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What are short and long-term effects of SUBOXONE injection?

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My significant other is prescribed Suboxone films and he is abusing them by injecting them. I'd like to know the effects of him injecting it. What are the long and/or short term effects of him doing this? I've read several horror stories online but would like a professional answer. I've read about heart and lung issues along with vision. Some even went as far as losing limbs. I'm hoping to discuss quitting with him and want to make sure I have everything I need to help. I can't stand the fact he does it because I lost someone very close to me in the past due to a brain aneurism cause by an air bubble in their syringe. I'm to the point I am considering informing his pain doctor about the abuse but I don't want to get him in any legal trouble. What would happen if I informed his doctor? He's expressed a want to quit so I am hoping to be able to help. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Category: Psychiatrist

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Dr. Srikanth Reddy is online now

Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 4 Days.

Thanks for using DoctorSpring.com for posting your query.
I have gone through your question in detail and i can understand what you are going through.
However, I would like to know a few more details before I can answer the question.
1. How many suboxone does he use per day?
2. Does he use a new needle or he shares it or reuses it?
3 . Has he had any medical problems?
Hope to hear from you at the earliest convinience. ..
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD

Patient replied :

I'm unsure how much he uses a day but I would say up to one packet a day. (He is prescribed the strips) He tends to try to hide the fact he's doing it so it's hard to say. He does reuse the needles but I am pretty positive he does not share them.
As far as medical conditions I am not aware of anything new. He does have a history of back problems which he sees his pain specialist for. Some other things that I have noticed though is he has a terrible cough (he is also a smoker that smokes very frequent) and he complains about his arms going numb once in awhile.

Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 3 Days.


Thanks for the additional information.

Suboxone has a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Nalaxone is a blocker and hence wont help buprenorphine with its pleasant effect. This is the only reason why nalaxone has been added to buprenorphine.
The only problem he can land up with is infection due to reuse of needle which can be local as well as sytemic like cardiac or lung infection. That is the reason he should leave it. And it would be easy for him to leave on suboxone. You should inform his therapist who should gradually reduce his prescription of suboxone. That is the only way out. In future one should be careful before prescribing any opioids.
Hope this helps,
Feel free to discuss further.
Kind regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy.

Patient replied :

I'm sure you can't tell me exactly what will happen but if I do tell his prescribing doctor will they just take him off of it or maybe I can suggest a taper and is there a chance of my significant other getting in any kind of trouble? I haven't decided if I want to tell him that if he doesn't stop I will talk to his doctor or if I want to anonymously inform his doctor. Thanks!

Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 2 Days.

Thanks for the follow up query.
You may discuss this issue anonymously with the doctor.
Further you may just hint that he may be abusing them but at the same time you may state that you are not sure.
You may also request him to taper of the dose gradually..
Kind regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD

Dr. Srikanth Reddy
Category: Sexologist
Doctor of Medicine (MD), Psychiatry Residency Program,2001 – 2012
M.B.B.S,Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences, Sevagram

Certificate Course in sex Therapy and Counselling, Sexology and Counselling, A
Sexology,Medikon Sexual Sciences, Mumbai

Training in Advanced Neurology at a leading corporate hospital (CARE hospital) in Hyderabad

Child Psychiatry Training in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore

Sex Therapy and Counsellingat MEDIKON Sexual Sciences, Mumbai.
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