Plugging Suboxone | Effects & Dangers

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on January 21, 2023

Rectal use of Suboxone can cause side effects such as constipation, sedation, an increased risk of sexually-transmitted infections, and worsening opioid dependence.

Rectal use of Suboxone, also known as plugging or booty bumping, can cause side effects such as sedation, drowsiness, vomiting, tearing of the anal tissue, and an increased risk of overdose.

Suboxone is a prescription drug that contains buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that can treat opioid withdrawal symptoms while providing moderate pain relief. Suboxone is a sublingual film that can be placed under the tongue and dissolved.

Suboxone is a Schedule III controlled substance with a moderate abuse potential. Plugging Suboxone may not be an approved use of buprenorphine. Proper Suboxone use may be demonstrated by your addiction treatment provider.

Plugging Suboxone

Inserting drugs into the rectum allows the drug to enter your bloodstream faster compared to other methods of drug use, similar to snorting (intranasal) use. 

The effects of plugging or snorting Suboxone may be equivalent to taking high doses of the drug while taking the same amount.

Suboxone film may be plugged by inserting it directly into the anus or injecting a solution of the drug with homemade suppositories or syringes.

Suboxone is only approved for sublingual use, or placing the film underneath the tongue. If you are undergoing Suboxone treatment for an opioid addiction, your treatment provider may track your Suboxone use to ensure you are taking the drug as directed.

Effects Of Plugging Suboxone

Plugging Suboxone can cause strong side effects such as:

  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • respiratory depression
  • opiate cravings

Buprenorphine binds to the same opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) as standard opioid drugs, which can cause similar side effects in cases of abuse.

Dangers Of Plugging Suboxone

Engaging in drug abuse with Suboxone to get high or feel strong side effects of the drug can be harmful to your health.

Physical Health Effects

Plugging or booty bumping Suboxone can damage the anal and rectal tissue, which can lead to tearing and bleeding. Your risk of sexually transmitted infections may increase, whether through direct sharing of syringes or through anal sex after plugging.

Risk Of Opioid Overdose

Plugging Suboxone can increase your risk of Suboxone toxicity and overdose, as the effects of the drug during rectal use may be stronger than normal. Signs of a Suboxone overdose may include:

  • loss of consciousness
  • pinpoint pupils
  • weak pulse or low heart rate
  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • respiratory depression (trouble breathing)

Victims of a Suboxone overdose may be given naloxone, an opioid antagonist that can restore breathing. Project DAWN is an Ohio distribution program that can provide naloxone to loved ones and family members of high-risk patients.

Opioid Use Disorder

Plugging and other forms of Suboxone abuse can worsen your opioid use disorder. 

While Suboxone can reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms when taken as directed, you may experience severe opioid withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, diarrhea, and opioid cravings in cases of plugging or other methods of abuse.

Plugging Suboxone can also lengthen your recovery schedule while you are going through fentanyl, oxycodone, or other forms of drug addiction treatment. If your doctor determines you may be liable to abuse Suboxone, you may be referred to other treatment options.

To find out if our inpatient substance use disorder treatment options, such as detox, medication-assisted treatment, and behavioral health services, work for you or your loved one, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. Food and Drug Administration — SUBOXONE® sublingual film
  2. Ohio Department of Health — Project Dawn
  3. — Suboxone
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — What is Buprenorphine?

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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