EXPLANATION OF TREATMENT
Initially, you will be given a comprehensive substance dependence assessment as well as an evaluation of mental status and a physical exam. We will discuss the pros and cons of the medication, SUBOXONE®, with you to ensure our program is your best opportunity for recovery. After such, treatment expectations as well as issues involved with maintenance versus medically supervised withdrawal will be discussed so that the best option for you can be chosen.
During your first appointment, you will be switched from your current opioid (heroin, methadone, or prescription painkillers) to Suboxone. You must arrive for yourfirst visit experiencing mild to moderate opioid withdrawal symptoms for a proper evaluation. Arrangements will be made for you to receive your first dose shortly after or during your initial appointment. Your response to the initial dose will be monitored. You may receive additional medication, if necessary, to reduce your withdrawal symptoms.
Since individual tolerances and reactions to Suboxone vary, weekly in-person appointments or daily phone appointments may be scheduled. Medications will be adjusted until you no longer experience withdrawal symptoms or cravings. Intake and Induction may both occur at the first visit, depending on your needs and your doctor's evaluation.
Once the appropriate dose of Suboxone is established, you will stay at this dose until steady blood levels are achieved. At this point, you and your doctor will discuss the treatment options best for your individual recovery.
Your progress will be monitored, while you undergo both medication-assistance and behavioral counseling. The maintenance phase canals from weeks to years; such as, the length of treatment will be determined by you, your doctor and, possibly, your counselor. Your length of treatment may vary depending on your individual needs.
Medically Supervised Withdrawal
As your treatment progresses, you and your doctor may eventually decide that medically supervised withdrawal is an appropriate option for you. In this phase, your doctor will gradually taper your Suboxone dose over time, taking care to see that you do not experience any withdrawal symptoms or cravings. However, it is important to be aware that opioid addiction is a lifetime illness that requires daily care through counseling, medication assistance, or a combination of both to prevent relapse.