You will be given a comprehensive substance dependence assessment, as well as an evaluation of mental status and physical exam from your Suboxone Doctor. The pros and cons of the medication, SUBOXONE, will be presented. Treatment expectations, as well as issues involved with maintenance versus medically supervised withdrawal will be discussed.
You will be switched from your current opioid (heroin, methadone or prescription painkillers) on to SUBOXONE. At the time of induction, The Suboxone Doctor will ask you to provide a urine sample to confirm the presence of opioids and possibly other drugs. You must arrive for the first visit experiencing mild to moderate opioid withdrawal symptoms. Arrangements will be made for you to receive your first dose in your doctor’s office. Your response to the initial dose will be monitored. You may receive additional medication, if necessary, to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Since individual tolerance and reactions to SUBOXONE vary, daily appointments may be scheduled during this time so your dose can be adjusted to where you no longer experience withdrawal symptoms or cravings. Urine drug screening is typically required for all patients at every visit during this phase.
Intake and Induction may both occur at the first visit, depending on your needs and your doctor’s evaluation.
During Stabilization, your Doctor prescribing SUBOXONE may “fine tuned,” your dose to about once a week, if needed. You and your Suboxone Doctor will discuss your treatment options from this point forward.
Treatment compliance and progress will be monitored. Participation in some form of behavioral counseling is strongly recommended to maximize your likelihood of treatment success. Appointments are usually scheduled on a weekly basis, however, if treatment progress is good and goals are met, monthly visits will eventually be considered sufficient. The Maintenance phase can last from weeks to years—depending on what best suits your individual needs—as determined by you, your doctor, and, possibly, your counselor.
Medically Supervised Withdrawal
As your treatment progresses, you and your doctor may eventually decide that medically supervised withdrawal is an appropriate option for you. In this phase, your suboxone prescribing doctor will gradually taper your SUBOXONE dose over time, taking care to see that you do not experience any withdrawal symptoms or cravings. You can always return to a previous dose if you experience uncomfortable symptoms or cravings at the reduced dose.