Suboxone is used, together with an overall addiction treatment program that includes medical, social, and psychological support, to treat adults who are dependent on opiates (narcotics) such as oxycodone or morphine. A person addicted to narcotics who suddenly stops taking the narcotic may experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine works by replacing the physical effects of the narcotic the person is addicted to, which can help make it easier to treat their addiction. Naloxone is added to the medication to prevent it from being misused (i.e., to prevent it from being injected into a vein). Naloxone has no effect if given under the tongue as the medication is intended. But if suboxone is misused and injected into a vein (also called “shooting up”), naloxone will work by blocking the effects of buprenorphine, leading to withdrawal symptoms.