Opioid withdrawal can be a long process with negative side effects that can be debilitating. During this process, many people find it impossible to work safely or productively. For those who want to work, or those who don’t want to lose their job, coming off of their opioid addiction seems hopeless.
Suboxone is an FDA-approved drug used in medically assisted therapy treatments. Used properly, Suboxone makes it easier to wean off of an opioid/opiate dependence. And while Suboxone is an FDA-approved drug, the question of being able to work while using it comes up frequently.
Suboxone does not get you high like other opioids. Instead, it blocks the effects of the opiates from affecting the receptors in your brain. You might experience a few side effects such as headaches and nausea, but that’s nothing compared to the harsher side effects of opioid withdrawals from a cold-turkey approach.
As far as being fired for Suboxone use, you have the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in your corner. If you have a diagnosed substance use disorder, then an employer cannot fire you because you have an addiction history or because of your Suboxone use. However, there are some fine details that you need to consider.
- If you can’t perform your job due to your Suboxone use, you could lose your job or be reassigned.
- If you are still using illegal drugs, you could lose your job.
- You must tell your employer before being drug tested about any medications you are taking such as Suboxone to avoid any negative interactions such as a loss of a job.
Taking Suboxone is not a cure-all, but rather an important step in your recovery. While you might not want to inform your employer of your Suboxone use, it’s best to be upfront with them. Again, you have the ADA in your corner if you do feel you have been discriminated against.
Less Common Side Effects When Using Suboxone
While less common, these side effects are more serious and should not be ignored. They include:
Severe Allergic Reactions
Trouble breathing, skin rashes, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat, or anaphylaxis.
Abuse and Dependence
Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction. However, Suboxone shared opioid characteristics and can lead to physical and psychological dependence if not used under proper guidance.
Drug abuse of any kind can lead to misuse and abuse, dependence, and even death. When coming off of Suboxone, you should slowly decrease usage until you are no longer dependent, helping to reduce withdrawal symptoms including nausea, headaches, and muscle aches.
While uncommon, some users might experience breathing problems; in most cases, these symptoms occur from misuse or abuse or when paired with other opioids or medications.
If you already suffer from breathing problems such as COPD, consult with your doctor first before starting Suboxone.
Some users report lower cortisol hormone levels, also known as adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms of lowered cortisol hormone levels include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Low Blood Pressure
Some users report mild and severe liver damage after using Suboxone. Most cases had an underlying issue that exacerbated the issue where some of the cases were caused directly from Suboxone use.
Your doctor may perform blood tests to check your liver function while on a Suboxone treatment. If you show signs of liver damage, your doctor may suggest that you stop treatment immediately.
Symptoms of liver damage include stomach pain, fatigue, and yellowing of the skin or yellowing of the eyes.
As an FDA-approved drug, Suboxone can help you overcome your opioid/opiate addiction. While it does have opioid-like properties, when used in a controlled environment with close supervision, Suboxone can help you gain the edge you need to finally kick your opioid addiction.
Fritz Clinic uses Suboxone treatments to help opioid-dependent individuals overcome their addictions and reclaim their life. In most cases, you’ll be able to continue working or find a job even while using Suboxone. Again, be clear with your employer or prospective employer; hiding information only hurts you more.