There is often a lot of confusion regarding what suboxone is and what exactly one means when they refer to suboxone doctors. Today we will be answering that question of what exactly you should expect when you go in for your treatment.
The first thing that one needs to understand is that it is a great thing that you are looking to get treated for your dependence on pain medication. This is the decision that will ultimately pave your way to recovery.
Who are Suboxone Doctors?
A suboxone doctor is a physician who has specialized in helping people overcome their addiction to opioids.
Pain medication is usually given after surgery. But if one does not manage the dosage and usage of the medication carefully, there is a chance that dependency can form. This can then lead to addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms.
One of the most effective ways to deal with the dependence is through the administration of suboxone in a medication-assisted treatment program that helps manage the withdrawals and discourage the addiction over a period of time.
There are plenty of ways that people decide to manage their addiction like counseling and group therapies, medication-assisted treatment programs have also been found to be extremely effective.
What Can I Expect From My First Visit?
The first order of business when you begin your journey towards recovery is going to be to answer a couple of questions that your doctor will pose in front of you. You might be a little uncomfortable answering them. So, the best course of action would be to go in prepared.
Since this might not be the treatment plan for everyone here are some questions you might encounter,
- When was the last time you used it?
- How frequently do you use it?
- What opiate are you addicted to?
- Is your opiate of choice considered long or short-acting?
The treatment protocol differs for long-acting opiate addiction and short-acting opiate addiction. Though there is one universal fact you should be aware of, that any buprenorphine-based medication like suboxone is only given out at the onset of the withdrawal symptoms. This is to help you wean off your opiate while minimizing any symptoms or cravings associated with it. But the reason you need to go to a doctor is that suboxone itself is very addictive.
The First Visit
The first dose of Suboxone is usually delivered after you have been abstaining for two days as this is when you begin to feel the symptoms of the withdrawal. This is also when the doctor checking the severity of the symptoms will start you on the medication. The first dose is actually anywhere between 2-4 mg. This is also called the introductory phase where the physician constantly monitors you to confirm that the medication is working. Because of the highly addictive nature of the medication it is imparitive that you are kept under strict observation. As the treatment progresses the suboxone doctor will begin to increase the dosage depending on your tolerance.
Further Medication Plans
Once you have successfully navigated the initial phase, the physician in question will then prescribe a long-term treatment plan to help you permanently end your addiction to opiates. You might be wondering what does the long-term treatment plan entails? It varies from person to person from clinic to clinic. Usually, after the third day of suboxone induction, the dosage will be changed and after the 5th day, the general expectation is that you will start feeling better.
Follow Up And Counselling
Once the dose is adjusted, you will be written a prescription that can be easily filled at any pharmacy. There are of course follow-up sessions that you will need to be a part of. This will be the time you will have a discussion on how the medication is performing.
As you work through the treatment program, you will also be encouraged to talk to a counselor to better understand any potential triggers or cravings that might set you back on your path to sobriety. The counselling is just as important as the other parts of the recovery.
When Should You Not Use Suboxone?
You should not be using suboxone under the following conditions;
- There is no physical dependency on opioids.
- You are pregnant.
- You struggle with alcohol dependency.
- You have abused Suboxone or Methadone in the past.
- Have a history of adverse reactions to Suboxone.
- You have a prescription Naltrexone.
The last thing to remember is that suboxone is a specialized treatment, one that needs to be handled with care so one needs to be careful about where they get their medication from.