Suboxone® can be an important part of treatment.

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) can use one or multiple medications to help stabilize brain function and reduce the neurological and behavioral effects of addiction.  A common medication is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone commonly known by the brand Suboxone.

What is Suboxone® and is it right for me?

If you are looking for medication assisted treatment for the disease of addiction, a waivered provider can prescribe Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) as part of your treatment plan.  Generally, use of this medication follows three phases, as recommended by best practices and research:

  1. Initial Induction — This is the phase where your provider will monitor your withdrawal and may use buprenorphine/naloxone, as well as another medication to manage the symptoms of withdrawal.  Your prescribing provider will perform a review of your medical history and an exam with you to help reach the right dose of Suboxone.
  2. Outpatient Treatment Program — After you are through the withdrawal symptoms, your prescribing provider will make sure you have no negative side effects from taking Suboxone.  They will also work with you to gauge how effective the medication is at controlling your cravings.  During your treatment, the medication will be regularly prescribed and may even be dispensed on-site at BrightView.  It will be combined with other elements of your treatment plan, including one-to-one counseling, group therapy, and case management.
  3. Medical taper — If medically indicated, your provider may recommend a taper as part of your comprehensive treatment plan.  This should be done only while working with a provider in the context of ongoing treatment.  For many patients, a medical taper is indicated after several months or years of treatment.  For others, a medical taper from Suboxone is not recommended and continuing outpatient treatment presents the best chances of long-term recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Suboxone:

What should I do if I miss a dose?

Suboxone should only be taken as prescribed.  If you miss one dose, do not take two doses at once.  Simply continue your dosing on schedule and talk to your prescribing provider as soon as you can if you miss a dose.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Suboxone?

No.  You should avoid alcohol while taking Suboxone or other prescribed medications for addiction, including buprenorphine, naltrexone, and naloxone.  This can result in dangerous and negative side effects.

Can Suboxone be Abused?

When used according to a prescription, Suboxone is difficult to abuse, due in part to the naloxone.  However, since it does contain an opioid agonist (buprenorphine), it should be taken with care and only as prescribed.

Does Suboxone Stop Withdrawal Symptoms?

The primary goal of Suboxone is to regulate the abnormal brain chemistry seen in addiction.  While Suboxone should be expected to help manage withdrawal symptoms, it may not eliminate them entirely.  Your medical provider will work with you to adjust the dose appropriately to help manage the withdrawal symptoms as much as possible.

How Long Does Suboxone Last?

The length of time your dose of Suboxone is effective depends on several factors, including your medical history, and dosage.  At first, doses are generally taken at the same time everyday, but the effects may last up to three days for some patients.

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