If you’ve been researching addiction treatments and pathways to recovery for yourself or a loved one, you may be considering visiting a suboxone doctor. In this post, you’ll learn more about suboxone doctors and how the medication is used to treat addiction.
What is a suboxone doctor?
Although “suboxone doctor” is a commonly searched phrase, it isn’t a specific type of doctor. Suboxone is a specific medication that can be prescribed by multiple different healthcare providers.
Physicians used to have to go through special training and receive a specific license to administer this type of medication. However, this has changed in recent years. A shift in addiction medication policy has given more flexibility to prescribe suboxone as an opioid use treatment.
Doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can all prescribe suboxone if they have the proper licensing.
What is suboxone?
Suboxone is a specific brand of medication. It is the most well-known FDA-approved medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder. It’s a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it activates the same receptors in the brain as other opioids but to a much lesser degree.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which blocks the effects of opioids. It’s included in suboxone to deter abuse and accidental overdose.
Suboxone comes in two different forms. The first is a tablet and the second is a sublingual film. Both of these dissolve in the mouth, and the prices vary between the two options.
How do doctors decide to prescribe suboxone?
A physician will usually ask patients multiple questions that will help them decide whether Suboxone treatment is the right course of action. The purpose of these questions is to help the physician better understand the patient’s specific addiction situation.
Some questions that a doctor may ask before prescribing suboxone include:
- When was the last time you used an opiate?
- How frequently do you use opioids?
- Which specific opiate are you addicted to?
- Is the opiate you are addicted to long-acting or short-acting?
When can Suboxone treatment begin?
Not everyone who is suffering from an opioid addiction can get their suboxone prescription and start taking it right away. How quickly a patient can begin suboxone treatment depends on the type of opioid they are addicted to.
Long-acting opiate addiction
Addictions related to long-acting opiates like methadone or fentanyl require a controlled tapering-off period before suboxone treatment can begin.
Short-acting opiate addiction
Addiction related to short-acting opiates like heroin can begin being treated with suboxone immediately. However, it must be at least 12 hours since their last opioid use.
How is suboxone used to treat addiction?
Suboxone is most commonly used as part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program for opioid addiction recovery. In addition to suboxone, MAT programs usually include behavioral therapy and counseling.
Suboxone is meant to be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes other forms of support. It’s not meant to be used as a standalone treatment or for detox purposes. At Isaiah House, we treat the whole person with a holistic approach addressing spiritual, physical, mental, financial, legal, and educational aspects of our clients’ lives.
When used as part of a MAT program, suboxone can help people manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms so they can focus on their recovery. This is a huge benefit to patients because quitting cold turkey can be very intense. Suboxone is usually taken once daily but may be taken more frequently in the beginning stages of treatment.
How long do people take Suboxone?
While the length of suboxone treatment can vary from person to person, it is typically recommended that people take the medication long-term. This helps to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms, which can in turn lead to a successful recovery. Some people may only need to be on suboxone for a short time, while others may take it indefinitely.
Isaiah House | Suboxone doctors
At Isaiah House, we use FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. All of our programs have the option of utilizing Medication-Assisted Treatment in their recovery. Our philosophy for Medication-Assisted encourages freedom from long-term maintenance within 6-7 months. Our Treatment Programs utilize a psychiatrist, medical doctors, and nurse practitioners to prescribe Suboxone, Vivitrol, or Sublocade.
Isaiah House is here for you
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, we are here for you. We provide a comprehensive, dual diagnosis program that focuses on a proven pathway to achieve a lifetime of recovery. Our treatment center has helped thousands of men and women break free from the grip of addiction.