Suboxone is the brand name of a medication available by prescription for the treatment of narcotic addiction. This drug is comprised of a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone is by far the most recognizable form of buprenorphine and naloxone; however, that drug combination is also marketed under other brand names, such as Zubsolv and Bunavail, and is available as a generic drug.
Narcotic treatment in the United States has traditionally focused on two methods; first, the abstinence approach (like the alcoholics’ anonymous programs and faith based programs) and second, the medication assistance treatment (MAT) approach using methadone and more recently buprenorphine. Methadone was approved for the treatment of narcotic addiction in 1972, with the restriction that the medicine could only be dispensed from a Drug Enforcement Agency approved methadone clinic. In 2000 the Food and Drug Administration approved buprenorphine for treatment of narcotic addiction – and also approved it to be dispensed from pharmacies by prescription written by physicians not associated with methadone clinics. The results from the last twenty years show that without question, medically assisted treatment for narcotic addiction with buprenorphine has proved to be a vast improvement over all previous types of narcotic treatment.
Buprenorphine is effective in the treatment of most types of narcotic dependence, including narcotics such as found in street drugs such as heroin and illicit fentanyl, in prescription medications such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and prescription Fentanyl, and even in substances such as poppy seeds and over-the-counter diarrhea medicine. Buprenorphine (Suboxone) works by eliminating narcotic withdrawals and cravings.
Like most all medications, buprenorphine may have side-effects, and patients must be closely monitored through the stabilization period, which is usually the first 30-days of treatment. Typically, a patient will participate in a 12-24 month Suboxone program which will eventually result in them being off all medication and completely drug-free.
As with any medication prescribed for addiction and/or mental health purposes, we do not believe that these medications serve as a replacement for traditional therapy. For best results we use buprenorphine and naloxone in conjunction with traditional therapy. Statistics show this approach results in a much improved long term success rate.
Our agency is pleased to offer buprenorphine services. To take advantage of this offer, contact our office and schedule a medical exam appointment with our doctor. The exam appointment is a comprehensive session to evaluate medical status, collect history, and learn more about your relationship with opiates. If appropriate, at this appointment you will receive their initial dose of buprenorphine/naloxone. For the first two months, you will be scheduled to meet weekly or biweekly with both your individual counselor and with the doctor. Our buprenorphine program is designed to be a 12 to 24-month titration program.
We do not care how our patients may have become dependent on narcotics. We care very much, though, about how our patients will become and stay independent of narcotics.
Please call us today to learn more about buprenorphine and our Suboxone program. It is very gratifying for us to see patients who were once very dependent on narcotics break free of their addiction and start to live again. Come be one of them!!