Video: What Is Suboxone?

By The Fix staff 06/03/15

The Fix shows how Suboxone works in this short explainer video.

Questions about Suboxone are some of the most frequent search terms that bring people to The Fix. Many of us have taken Suboxone or other buprenorphine-based medications like Subutex or Zubsolv in order to detox from prescription opioids or heroin, or as maintenance treatment. The consensus is mixed: we receive email and comments from people who claim that Suboxone is a miracle drug that has saved their lives; but we also receive complaints and requests for help from people who feel like zombies and cannot get off the medication. In this short explainer video, we just show you the mechanics. Many people (and their loved ones) who have been prescribed Suboxone wonder how exactly it works. If you are interested in a more comprehensive discussion about the effectiveness and various uses of Suboxone and other buprenorphine-based medications, please see our recent Ask an Expert story where 11 experts in the addiction field give their opinion on if, when, and how to get off of this opiate replacement therapy.


There is some prejudice in certain recovery communities against medication-assisted treatment (MAT), with some members saying that people on MAT are not technically clean. On the opposing side, critics of 12-step programs often complain that the fellowship's definition of recovery is too narrow. We believe that everything should be available to everyone, and applaud and encourage programs like the recent one in Gloucester, MA in which the police department is offering help instead of punitive measures. The OD-reversing drug Naloxone should be easily available to everyone, and programs which have proven records of preventing illness and deaths (like needle exchanges) should be welcomed in all communities. Some of us would not have made it to a happy and healthy drug-free life if it weren't for earlier harm reduction measures that were easily accessible to us.

Please watch this short video about the mechanism of Suboxone and Subutex. This is our inaugural attempt in a selection of what we hope will be a series of informative and helpful videos. We appreciate your comments!

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