Suboxone treatment for opioid dependence offers hope and a way to normalize your life and get it back on track. It is an enormously useful medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence and it can save your life or the life of someone you love who is addicted to heroin or pain pills (oxy, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Opana, Dilaudid and others).
Before Suboxone was approved as a prescription medication by the FDA in 2002, the only medication options available to treat opioid dependence were methadone, which was offered through government-regulated methadone clinics that required daily attendance, or naltrexone tablets, which don’t treat or prevent withdrawal, and are often unsuccessful in preventing relapse. In order to prescribe Suboxone, physicians have to have special training and a special waiver from the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the numbers of patients we can treat is limited and controlled. Courtney at ctsuboxone.com provides a wonderful resource for Connecticut residents and can directly help connect you to recovery resources and doctors who provide Suboxone medication-assisted treatment.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Suboxone is a unique medication with suppresses withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids and does not cause euphoria or a “high; it also blocks any other opioids you might take and keeps them from working. It is composed of two parts—buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, so it satisfies the opiate receptor and halts withdrawal; one dose lasts an entire day and keeps you feeling comfortable. Most people feel “just so normal” that is surprises them. The other part of Suboxone is naloxone, an opioid blocker, and this is a really important part of Suboxone’s action; it “closes the door” to the receptor and blocks other opiates you might try to take if Suboxone is in your system. This is a great feature of the medication. If you are on Suboxone and take an opiate on top of it, the opiate just won’t work. Heroin and pain pills lose their appeal, and they slowly stop calling to you, Once you really know that they won’t work to create a high, it becomes easier and easier to forget about using and remain clean—and get your life together.
Is Suboxone Right for Me?
We are here to help you figure that out. Suboxone is one part of treatment for opioid addiction, and it buys you time while psychotherapy (with substance abuse counseling or individual or group therapy) helps you learn coping skills to reduce the risk of relapse, and lifestyle changes help you get away from the pull of opiates once and for all. Everyone’s dose is individualized, and the kinds of monitoring, therapy, and supports that we put together for each person in our practice are also unique and hand-picked for you among the best therapists in the area. If you have ongoing pain conditions, we work with your other physicians, and if you need surgery, we work with your surgeon so that you are appropriately treated for post-op surgical pain and then resume Suboxone treatment. We are experienced, respectful, honest, and non-judgmental and we are here to help. If you have struggled with an addiction, you know what a breath of fresh air that would be for you.
If you would like to learn more about our Suboxone practice, or would like to schedule an appointment to begin treatment with Suboxone, please call us at 860.648.9755.
To getting you back to your best self,
Lori Calabrese, MD