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Treatment Using Suboxone: What To Expect

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The FDA approved the medication buprenorphine and the combination medicine Suboxone® (buprenorphine and naloxone) in 2002. Opioid addiction treatment centers like BAART Programs administer Suboxone to relieve withdrawal symptoms. In this Suboxone guide, we will explain the process behind medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using the medicine.

About Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

In MAT, a patient takes a medicine like Suboxone to control withdrawal symptoms and cravings while receiving psychosocial support. With fewer physical withdrawal effects, they can focus on setting and reaching recovery goals. Research shows that combining medication with psychological services has the highest success rate among treatment options. Some patients at BAART take Suboxone as their MAT medication while they receive treatment.

Suboxone vs. Other Medications for MAT

MAT patients can take medicines such as methadone, buprenorphine or a compound like Suboxone. Each MAT patient has different needs, so their doctor will help them find a medication that suits them. Suboxone’s benefits that influence this choice include:

  • At-home medication: While patients need to take methadone at the clinic when they start MAT, some patients are able to take buprenorphine or Suboxone at home right away or earn take home privileges more quickly.
  • Misuse deterrents: Suboxone contains naloxone, a medicine that causes uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when it’s injected instead of used as directed.
  • Opioid blocking: Naloxone also stops the effects of other opioids, discouraging the patient from using them.

Suboxone’s combination of buprenorphine and naloxone gives it a comparatively high safety profile and level of effectiveness. While it may not suit every patient, Suboxone can provide many benefits to those it does.

Who Benefits Most From Suboxone MAT?

Some Suboxone MAT programs may have more flexibility than methadone MAT programs, while others offer the same daily visits, required counseling and create structure in early recovery. Doctors tend to recommend Suboxone to patients with less severe symptoms while suggesting methadone in cases where significant withdrawals are present and the patient used extremely high amounts of opioids. You can access the most advantages from Suboxone if you need less structure than you’d get with methadone, but need the medication to alleviate withdrawals and provide an opportunity to receive help with building healthy coping mechanisms.

What Can I Expect to Happen During Suboxone Treatment?

Everyone has a unique experience with Suboxone treatment. Consider this step-by-step guide for heroin detox using Suboxone to understand what to expect:

  1. Complete an intake and create an individualized care plan.
  2. Receive a Suboxone prescription from your doctor based on your symptoms and history.
  3. Follow your doctor’s directions to find an amount that relieves your symptoms.
  4. Participate in therapy and other psychosocial services.

While some patients leave MAT after an extended time, others need to stay in treatment indefinitely. A patient should remain in their MAT program for at least one year to ensure the highest chance of success. However, many participants stay in treatment for much longer. If you decide to stop MAT, your doctor will help you taper off your Suboxone to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

How to Begin Suboxone-Based MAT

You can begin Suboxone treatment at an opioid addiction treatment center like BAART Programs. Our compassionate and experienced team can explain our services to you and schedule your first appointment. You’re welcome to contact our team online for more information.

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