Suboxone Treatment: What To Expect

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If you have been thinking about seeking treatment for your addiction, you undoubtedly have questions relative to what that treatment entails, especially treatment involving the use of Suboxone. There is a plethora of information available to help prospective patients understand the role of this medication in their journey towards recovery; however, there is little to no information concerning the patient-to-doctor interaction when it comes to being prescribed Suboxone. As such, this blog will go over what you can expect during your initial visit with your physician.

The best way to determine if Suboxone is the right for you is by speaking with our qualified medical professional.

He or she will conduct a review of your history and a physical examination to evaluate your needs, then work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that sets you up for success in recovery.

Be prepared to answer questions on your first visit to our facility.

As you begin your journey toward recovery, your physician will ask a series of questions to help him/her decide if Suboxone is the right course of treatment for you. Some of these questions may include

  • When was the last time you used?
  • How frequently do you use?
  • What opiate are you addicted to?
  • Is your opiate of choice considered long or short-acting?

At New Beginnings Treatment Center we use Medication-Assisted Treatment or (MAT).  MAT is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. Research shows this “whole-patient” approach helps to successfully treat addiction, prevent opioid overdose, sustain recovery.

We use the medication buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) in combination with therapy so that we can offer you the best chance of attaining a life free of addiction.

Here’s how it works.

On your first visit we will:

  • Review your physical and mental health
  • Collect a detailed history of your substance use
  • Order lab tests (HIV, hepatitis screen, complete blood count, and metabolic screen) to assess your current health
  • Submit a urine drug screen

On your next visit to our Gastonia office, we will do an induction of the medication. Arrive to the visit in mild withdrawal. It is not necessary to start treatment in severe withdrawal and have you experience extreme discomfort. Over the next week, we will, assess the right dose of medication and refer you to an appropriate therapist.

Once you have the right dose, you may no longer crave opiates. In the first month, you may be seen on a weekly basis. Based on your progress, appointments will then occur on a monthly basis. At each appointment, you will submit to an observed urine screen and the Prescription Monitoring Program will be checked as a part of best practices. Many people are on Suboxone for a period of eighteen months. The decision to taper is based on many factors. You and your doctor will make this decision together.

At New Beginnings Treatment Center, every patient’s treatment plan is unique and highly individualized. Generally speaking, however, Suboxone treatment happens in four phases:

  • Intake includes a medical and psychosocial evaluation, a urine drug screen, and blood tests to ensure that you can take the drug without harm.
  • Induction to transition you from the opiates you are currently on to Suboxone with the aim of minimizing “cold turkey” withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stabilization where Suboxone is adjusted to the lowest dose to suppress withdrawal symptoms to allow for eventual tapering off and discontinuation of treatment.
  • Maintenance for those with severe addiction who may need ongoing medically supervised treatment and support (including attendance at a Narcotics Anonymous or non-step support group).

In closing, Suboxone is a great treatment for those looking to recover from addiction, but the journey is a long one. As such, you’re encouraged to speak with your physician regarding any concerns that you have and to also get a better understanding of how it can aid in your recovery. Nonetheless, if you’re ready to take that first step toward reclaiming your life, you’re encouraged to contact us today at 704-854-9102.