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What is Suboxone

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is the first opioid medication approved under DATA 2000 for the treatment of opioid dependence in a private office setting.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that blocks other opioids from attaching to receptors in the brain. This treatment can help you stop misusing opioids. Treatment, including counseling, can help you rebuild your life.

What Is a Partial Opioid Agonist?

A partial agonist is an opioid that produces less effect than a full agonist when it binds to opioid receptors in the brain. The way different opioids work can be explained using a lock and key example. Receptors are like a lock to a door. Only the right key will fit the lock, and only opioid-like drugs fit opioid receptors.

  • With a full opioid agonist such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, methadone, or heroin, the key fits the lock, opens the door wide, and produces full opioid effects (the feeling of euphoria, or being high, as well as the side effects)
  • With a partial opioid agonist such as buprenorphine, the key fits the lock but doesn’t open the door all the way, so it produces less than full opioid agonist effects and, at the appropriate dose, blocks other opioids from opening the door fully
  • An opioid antagonist such as naltrexone or naloxone fits in the lock but does not open the door

At appropriate doses Suboxone can:

  • Help to suppress withdrawal from prescription pain medications, heroin, or similar full opioid agonists
  • Help to decrease cravings for other opioids
  • Reduce the effects of full opioid agonists


Pat Moore Foundation’s alcohol & drug addiction treatment programs are licensed and certified by The State of California. Pat Moore Foundation patients have access to opiate and opioid detoxification provided by a third party medical corporation that uses suboxone for the detoxification process. Our individual homes are on a unique co-ed campus where we offer gender specific treatment. We are located in Costa Mesa, in Orange County, Southern California, close to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, and only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. To speak with a counselor, please call us 24-hours at the number above, or if you’d like us to contact you, send a confidential message online by filling out our online form.

Note: All medical services are administered by medical professionals, which are facilitated and operated solely under the jurisdiction of a separate medical corporation.