- What Happens At A Suboxone Clinic?
- When Suboxone Is Right For You
- Suboxone Medication-Assisted Treatment
A Suboxone clinic is a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) facility for people who struggle with opioid addiction. These outpatient clinics provide Suboxone to curb opioid cravings so you can stop using more potent opioids like heroin, hydrocodone (Vicodin), or oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet).
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is the brand name for a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that targets opioid receptors but only partially fills them. The result is a subdued opioid effect, which reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can reverse opioid overdose. It targets opioid receptors to block the effect of opioids. When combined with buprenorphine, naloxone helps prevent Suboxone misuse by counteracting the high that can occur with buprenorphine injection.
What Happens At A Suboxone Clinic?
Some Suboxone clinics give you a dose of Suboxone and send you on your way. While they may help you stop using heroin or opioid painkillers, they don’t address the root causes of addiction or your overall mental health.
Other Suboxone clinics use medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which combines Suboxone with various therapies to prevent relapse and support recovery.
Other Suboxone treatment options and interventions depend on the clinic, but may include:
- substance abuse counseling
- support groups
- 12-step groups
- art therapy
- life-skills training
How To Know When Suboxone Is Right For You
A Suboxone treatment program may be right for you if you have an opioid/opiate addiction. MAT is effective for many people who abuse opiates or synthetic opioids. Some individuals can only succeed in recovery with the help of MAT.
Suboxone may be a good choice for you or a loved one if:
- you have a severe opioid dependence
- you’ve relapsed multiple times
- you’ve overdosed during a relapse
- you’ve been unsuccessful at stopping opioid abuse by other methods
- you’re at a high risk of complications from opioid withdrawal
Research shows that MAT can improve treatment retention and positive opioid recovery outcomes. Some people take Suboxone indefinitely, but many eventually wean off of it.
Even if you don’t have the above issues, talking to a Suboxone doctor or addiction treatment specialist about possible medications may be a wise choice.
Other Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Medications
Suboxone isn’t the only FDA-approved medication available for opioid use disorder (OUD). Each type of substance abuse treatment has its pros and cons, but knowing your options can give you a better idea of what’s right for you.
Always work with a healthcare professional or accredited treatment provider when creating a treatment plan.
Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist. It fully targets opioid receptors and produces a mild opioid effect. When taken as prescribed, it blocks or dulls the effects of opioids and reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Some people are concerned about methadone because it has the potential for abuse and overdose. Methadone clinics typically give the drug only under medical supervision until you’ve earned the trust to take it home.
Methadone use is linked to a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder. Your heart rate may need to be monitored while you’re taking it.
Buprenorphine without naloxone is more difficult to overdose on than methadone, but it can produce euphoria if it’s abused by injection. Because some people abuse buprenorphine, Suboxone is often preferred for MAT.
However, naloxone can be difficult for the liver to process. Subutex may be a better option for people with liver impairment. Naloxone also isn’t recommended for people transitioning from methadone or a long-acting opioid, as it can worsen the withdrawal process and other side effects.
Unlike methadone and buprenorphine, naltrexone isn’t an opioid and doesn’t cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. It blocks the effects of opioids and stops opioid cravings. It’s also a monthly injection, rather than a daily pill or liquid dose.
Before you start taking naltrexone, you have to detox from opioids. Detox can take a week or two, depending on the type of opioid you use. The opioid withdrawal process can be dangerous and unpleasant, which leads many people to relapse.
Suboxone Medication-Assisted Treatment
At Northeast Addictions Treatment Center, we offer outpatient programs that can be paired with suboxone maintenance and medication-assisted treatment. Our treatment programs use a blend of evidence-based therapies that are tailored to your needs.
Contact a behavioral health specialist at Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today to learn more.
- Frankel Cardiovascular Center — methadone (oral/injection)
- National Archives: Federal Register — Determination That SUBUTEX (buprenorphine hydrochloride)… [Was] Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Buprenorphine
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Methadone
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Naltrexone
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.