Does Suboxone test positive on an opioid or opiate drug test?

Suboxone is a prescription medication that is approved by the FDA to treat opioid dependence. Opioid addiction is a serious problem and it includes heroin addiction as well as addiction to pain pills, such as Dilaudid and oxycodone. Interestingly, Suboxone includes an opioid ingredient, buprenorphine. While buprenorphine is, by definition, an opioid, it is not like other opioids. Buprenorphine is both a partial agonist and antagonist of the opioid receptor. This means that it primarily blocks the receptor and then partially activates it. Suboxone is a highly effective treatment for opioid use disorder. While Suboxone does contain the opioid, buprenorphine, it will not be detectable on a urine drug test as an opioid or opiate. Because of this, not all drug test panels will show that Suboxone is present in your system.

Will a four-panel drug test show buprenorphine?

A four-panel test and five-panel urine drug test are basic urine drug screen tools that will usually test for the most common drugs of abuse. It may test for opiates, such as morphine and heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and PCP, or phencyclidine. A common difference between the four and five-panel urine tests is the presence of marijuana on the panel. Since cannabis is legal in many states now, employers are sometimes choosing not to test for it. In this case, they may choose a four-panel test that does not include THC testing.

How about a 7-panel or 10-panel drug test? Will these test positive for Suboxone?

While these urine drug tests will obviously test for more drugs, they still often do not include buprenorphine or even methadone. There is no set standard for which drugs must be included on specific panels, so it is possible that the 7-panel or 10-panel tests will include different drugs, varying from one manufacturer to another. The form that the urine test comes in also varies. There are dipstick tests and cup tests. A stick is dipped into a cup of urine and then the operator will view the test to see which panels come up positive or negative. A positive result means that the drug in question is present in the urine, hence in the subject’s system. This is usually represented by a single control line across the white material of the individual drug panel. If the result is negative, meaning that the drug was not detected, it shows as two lines, the control line and a second line that indicates a negative result. The cup form of the test is the same as the dipstick, but the test is built into the cup. The obvious advantage is that the cup may remain sealed while the operator is checking results with less chance of exposure to bodily fluids. Usually, the cup includes a temperature sensor that can confirm that the urine is at normal body temperature. This check helps to verify that the urine was not brought in by the patient to fool the test. Additional drugs that may be tested for include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, amphetamines and possibly methadone.

What about a 12-panel drug test?

It is interesting to note that the department of transportation, as of this writing, does not necessarily test for buprenorphine or methadone. These drugs are both used to treat opioid addiction. While you may not be tested for a particular drug, it is important to be straightforward in your answers on applications and paperwork regarding medical conditions and medications when it comes to certification for driving or flying. If you are concerned about legal implications, consult with a lawyer before filling out the paperwork and submitting it. Regarding your medical conditions and medications, see your doctor. A larger test, such as a 12-panel drug screen, may include oxycodone and MDMA, also known as molly or ecstasy. A special 12-panel test may also include buprenorphine as an alternative. Doctors, employers, law enforcement, and other agencies that test people for drugs, may want to specify to their test supplier that the tests include buprenorphine. This is especially true for doctors who treat opioid dependence with Suboxone. It is important for a doctor who treats opioid use disorder to confirm that their patients are taking their prescribed medication.

Can a Suboxone test be fooled by dropping a Suboxone pill or strip into the test cup?

What if you drop Suboxone, Subutex, ZubSolv, or buprenorphine into a urine sample? Will it make the test come up positive for BUP? Will the doctor believe that you are taking your medication? First of all, you should not be trying to fool the test or your doctor. If you are giving away or selling your medication, you should be aware that this is a serious crime and you are risking being charged with a felony and serving jail time. And, urine drug screening has become more sophisticated in recent years. It is likely that the drug test cup includes a test for both buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine. Norbuprenorphine is the metabolite that is produced in the human body when buprenorphine is metabolized. If you try to cheat the urine drug test by dropping buprenorphine into the cup, it will likely not work.

Does a drug test with a multi-drug panel ever have a naloxone panel?

Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. With normal Suboxone use, naloxone is only minimally absorbed into your system. The purpose of naloxone in Suboxone is that it serves as an abuse-deterrent. There is a small segment of the drug-using population that is comfortable with injecting opioid pills. They may also have experience in shooting up Suboxone films. To get the pure drug, they may crush and melt tablets or strips and then pass the material through a micron filter. If naloxone is present, it will make the IV drug abuser sick from withdrawal symptoms. This is known as precipitated withdrawal and is caused by the naloxone. When you take Suboxone as directed by the sublingual route, by placing it under your tongue to dissolve, this will not happen. There is generally no purpose for testing for naloxone on a drug test. However, special drug tests that are processed in laboratories that test for levels of many drugs may include naloxone on their very large drug panels.

What about the 13-panel test? What is the purpose of a 13-panel drug test? What is the additional drug being tested for here?

The opioid epidemic in the US involves substance abuse that includes pain pills and street heroin. In recent years, a new drug has crept into the street heroin supply and is even being found in counterfeit pain pills, such as Roxicodone 30mg tablets. This drug is fentanyl. You may have heard of fentanyl, sold by prescription as Actiq lollipops and Duragesic patches. It is also used by IV during many surgeries. However, the fentanyl and carfentanil being found in street drugs are imported from other countries, such as China and Mexico. These synthetic analogs of fentanyl are potent, toxic, and very long-lasting in the drug user’s system, possibly due to a long half-life. Fentanyl is now a major cause of opioid overdoses. Because of this, drug test manufacturers are offering 13-panel drug tests that include fentanyl. In our experience, patients who believe they were using heroin were actually using either pure fentanyl or a combination of heroin and fentanyl. It is rare that a user will test positive for heroin and not fentanyl. This is an ominous sign that we need to take further action in providing harm reduction practices to protect drug users from the dangers of fentanyl. I recommend that doctors who treat addiction should use a drug screen product that includes a fentanyl panel.

What is harm reduction?

The term, “harm reduction,” refers to a variety of actions that we can take to protect drug users from harm. Why would we want to do this? Wouldn’t it be better for drug users to realize that they are at risk for overdose death, injury, and disease? Wouldn’t this risk motivate the drug user to quit right away? Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t work this way. In fact, one definition of addiction that is widely accepted by addiction experts describes the five Cs of addiction. One of the Cs is “continued” use in spite of self-harm. If you are struggling with addiction to a drug such as heroin, you will feel the compulsion to continue use even though you are aware of the risks. Additionally, opiates, such as heroin, cause physical dependence. So, in addition to the addiction compelling you to use heroin and risk serious self-harm, you will also use it to avoid the physical withdrawal symptoms that can be very severe. Since people who are addicted to drugs will likely keep using drugs even though there is a great risk, we can help to protect them from harm until they are finally ready to get help to get clean. One thing that we can all do is to keep naloxone, or Narcan, on hand and learn how to use it. Narcan is a drug that comes as an injectable or nasal spray that can reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone is a potent opioid receptor blocker that displaces other drugs from the receptor until it wears off in a couple of hours. Other forms of harm reduction include supervised injection sites or supervised consumption sites, also known as safe injection sites. Clean needle and syringe exchange programs can help to protect drug users from the spread of contagious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis.

How long does Suboxone stay in your system?

Suboxone has a half-life of about 36 hours, so you can expect to have Suboxone stay in your system for 2-3 days. It will come up positive on a 12-panel drug test for at least several days. When it comes to hair testing for drugs, it may be found up to 90 days after the last use. A saliva test will pick up buprenorphine, for up to a week after the last use. If you are prescribed buprenorphine, you should not have to worry about this since there is nothing wrong with taking Suboxone as prescribed for opioid dependence.

Is Suboxone a controlled substance?

There are three main drugs that are used to treat opioid use disorder. These are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Naltrexone is the only one of the three that is not a controlled substance. Naltrexone is an opioid receptor blocker that is used to treat alcoholism and opioid addiction. It may even be useful in treating other forms of addiction. Methadone and buprenorphine are both classified as controlled substances. This means that doctors must have special training to prescribe or dispense these drugs for the treatment of opiate addiction. While bupe is a controlled substance, it is safer than methadone and safer than many comparable opioids. Buprenorphine has what is known as a ceiling effect. This means that if a person takes too much of the drug, they will not be likely to overdose or get high from the drug. The effects quickly level off and do not increase if the user continues to take more. While the ceiling effect is protective if the user takes buprenorphine with other drugs, such as Xanax, Valium, or Soma, or other sedating drugs, it is more likely that the person may overdose if they take too much. 

Can you get high from buprenorphine?

This is an important point because one thing that limits patients’ access to buprenorphine is the concern of law enforcement and government officials that buprenorphine may be abused. There are stories about buprenorphine being secretly brought into jails and prisons. There is a belief by many people that it is possible to get high on Suboxone. The fact is that few people get anything resembling a high feeling. In fact, when the medication is taken as prescribed for opioid addiction, most patients describe feeling as if they are not taking anything. There is no high feeling or altered state of mind or mood. If you have a loved one who is abusing opioids and you are concerned about them going on Suboxone, you should not be concerned. They are not going to be getting high from Suboxone. When they take their medication as directed and see a mental health professional for therapy, they will function better and they will not feel withdrawal sickness or the overwhelming cravings for opioids that come with abstinence-based rehab treatment. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with buprenorphine is effective and relatively safe. See a doctor who is credentialed to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid addiction to learn more about this highly successful form of treatment.