up my addiction because I have a steady supply. You are right, I am not out seeking more. If that steady supply were taken away…Chances are, I would be right back on the street’s seeking. I have no misconceptions of addiction. I am an addict in every sense of the word. One is too many and a thousand is never enough. I get addicted to some things very easy….Music equipment and etc. Suboxone has allowed me to settle my searching for drug’s and to concentrate and work on my addictive behaviour through counseling and NA meeting’s. MOST PEOPLE ON MOST SUBOXONE POSTS AND BLOG’S DO NOT MENTION HOW THEY ARE BEING TREATED MENTALLY FOR THEIR ADDICTION. THEY JUST MENTION THE FACT’S OF THEIR DRUG USE AND HOW THEY ARE NOW BETTER BECAUSE THEY HAVE A SUB DOC. All I am saying is you get to a point in treatment where you still need Suboxone to function but you also realize that you have to kick this drug addiction because it is still burdening you and your family. You are still dependant on something that you dont need.

      • I get that being on Suboxone is a financial burden on the family. But other than that…and some patients do need Suboxone to feel right.

  70. Posted by Jerry on February 24, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I must also go on to say that yes, Suboxone is a drug that will help you stay off of Heroin and other high potent pain killer’s. But it is no miracle drug. Me being an addict and knowing that I had to treat my addiction through counseling to understand my addiction can say that taking Suboxone is only trading one addiction for another. The only evidence needed for this is to stop taking Suboxone for 48 hours and then tell me you are not addicted to them. Suboxone therapy does absolutely no good if you do not have a counseling regime conditioning your brain to eventually get off of this highly addictive drug. Any Doctor willing to keep a patient on this drug for more than a few years without a taper off plan with their patient’s are not interested in their patients well being. I must re-interate that Suboxone is not good for you. It’s very bad. When I finally come off of this drug will be the day that I can say that I am clean. Until then I am an addict that is active in my addiction. The little aches and pains during the cut’s are all a part of what you have done to yourself. Getting off drug’s isnt easy, it’s not suppose to be. It need’s to be hard to serve as a reminder of your past mistakes. So many people think that when you come off of drug’s with help (Suboxone), that you will feel ” NO PAIN”. Kicking Suboxone will be the hardest thing you have ever done. My parting word’s….Failing to treat your addiction with counseling and NA meeting’s and having a solid taper plan with your doctor, you are doomed to fail. The same as always. An addict living in active addiction.


    • Again, a great example of how people misuse the term “addiction.” And yet another example of the opinion that there’s only one way to treat addiction. This is not true.


      • Posted by Jerry on February 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm

        Doc…..Many of the people are only treating addiction by throwing another addiction at it. This lady above mentions no treatment. Only more drug taking. Every plan will be a little different, but you must have a plan to get off of drug’s. Throwing more drug’s at it doesn’t help anything.

  71. Posted by Jerry on February 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    You just hear about the drug taking. You dont hear about how the counseling is helping your addiction., Or the clean people in Na that are helping you stay on the right path or a sponser to call when you need to talk to someone. Its all about the drug’s.


  72. Posted by newatthis on March 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I have a question. I started new this week. I thought i was going to get suboxone, but just for 2 weeks he started me on zubsolv. I have never tried any form of bup before and had a 7 yr struggle with prescribed opiates for pain. so i love that i have no ill effects from it, and it takes all wd and cravings away, i feel wonderful for the first time in 7 yrs i can smile and laugh. However he told me to take 2 a day 5.7 mg which is equivalent to 2 8mg suboxone strips a day. I feel fine until 5 or 6 hours and then wd symptons return, horrible leg pain and cravings but not for my drug of choice, rather theneed to take the zubsolv. And when i do, the pain leaves the craving is gone ect., until 5 or 6 hours. So i was scared to call the doctor and say oi need 3 a day (equiv to 24 mg suboxone ). He said thats ok for now, but i would have to go back to 2 in 2 weeks, or i can try the suboxone and split it (16mg) how i feel need to….. SO my question is, I thought you could be on anywhere from 2mg to 32 mg subs and up to 17.1 mg zubsolv. So if i need 3 a day why would he not be ok with that??? I want this to work and feel it can, but not if i can only take 2 and have wd symptoms and cravings. Wouldnt it be better to just do the 3 a day and get stable and then reduce to 2 of the 5.7??? He made me feel like i was drug seeking behavior…..please any help i would greatly appreciate, thank you


    • I think you need to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and let him decide if you need more medications. It’s unusual for buprenorphine to give out after only 5-6 hours.


      • Posted by alisa on April 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

        I am also a chornic pain patient. I didn’t mean the part that controls cravings and withdrawls wears off, i could probably take one and be ok with that, we are also using it for pain control, and about 6 hours after i take it, my pain is pretty severe.

    • Posted by Jerry on March 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Make sure you are taking the med’s properly. I haven’t taken the Zubslov so I cant weigh in on that. My best advice is to take one pill right when you get up. Take the second pill about 8 hours later. Kicking drug’s isn’t going to be a pain free ride. Stay hydrated. When you start feeling like crap get some exercise in. Take some Advil Liquid gel;’s for pain. You will stabilize at this dose soon enough. Every time you cut, you will feel some discomfort. Hit as many NA meetings as you can. They always help. Just remember if you want more, thats just going to be more your going to have to cut down from.I always used the pain as a reminder of the mistakes I had made. Addiction is a condition that has to be treated in multiple ways. The doc that posted is right. I can go 24 hours or so without anything before I feel like crap. I started at 16mg. of Sub’s a day. I am now down to 8. My doc cuts me 4 mg’s at a time every 6 month’s. 4 mg’s is a steep cut, but I want off this drug. Bup is a highly addictive drug in itself. It is impossible to quit it cold turkey without going to a detox center. You have to be weened off. That process will be determined by you and your doctor. Don’t mess up and take drug’s. If you have a doc like mine…you get pill counted and drug tested randomly. I once took a drug test on a Monday morning. And he ordered another Tuesday. I have done no drugs since I entered the Suboxone program. Now that you have found a Doctor to help you, you gotta stay the course. Na meeting’s and counseling. You have got to want to quit all drug’s. Good Luck.


  73. Posted by Mic on May 7, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I would like to add my experience and I feel very strongly in my opinion since I do NOT look at addiction or drug abuse as being being wrong like the typical citizen does. We are allowed to be addicted to coffee and sugary food products that can kill us as fast as a drug can in moderation to the equivalent of food intake. Can one person tell me that there would not be anybody in jail tomorrow if coffee was classified as an illegal substance? How about cigarettes? You would see epidemics like cocaine and methamphetamines on the streets most likely. People would be breaking laws and then the people who were addicted to these foods would be looked at just as drug addicts. Many are aware that drugs have been illegal for a short period of time and the reason why they became illegal wasn’t due to drug epidemics but because of racism.

    That being said I prefer the tablets over the films. To me the films are weaker and I know many who say the same thing. Yes there may be 8 mg in a film but that doesn’t necessarily make it as strong or weaker. There are many variables that come into play which I don’t know them all. Suboxene is a very mental drug. You cannot effect the body without effecting the mind so the mind must be added into consideration. Tablets have fillers in them that may or may not give off the illusion that they seem to be stronger. The thing that I don’t like is every clinic tries to push the films on you even though you don’t want them. And the medical practitioner has the audacity to try and change your mind and tell us what we want. I think a nurse or medical personell should stick to medical work and not become the suboxene police.

    From my experience the doctors I have dealt with seemed pretty clueless. I would ask questions and the doctors would seem to answer me from a script they had memorized in their head which didn’t seem to answer my question. These doctors I was dealing with have never taken a suboxene in their life but some how tried to convince me they knew more than me about suboxene. Knowing the theory and statistical data is one thing but actually experiencing the substance and analyzing the experience tells you a lot more. Ask any mechanic or doctor who studies for the field it is when you get the on the job training is when you really start to learn. I mention this because all I see today is miss information and people who are clueless trying to enforce their opinions or policies onto others and not only does it not work, it is also straying away from the big picture and that is a happier life and a happier world is it not?


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