Suboxone Treatment Frequently Asked Questions
More Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Suboxone
Is Suboxone approved by the FDA?
The federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has approved buprenorphine (Suboxone or Subutex) as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options. Treatment with methadone goes back more than forty years, and protocols for treatment with Suboxone were established back in the year 2000.
SAMHSA states that treatment with Suboxone given to persons with opiate addiction have a better chance at recovery than abstinence-based treatment such as Narcotics Anonymous and in-patient rehabs. This recommendation is based on years of research with large sample sizes, meaning the studies can be replicated and the outcomes mean what they say they mean.
How is taking Suboxone different than getting high on opioids?
This medication works by blocking the receptors in the brain that are affected by opiates, enabling users to experience a less painful detox period and preventing getting high from drugs like heroin, Oxycontin or pain killers once an effective dose has been established. This allows the person to maintain a feeling of wellness and stability throughout the entire day. Patients can be more productive, focused and also participate in counseling to finally address the underlying issues surrounding their addiction.
One of the greatest advantages offered by treatment with Suboxone is the drug’s availability as a prescription medication so that the patient does not have to make daily trips to the MAT program or doctor’s office. The fact that someone is not tied to a daily clinic visit improves the rate of follow-through with treatment visits.
Can I start a Suboxone program on the same day I've used opioids?
Treatment with Suboxone requires that the person should be feeling the beginning effects of withdrawl before they can take their first dose of Suboxone. The Suboxone medication works by blocking opiate drug molecules from entering the brain’s opiate receptors. If a person takes Suboxone while they still have other drugs in their body, they will go into an intense, very unpleasant withdrawal called precipitated withdrawal. Talk to your doctor about when is the appropriate time to take your first does.
How often do I have to come in?
Initially the patient reports to the Suboxone treatment program for an assessment and drug screen, and also follows up with a physical exam.
Once those visits are completed, they will come to the office at least twice in the first week, and then weekly initially as long as they are adjusting successfully to the Suboxone medication dosage.
When a patient consistently meets program requirements and attends all doctor appointments, he or she will go every two week and eventually see the doctor once a month.
Why do I need counseling along with a Suboxone prescription?
Addiction can cause the user to engage in extreme compulsions, and most addiction is triggered by other mental health problems that should be addressed to reinforce long-term sobriety. SAMHSA requires programs that provide treatment with Suboxone to offer individual counseling or group therapy.
People who struggle with addiction come to realize through counseling that the addiction has been a bandaie to underlying problems. Through therapy, they can learn how to deal with issues from the past and control the behaviors that lead to relapse. In otherwords, they’ll learn new, healthy coping skills to problems and stress that naturally continues throughout sobriety.
How long will I have to take Suboxone?
Some physicians talk about short-term Suboxone treatment. However, because the very nature of addiction is so compulsive and deadly, many people stay in medication-assisted treatment for years. Studies have shown that the greatest success in MAT comes to those who do participate in treatment long-term.
There is no evidence that has come out thus far, that Suboxone is harmful to the brain or boy. Opiate addiction however has many negative long-term consequences physically and mentally. Some people make the decision to get off Suboxone. In this case, they will taper from it slowly over a period of time supervised and monitored by their doctor.