What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Nothing. Just yourself.
On your first appointment, please arrive on-time with your state-issued ID, insurance card, and a list of all medications you are currently taking. Be prepared to provide a urine sample for a drug screen at the beginning of your appointment.
What will happen at my first appointment?
You’ll meet with a medical provider who will perform a medical evaluation and addiction history to determine whether you are a candidate for treatment. If it is determined that Medication Assisted Treatment is appropriate for your recovery, you will receive a prescription that day. You may fill your prescription at most pharmacies, but, depending on your insurance, you may need a prior authorization for the medication to be covered (if needed, this process takes 24-48 hours to get approval).
Can I bring someone with me?
Yes, you can absolutely bring a support person who will encourage you through your recovery.
How long will I be on Buprenorphine (Suboxone)?
There’s no one-size-fits-all plan in Medication Assisted Treatment, and the FDA does not apply any time-limits to the treatment process. Your treatment team will work with you to establish a plan that fits your individual needs and will support and encourage you every step of the way. Some people may be on a maintenance dose of buprenorphine for several years while others may be able to taper off the medication in a matter of only a few months. Your addiction history, success in establishing new behaviors, and desire to get off buprenorphine will be significant factors in the length of treatment.
Aren’t you just substituting one drug for another when you’re prescribing Buprenorphine (Suboxone)?
We understand that many in the general public have a misconception of Suboxone, and they believe it is no different than pain pills or even heroin. One of our primary goals at the beginning of treatment is to educate you, and family and friends who have never personally dealt with addiction, on the big picture of why you are prescribed the medication.
The truth is, if all we did was prescribe Suboxone and didn’t provide any additional counseling, education, or training, then, yes, an argument could definitely be made that we’re just substituting one drug for another. BUT, that’s not what happens when you’re in recovery! True recovery isn’t just about taking a different medication. It’s about putting your life back together, proactively modifying behaviors, applying new coping skills, and avoiding triggers. It’s a daily decision to take new steps along the road towards repairing your life.
Medication is only one piece of the puzzle. Buprenorphine relieves physical withdrawal and limits cravings, giving you the freedom to establish new behaviors. Over time, this allows for your brain receptors that were damaged by addictive behavior to heal themselves. As those changes occur, you and your treatment team will put a plan in place to slowly taper off the medication. This type of treatment doesn’t happen through self-medication. It happens with a strong support team, accountability, and persistent effort on your part.
Can any doctor treat opioid addiction?
No, medical providers are required to receive special training and be registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency to be allowed to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid addiction. This certification is known as a DATA 2000 waiver.
What medications do you prescribe?
Our medical providers only prescribe medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, including Suboxone film, Zubsolv, Bunavail, and generic buprenorphine/naloxone. Your medical provider will prescribe the medication that he/she determines is the best option for your recovery. He or she will take into account insurance formularies and your success or failure with different medications in the past.
Our medical providers do NOT prescribe buprenorphine without naloxone (Subutex) due to potential for abuse. Naloxone is an opioid blocker and is added to buprenorphine to prevent abuse.