Can I Get Suboxone Treatment While Working Full Time?

Written by Buprenorphine Doctors

Being employed full time or even part time is crucial for many Americans because it provides a steady income and necessary benefits. Unfortunately, certain issues can impact employment status such as misconduct and breaking company policies. That is why it is understandable for you to question whether going through Suboxone treatment is acceptable when working full time.

To alleviate any anxiety this question may have caused, you can go through Suboxone treatment and still be able to work.

It is important, however, to understand how much time will be spent away from work due to treatment as well as the rights you have as an employee going through drug addiction. You can find this beneficial information below to help ensure confidentiality in the workplace.

You built your career and you do not want to lose it, Suboxone treatment can save your life and your career.

How does Suboxone treatment work?

Suboxone is a medication assisted treatment that contains both Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Together they contain one-part partial opioid agonist and two parts opioid antagonist. The agonist blocks opioids from connecting to the receptors on the brain, and the antagonist reverses the effects associated with an opioid; this, in turn, decreases withdrawal symptoms to help with recovery. Suboxone is prescribed and monitored by a Suboxone doctor to ensure the patient is receiving appropriate opioid addiction treatment.

What amount of time am I required to take away from work for Suboxone treatment?

The first day of treatment will be the longest because the Suboxone doctor will complete a thorough medical evaluation. After the medical evaluation, if prescribed, the patient will take the first Suboxone dose in front of the doctor, so he/she can ensure proper administration, evaluate the body’s response, and record how the patient feels. Altogether, this process will take around two hours, but can vary depending on the patient’s response and the doctor’s protocol. Therefore, it is suggested that the patient takes off work for the first day of treatment.

After the first treatment, patients can return to work the next day if they are feeling well. Overall, the most time spent away from work will be during the first week of treatment, but this will all depend on how the patient feels within the first week. Since everyone has a different physical response to Suboxone, taking additional time away from work may or may not be necessary depending on your individual situation.

Part of the work day may need to be taken off for regular follow-up appointments as well. The first appointment will occur one to two days after the initial treatment to allow the Suboxone doctor to evaluate the patient and see if they have any symptoms. Following this, regular once a week appointments will be scheduled to check progress and continuously evaluate the patient over time.

Note for the work schedule: The frequency of these appointments can reduce over time depending on the patient’s confidence with taking Suboxone on their own and when the doctor believes an appropriate dose is achieved. There are also Suboxone clinics that have weekend or evening hours that may not require you to take any time off of work at all.

How does Suboxone affect work?

Patients who take Suboxone generally experience symptoms on the first day of treatment, which is why it is recommended to take that day away from work. Symptoms that patients experience can include, but are not limited to:

·       Anxiety

·       Restlessness·


·       Irritability

·       Chills

·       Stomach discomfort

However, these are initial withdrawal symptoms that patients experience when they are still in the Suboxone doctor’s office. These will lessen over the course of the first day of treatment. In general, most patients return to work the day after their first treatment, if they do not have any symptoms that will make work uncomfortable.

What are my rights at work?

As an employee in the United States, you have rights that are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Those suffering with drug addiction are generally covered by the ADA, which means employment status cannot be compromised under these instances:

·       If the employee has successfully completed a drug addiction rehab program, and they are no longer abusing illegal drugs.

·       The employee is currently participating in a drug addiction treatment program and does not abuse illegal drugs.

·       Those who are falsely considered to be an illegal drug abuser.

Another important component of the ADA is that any medical information the employer learns about an employee or applicant must be kept confidential. For that reason, Suboxone treatment will remain confidential in the workplace.

However, individuals currently abusing illegal drugs (both addicts and casual users) are not protected by this federal act, and employer has the right to:

·       Terminate employment for anyone who is currently engaging in illegal drug use on their spare time or in the workplace.·       Give random drug tests to employees and use those results to determine employment status.·       Prohibit illegal drug use in the workplace.

Can I complete counseling and rehab for drug addiction while employed?

There are other options for drug addiction treatment that are recommended to be included with Suboxone and other medication assisted treatments. Various counseling programs are available for those wanting to determine why they started abusing drugs and learn how to change their mindset towards it. These programs are offered in a group setting or one-on-one, depending on what the patient is looking for.

For the individual in the workplace, they are covered by the ADA when enrolled in a rehabilitation program if they are not currently abusing illegal drugs; employment cannot be terminated because of this. Employees will still need to request time off to their employer and have the appropriate paid time off available.

If an extended period of time needs to be taken away from work due to an inpatient drug addiction treatment program, the employee may exercise their right to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees may only take FMLA leave for drug addiction treatment if they are not currently abusing illegal drugs and if the treatment is provided and referred by a healthcare provider.

Finding confidential addiction treatment

For the full-time employee suffering from a drug addiction, Suboxone treatment is possible. It is crucial for employees to be honest with their employer and fully understand their rights as an employee in the United States. There are treatment options available that can change the life of someone with a drug addiction. has the resources to help you make drug addiction a part of the past.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWConsidering Recovery? Talk to a Treatment Specialist: 888-844-3455Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?
Buprenorphine Doctors

Who Answers this Call?

This phone line is answered by Compass Hotline, which is sponsored by Compass Detox, our drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility sponsor.

To discover alternative addiction treatment options, please visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Locator the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Alcohol Treatment Navigator.