If you or someone you love is suffering from opioid addiction, Suboxone Therapy can ease withdrawal discomfort, cravings, and help pave the pathway to recovery. It is one of the newest treatments offered at Integrated Pain Consultants, and recommended for many patients as an alternative to methadone and other opioids.
Methadone is an opiate, or a synthetic opioid, used for short-term pain management as well as treating opiate addiction. Methadone can be just as addictive as other types of opioids because it is still in the opiate family. Fortunately, Suboxone Therapy is now available as an alternative and it is covered by most insurance policies.
Suboxone is a prescription drug that can be part of a holistic opioid addiction treatment program. It can be used in conjunction with detox or rehabilitation treatments, and is best used in tandem with comprehensive addiction treatment including various therapies and counseling. Both Suboxone and methadone contain opioids themselves, as this is often necessary to wean an addict off of opioids. However, Suboxone Therapy contains a “partial agonist” whereas methadone contains a “full agonist.” This means Suboxone Therapy is much less likely to lead to dependency than methadone.
Suboxone Therapy may be suitable for those addicted to prescription painkillers as well as recreational drugs such as heroin. The country is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Opioids, in general, are highly addictive and have surpassed heroin and cocaine both in abuse and in risks for overdosing. Detoxing can be dangerous for addicts, which is why “tapering” via a withdrawal drug like Suboxone Therapy is highly recommended. However, Suboxone Therapy can also be used for long-term pain management.
Ingredients in Suboxone include buprenorphine and naloxone, which block opiate receptors. Before starting Suboxone Therapy, a patient must be carefully screened and approved by a healthcare provider. If you are interested in “tapering” or are currently prescribed high-dose pain medications but not getting the therapeutic benefits you want, Suboxone Therapy may be for you. It can help patients at a much lower morphine equivalent dose, which means less side effects compared to other more widespread opioids such as morphine or oxycodone.
The first stage for those tapering is induction, which is the start of treatment. This happens under the care of a healthcare provider. Being in withdrawal usually occurs quickly in induction. Next, the patient moves into the maintenance phase. This happens when withdrawal symptoms have ended, there are minimal or no side effects related to Suboxone Therapy, and when cravings are manageable. The exact dosage during both induction and maintenance will be decided by the medical provider.
The final stage is called “medical tapering.” Patients slowly take less and less Suboxone, as managed by their provider. Eventually, no Suboxone is needed. There is no one size fits all timeframe for everyone. It depends on a patient’s addiction, tolerance level, and response to therapy.
While many patients utilize Suboxone for tapering, others have great success with Suboxone Therapy for long-term pain management. Discuss your needs and goals with your medical provider to see if either Suboxone approach might be right for you.
Suboxone Therapy has been shown to be stable, long-lasting, and a highly binding medication that is very complementary to opioid detox. It helps to decrease the craving for opiates, and dosages can be customized so that patients are safely weaned from opioids. There are some similarities to methadone, but also some key differences:
How long each patient will need treatment can vary greatly. Some with mild or moderate addictions require Suboxone Therapy for just one week, while others may take up to three weeks until they taper. However, Suboxone Therapy is usually only prescribed for days or weeks when tapering is the goal. Patients may also be prescribed Suboxone long-term for chronic pain management.
At Integrated Pain Consultants, we understand the importance of treating addiction and dependency. Dr. Nikesh Seth has once again been voted one of the few local “Top Docs” for 2019, maintaining his record of consecutive top rankings for this competitive award, and also achieved overall top votes for 2019. If you are searching for the best, most effective, and most comfortable option to treat opioid addiction, options are available. Schedule a detailed evaluation with Integrated Pain Consultants and see if Suboxone Therapy is the solution that will work best for you.