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 article will go over what you can expect during your initial visit with your physician.
BE PREPARED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
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?
Before moving forward, it is important that we differentiate treatment protocol for long and short-acting opiates as there is a difference:
Long-acting opiate addiction related to methadone or fentanyl, for example, entail a slower and controlled tapering off period before patients can begin Suboxone treatment.
Short-acting opiate addiction related to heroin, for example, does not require a tapering period. In fact, patients can begin Suboxone treatment right away. However, there is a caveat worth noting, it must at least 12 hours since their last use.
Regardless of whether you’re taking to Suboxone to resolve long or short-acting opiate addiction, there is one thing that universal when it comes to treatment. All buprenorphine-based medications, including Suboxone, is prescribed to be taken at the onset of withdrawals symptoms. Why is that the case, you ask? Well, this helps you wean off your opiate addiction while minimizing your symptoms and cravings. Also, taking it sparingly mitigates the likelihood of becoming addicted, and yes, Suboxone is highly addictive.
WHILE TAKING SUBOXONE
After consulting with your physician, he or she will make a final determination regarding whether or not Suboxone treatment is a viable course of treatment for you. If it is, your first couple of days will entail getting accustomed to taking the medication; as such, your physician will likely start you off on a very small dose, typically 2 to 4 mg. Following this introductory period, your physician will monitor you to confirm the effectiveness of the medication as well as your response to it. This process is critical due to the addictive nature of the medication. During your treatment, your physician may start gradually increasing your dosage based on your needs and tolerance. As a corollary, higher doses of Suboxone are typically between 4 mg to 24 mg.
LONG-TERM SUBOXONE USE
Once you have successfully progressed through the introductory phase, your physician will prescribe a long-term course of treatment that is designed to permanently end your addictions to opiates. What does this entail, exactly? Well, before answering that question, it is worth noting that treatments can vary from facility to facility as well as from physician to physician. Generally speaking, after the third day of your Suboxone induction, provided your treatment has been stabilized, will reassess how well you are responding to the medication and will recommend dosage changes as needed. After having been on Suboxone for 5 days, the expectation is that you begin to start feeling “normal.”
Although this is the final aspect of your recovery, it is essential in ensuring your path toward recovery is as successful as possible. During counseling, you will be provided with the necessary tools to help prevent relapse and to minimize cravings. For example, you will be taught coping skills that are useful in managing stress and allowing you to better understand what drove you to addiction in the first place. These strategies are invaluable in light of the psychological component of addiction. That said, medically-assisted detox is a great way to remove harmful substances from the body; however, to purge negative thoughts and cravings from the mind, counseling and the support of friends and family is critical.
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 844-639-8371.