Book video appointment (no initial in-person consultation needed during COVID-19 emergency)
Talk to an addiction specialist via video / telemedicine technology
Pick up or have delivered bup at your nearest pharmacy or to your home.
Suboxone is the brand name for a specific medication: buprenorphine/naloxone. Buprenorphine/naloxone is one of only three FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder. This medication works in the brain to alleviate dependence on heroin, fentanyl, and other prescription pain relievers.
Suboxone works in the brain in a way similar to other opioids which cause addiction, like heroin and pain pills. This means it helps with withdrawal and cravings caused by opioid addiction but is safer to take since it has a low potential for misuse. Many people say Suboxone and other forms of buprenorphine/naloxone help them get their life back while dealing with an opioid use disorder. This makes it easier for an individual to break their addictive habits without feeling sick or having cravings.
Any drug, or really anything that affects your brain chemistry, has potential to be addictive. Suboxone’s potential for misuse, or abuse is lower than that of other opioids when taken as directed under medical care and coupled with counseling. When on the right dose of Suboxone (or another buprenorphine/naloxone medication), most individuals find that they no longer have the cravings or obsession which typically defines addiction to other drugs.
The length of your Suboxone treatment is entirely up to you and your medical care team. You should look for a doctor who listens to your requests and honors your needs to either continue or change your medications. But the evidence does show that long-term Suboxone treatment can be beneficial.
Your first appointment should take twenty to thirty minutes with the provider. During your appointment, your provider will determine what the best course of action will be. You will be assigned a counselor who will follow up with you in the next day or so.
Patients are recommended to be in “MIld Withdrawal” as defined by the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS). If you are not experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms, you risk putting yourself into severe withdrawal when you take your first buprenorphine dose. This is called precipitated withdrawal. The amount of time you need to wait between your last opioid dose and your first buprenorphine dose is not just a function of time (hours or days), it is more a function of how long-acting the last opioid you took is, and what dose you have been taking. For example, heroin and most pain pills are relatively short-acting, but methadone and some of the opioids added to street drugs are long-acting and require much more time to get out of your system. There is also a big difference between large and small doses; your tolerance will have a lot to do with how long you will need to wait to take your first dose of Suboxone (or other buprenorphine medication). Please be honest with your provider about your drug history so they can help you smoothly transition to buprenorphine.