As a controlled substance and an opioid medication, Suboxone® (buprenorphine and naloxone) has potential for abuse and addiction. However, it is important to understand that there is a significant difference between an addiction and a physical dependence on a drug. A physical dependence on Suboxone is not a sign of abuse or addiction; it is a predictable, physical response to chronic use of the narcotic. The body becomes accustomed to physical changes that Suboxone causes, and stopping the drug will lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Addiction, on the other hand, is a serious disease in which a person has uncontrollable cravings and will abuse the drug despite potential harm. Abusing Suboxone can physically be dangerous, possibly causing breathing problems, extreme sedation, and even death.
(For more information on the dangers of abusing this drug, click Suboxone Warnings and Precautions. This article also outlines other important safety concerns to be aware of before using this drug.)