- Addiction & recovery
Suboxone Doctors Near Me
July 16, 2021
Suboxone is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Opioid use disorder is characterized by the inability to control opioid use despite negative consequences. Misuse of prescribed opioid medications, diverted opioid prescriptions or illicitly obtained heroin are examples of opioid use disorder.
OUD is a relapsing, chronic condition that is linked to significantly higher rates of morbidity and mortality. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), opioid use disorders impact around 16 million individuals globally, including 2.1 million in the United States, and are responsible for over 120,000 fatalities each year.
The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 was approved by Congress, authorizing competent physicians to prescribe narcotic medications (Schedules III to V) to treat opioid use disorder. This legislation resulted in a huge paradigm shift, allowing opioid maintenance treatment to be provided in an outpatient setting rather than being limited to methadone clinics. The ability to prescribe Suboxone has since been extended to nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other types of medical professionals.
Suboxone is a schedule III controlled medication and is one of the primary medications used for opioid use disorders (MOUD). Suboxone has also helped shift the thinking of many community treatment professionals in the United States, who had previously been resistant to using medications to treat substance use disorders. Suboxone is currently being used by many rehabilitation programs to help with opiate detoxification.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Buprenorphine and naloxone are the two main ingredients of Suboxone. The buprenorphine in Suboxone contains a partial opioid agonist that blocks opiate receptors and reduces cravings. Naloxone, the second active ingredient, serves to counteract the effects of opioids and minimize the risk of misuse. In addition, both medications work together to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms that come with opioid use disorder.
Buprenorphine and naloxone are opioid-based medications without the same addictive properties as heroin or prescription painkillers. Instead, the medication manipulates the brain into believing it’s receiving the opioids it craves, thus satisfying the brain and body’s urge for opioids. This function helps individuals in recovery effectively manage opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone Maintenance Treatment
Suboxone is designed to help overcome opioid withdrawals by reducing withdrawal symptoms to bearable levels and allowing individuals to embrace and maintain abstinence. The duration of Suboxone treatment depends on the individual needs and requirements of each patient. Suboxone maintenance programs provide a long-term solution for managing opioid use disorder.
Suboxone is generally administered after the acute withdrawal phase is completed. During this period, physicians will evaluate individuals in recovery on a case-by-case basis to determine their required dosage and duration of treatment.
The beginning of Suboxone therapy is determined by the half-life of the opioid being misused. OxyContin and heroin, for example, have a short half-life and leave the body in a matter of hours. Therefore, Suboxone is prescribed no less than 12 hours after the last dosage of short-acting opiates and no less than 24 hours after the last dose of long-acting opioids.
How Is Suboxone Administered?
Suboxone is available in two forms: sublingual pills and films. The film is placed between the gums or cheek, and the pill is placed under the tongue to dissolve. Suboxone films dissolve after 4–8 minutes after administration. And the effects begin around 30 to 60 minutes after delivery and can last up to 72 hours.
During induction, the first stage of the Suboxone dose is given. Physicians usually start with a dosage of 2-4 mg as a starting point. During this time, patients are closely monitored to help identify the appropriate dosage for each person and reduce the risk of misuse. Depending on one’s requirements and tolerance, Suboxone doses can be progressively increased during treatment. As a standard, the highest Suboxone doses are typically between 4-24 mg.
Following the initial phase of Suboxone treatment, the doctor can recommend a long-term treatment strategy for OUD. However, it’s crucial to remember that therapies vary from one clinic to the next and from one doctor to another.
Suboxone Treatment Process
The first step in the MOUD program is to talk to a Suboxone doctor about therapy options. You will learn about the benefits and risks of Suboxone, as well as treatment expectations, during this consultation.
Before Suboxone treatment, a physical examination and laboratory tests are performed to formulate an effective treatment plan. Then, your Suboxone doctor will go over the Induction instructions with you and design a Stabilization and Maintenance plan.
Induction: The induction period can last around 1-3 days. During the treatment procedure, your doctor will recommend other services, such as counseling or behavioral therapy. Your Induction appointment will require you to be in an intermediate state of withdrawal for Suboxone to work properly. If you’re not in moderate withdrawal, you may experience precipitated withdrawal.
Within 30–45 minutes of taking your first dose, you will start to feel better. During the induction, further doses are administered to determine the suitable regular dose for you. It’s critical to let your doctor know how you feel during this period.
Stabilization: Stabilization is the second stage of treatment. During this time, you may need to continue looking for a dose that works for you. Suboxone doses are adjusted based on one’s requirements and withdrawal symptoms. Inform your doctor if you experience cravings or triggers during this period.
Once treatment objectives are met, your doctor may reduce or maintain the Suboxone dosage and make arrangements for the next treatment step. The stabilization period can vary from person to person and last between 2-30 days.
Maintenance: During the maintenance phase of treatment, Suboxone will continue to be prescribed consistently. Drug testing and Suboxone prescriptions will take place throughout therapy sessions.
The length of time that the maintenance phase of treatment lasts is not set in stone. The individual in recovery and the medical team will decide whether or not it’s safe to move on to the next stage.
Taper Phase: During the taper process, your doctor will gradually reduce the prescribed dosage of Suboxone until the individual no longer requires it. Tapering Suboxone can increase the risk of relapse of OUD and is not recommended for everyone.
Counseling During Suboxone Treatment
Suboxone treatment is most effective when it’s combined with other treatment elements such as therapy and counseling. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), successful addiction treatment involves several elements, including detoxification and behavioral counseling. Counseling services are crucial for a long-lasting recovery and are a primary component of many addiction treatment programs.
Counselling provides individuals in recovery the resources and tools required to avoid relapse and reduce cravings. The strategies offered by counseling services are essential for prolonged recovery.
How to Find Suboxone Doctors Near Me?
The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 allows many different types of medical professionals to prescribe suboxone. However, only after complying with the Act’s requirements. As a result, only a Suboxone waivered practitioner who has completed training and passed the certification standards for this privilege can prescribe Suboxone.
The easiest way to find a Suboxone practitioner is through a Google search for “Suboxone providers near me.” You can also use the SAMHSA’s Buprenorphine Treatment Provider Locator or the NAABT Treatment Locator.
SAMHSA’s Buprenorphine Treatment Practitioner Locator: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a buprenorphine treatment locator on their website that can assist you in your search based on your state and city. This tool is an excellent way to locate a reputable and trustworthy Suboxone doctor that a government entity has previously vetted.
NAABT treatment locator: The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment was founded to connect people with Suboxone treatment providers who can offer them the assistance they require. Individuals can get the aid and support they need from a verified and trusted source with this locator tool.
Other methods of finding a Suboxone doctor may include:
- Checking with your primary healthcare provider.
- Looking for methadone clinics in your area.
It’s important to remember that taking Suboxone as recommended by a doctor should be part of a treatment plan that includes counseling and therapy. Utilizing Suboxone as part of a comprehensive treatment for OUD provides a “whole-person” approach to addiction treatment.
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