Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), is a combination of medication and counseling to treat substance abuse disorders. Combining medication with behavioral therapies has been shown to be beneficial in helping people stay on the road to recovery.
It is crucial to address substance abuse in order to provide quality care in an integrated setting. Many people who have a substance abuse disorder also have other chronic conditions. Integrative care that incorporates substance use screening and treatment can lead to better outcomes for patients.
Although there are many medications that can be used to treat medication-assisted therapy (MAT), there is one name that you may have heard the most: Suboxone. Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine (naloxone) and buprenorphine (buprenorphine), works chemically to reduce withdrawal symptoms and decrease dependence on opioids over time. How does one medication do this? How does it look? What is the best way to combat opioid addiction? Ascend Health PLLC’s addiction treatment team can answer these questions by providing four facts about Suboxone.
Suboxone is one of the many medications that are used in medication assisted treatment (MAT). It is also known as “opioid antagonists,” or the opposite of opioid agonists such as heroin, Morphine and Oxycodone. An opioid agonist activates a pain-blocking signal in your brain. This alters your perception of pain and releases endorphins that simulate pleasure. This is called the “opioid effects.” If you include Suboxone as an opioid antiagonist in your recovery, it will block any opioids from activating the pain receptors. This will help you manage your cravings and decrease withdrawal symptoms .
Suboxone has been prescribed by addiction specialists over its MAT predecessor, methadone, since the early 2000s. Suboxone was created with the purpose of combating opioid addiction. It has a lower risk of dependence than methadone. Suboxone’s side effects are often less severe than methadone and more likely to be physical rather than mental.
Suboxone was created to make it easy for patients in recovery to use. You can choose between a tablet or a sublingual film. Both dissolve in your mouth. Both methods provide the same results. Tablets can sometimes be more affordable than film and patients may feel that they are more discrete. Some patients prefer film because they can taper the dose in smaller and smaller amounts when they are trying to wean off the medication completely. Without the guidance of your doctor, this practice should not be undertaken.
Although medication-assisted therapy is a great option to help patients overcome addiction, it should not be the only part of your recovery plan. To keep your body and mind healthy, a complete MAT plan includes a carefully monitored medication regimen and substance abuse counseling. Suboxone may not be the best choice for some people in recovery. Some patients may not even be able to benefit from any medication assistance. Each patient’s journey is different. Your addiction specialist will help you make informed decisions at every stage.
We can help you if Suboxone, or any other medication-assisted treatment is right for you. Ascend Health, PLLC will work closely with you to create a customized recovery plan that is tailored to your goals and needs. Make an appointment today to get started on your journey to being your best self.
Step 1: Evaluation: We consider many variables when evaluating someone. We do not just focus on the dependency; we consider the social environment, support systems and motivations for change.
Step 2: Create A Plan: After an evaluation, our medical experts are used to create an individual plan for each patient that incorporates these factors. We treat each person with compassion and respect in a non-judgmental environment.
Step 3: Start Treatment: Addiction is treated with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. The medication helps to prevent withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and other physical signs of addiction. Counseling helps patients deal with their addiction-related emotional and behavioral problems. Research has shown that each one of them is just as effective together as when they are used in concert.
Induction Phase: During the induction phase, patients should be in the initial stages of withdrawal. Suboxone can cause withdrawal if the patient is not in withdrawal. A person who experiences precipitated withdrawal is when an opioid antagonist such as buprenorphine, Suboxone or naloxone kicks another opioid from a receptor. Precipitated withdrawal is more severe than regular withdrawal and occurs much faster. Buprenorphine attaches to open receptors if the patient is already experiencing withdrawal. Although mild to moderate withdrawal can be uncomfortable, it is more comfortable than experiencing abrupt withdrawal. Most people feel normal once illicit drug use has been stopped after one week of Suboxone therapy.
Stabilization Phase: After a week of treatment, most people reach the stabilization phase. Suboxone stops withdrawal symptoms and cravings at this stage. Patients may be prescribed Suboxone at a lower dose or may start taking it every other day. Some people feel so relaxed during stabilization that it makes them believe they are free from opioid addiction. You should not stop taking Suboxone before talking to your doctor. Sudden withdrawal or relapse can result from abrupt discontinuation of Suboxone.
Maintenance Phase: Patients are stable and taking Suboxone well, so they can move into the maintenance phase. They may be referred to intensive counseling or therapy if they are inpatients or outpatients. Some people remain in the maintenance phase for life. Some people stop taking Suboxone altogether and become free from opioid dependence. Each patient’s medical history will determine the length of Suboxone maintenance therapy.
The Ascend Health PLLC Suboxone Clinic team is comprised of addiction-medicine trained physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) who are committed to providing safe, confidential, and affordable Suboxone treatment for opioid use disorder. At Ascend Health PLLC, we combine buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) treatment with behavioral health support to help our patients live a life free of opioid abuse.
Contact our Team today to learn more about our personalized medication assisted treatment programs.