Is There a Drug Test for Suboxone?


Suboxone, according to, is actually a combination of two medications, buprenorphine and naloxone. The first medication, buprenorphine, is an opioid, the other, naloxone, is an opioid blocker. The drug was created in order to help get people who are addicted to such opioids as heroin, prescription pain-killers and many others to stop using the drugs. Although the drug contains an opioid, it produces far less of a “high” than its more potent family members. Does this drug, however, show up on drug tests and are there drug tests specially designed to detect it?

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone, as previously stated, is a combination of two drugs, buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone holds the prestigious title of being the first FDA-approved drug prescribed to treat opioid dependence. Suboxone’s primary compnonent, buprenorphine, although an opioid, actually possesses opioid agonist qualities. Mixed with naloxone, the combination helps alleviate the painful cravings experienced by opioid-dependent individuals.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone works in two ways. First, the opioid component of buprenorphine calms the body’s craving for one of its much more potent family member of drugs. Consequently, the individual does not feel severe physical withdrawal symptoms. The second drug in suboxone, naloxone, is an opioid agonist--it blocks opioids from receptors they interact with to create the “high” users feel. If suboxone is injected, naloxone will block buprenorphine’s effects, rendering the drug useless; suboxone must be taken under the tongue.

Typical Drug Tests

According to the National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine, even though suboxone contains an opioid, it will not test positive for opioids via a standardized urine analysis like the ones routinely used by businesses. Although suboxone is undetected by most drug tests, there are several other tests that test specifically for buprenorphine. As the drug becomes more popular, many businesses are attempting to add buprenorphine to the panel of drugs for which they screen.

Specialized Drug Tests

Due to the fact that suboxone does not show up on standard drug tests, there are specialized buprenorphine tests that screen for the drug. These tests are readily available online via and can be done right in your home. If testing for suboxone is the main purpose for a drug test, it is imperative to speak to the test givers and inquire if it tests for buprenorphine.

The Controversy

As suboxone is used to wean off more powerful opioids, there is controversy surrounding the fact that it is not tested for via most standard drug tests. Advocates for the use of the drug claim that it should not create a negative response for users as they are attempting to “clean themselves up” and a positive drug test would only serve to prevent them from working and thus, changing their lives for the better. Those against the drug claim that those individuals who take the drug have a self-admitted drug addiction and would not want to hire that type of individual.

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