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What is the Suboxone Treatment Process?

  

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Solas Health provides Medication Assisted Treatment for opiate addiction. You can be treated for opiate addiction as an outpatient. During the first visit, the patient will have a thorough medical evaluation. Treatment should be started as soon as possible and may occur within one week of your visit. For many patients, treatment with Suboxone can be performed during the initial consultation. All patients will undergo individual and / or group counseling. 


Ask about being fit in for assessments within a day or two. Generally, we will try to fit in patients very quickly, especially addicts who are pregnant or have an urgent need. Patients can always get an appointment within one week.


The initial assessment takes approximately one hour. You can expect to be here for 2-3 hours if you undergo detox and treatment with buprenorphine on your first visit. 

You must bring a picture id. We cannot give you an assessment without proper identification. You must bring proof of insurance. If you are on Medicaid, you should bring your Medicaid card.

We accept North Carolina Medicaid. We also accept all commercial insurance, BCBS, Medicare, and Tricare. We are in network with more than  20 insurances, including BCBS, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare Prime, Tricare Standard, Aetna, Cigna…………. If we are not in network with your insurance, we will bill your insurance company for services out of network. If you do not have any insurance, or if your insurance does not pay for addiction treatment, you can pay cash for treatment. 


Suboxone is a trade name for the combination drug which contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an agonist–antagonist opioid type medication. In simple terms, agonist-antagonist means “it kind of is” and it “kind of isn’t” an opiate medication. Buprenorphine attaches very strongly to the opiate receptors, but it is not a full agonist like other opiates (heroin, methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc.). Patients who are tolerant to opiates generally will feel no significant sedation or intoxication with buprenorphine. For this reason, patients can return to normal productive life very rapidly after being detoxed from opiates (such as heroin), to buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex, Zubsolv, Bunavail, etc.).   While taking buprenorphine, the craving to use opiates is markedly reduced and often eliminated. Patients taking buprenorphine do not get "dope sick".   


Treatment with buprenorphine (Suboxone) occurs in three phases:


1. The Induction Phase: The induction phase is the  medically monitored initiation of treatment, which may occur in a qualified physician’s office. The patient must be in an early stage of opiate withdrawal, to reduce the likelihood of the treatment causing sickness (acute withdrawal). The patient should typically be abstinent of opiates for 12 to 24 hours before induction.  When you contact our office, detailed instructions will be given to help you to prepare for your first appointment.   

2. The Stabilization Phase: During this phase, the patient is taking buprenorphine regularly, and is no longer using or abusing other opiates or illicit drugs. Increases or decreases in dose may be made if clinically indicated. The  patient will continue with regular counseling, which eventually may be reduced to one visit per month. Attendance at 12 step meetings is encouraged. Typically, the patient will have normal function with friends, family members, and work. During this phase, physician visits for medication refill may be reduced to every four weeks, if the patient is compliant and not using any illicit substances. This contrasts with methadone clinics, where daily attendance and cash payments are usually required. 

 3. The Maintenance Phase: During this phase, the patient is doing  well on a stable dose of buprenorphine. The length of time of the maintenance phase is tailored to the individual patient and could be indefinite. During this phase the dose of medication will frequently be gradually reduced. Many patients will wean completely off buprenorphine, but this can take many months or even years. Although counseling may often be discontinued in this phase, we recommend continued involvement in 12 step or other supportive groups and activities.

Ultimately, we believe that the addict benefits greatly from a spiritual program of recovery. We believe that for most addicts this will be necessary for good recovery and a fulfilling, happy life. Many of our providers and staff are in recovery, and we believe that this helps us to understand our patients, and certainly gives us a very non-judgmental attitude towards addiction. Recovery is a lifelong process. At Solas Health, we will suggest that you connect to other human beings with hope, love and friendship, and that you develop a personal relationship with a higher power of your choosing.  


Advantages of Suboxone Treatment:  


     -Highly effective

     -rapid improvement in function and well being

     - low cost

     -outpatient

     -no need to leave your home, family, or work.

      -daily dosing not required, patients who are stable in recovery can be seen monthly


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