What you can expect in Suboxone treatment at CPCH

Consultation : You will first meet with a board-certified psychiatrist with specialty training in buprenorphine treatment. If you and the doctor feel that suboxone is a good treatment plan for you, you move on the induction phase of treatment.

Induction: To get started, you should not take your first dose of suboxone until you are in significant withdrawal (very uncomfortable). We suggest that you take your first dose while you are in the comfort of your own home. You will first take ½ a film (4mg) under your tongue and if you do not experience precipitated withdrawal within the first 15 minutes, you can then take the second half. We then recommend that you take one film (8mg) twice a day for the first week. You will return to the office in one week to discuss what to do next, in case of any urgent issues you can call your doctor anytime.

Visit #1 : You will return to the office a week after your consultation visit and have a urine toxicology (UTOX) done at this and every following visit. You will meet with your doctor and discuss how the medication is working for you, discuss the results of your UTOX, and decide if you are going to continue with the medication and/or if you are going to change the dose.

Visit #2 : You will continue to meet weekly with your doctor until you establish the proper dose. The proper dose means that you are comfortable (not having withdrawal symptoms), not having cravings, and if you try using on top of the suboxone you should not feel the effects (a blocking dose). So long as you are stable (no substance use of any kind) you can add a week to each subsequent appointment up to 6 weeks.

Maintenance : So long as you are stable, you will continue to schedule appointments with your doctor, take UTOXs, and receive counseling on your substance abuse or other problems you may experience. The longest amount of time between visits is 6 weeks while you are taking suboxone.

Relapse : If you relapse, be honest with your doctor! Relapse is part of the recovery process if we learn from the relapse. If you relapse during the maintenance phase, you will return to weekly appointments and then you can add a week to each subsequent appointment up to 4 weeks.

Taper : Studies have shown that best results with Suboxone maintenance occur after one year clean and sober. After that time, you should start a gradual detox. You will discuss with your doctor what the best taper plan will be for you and how you will be monitored during the process.

Recovery : After you have successfully completed your suboxone treatment, you and your doctor will discuss your options for ongoing treatment. You may choose to take an opioid blocker like naltrexone or you may choose to participate in Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or do some individual psychotherapy to help you maintain your sobriety.

 

Some important things to remember about Suboxone :

 

If you would like to consult with one of our psychiatrists about suboxone treatment, please give us a call at 919-636-5240 option #1 or email office@cognitive-psychiatry.com.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne

Author
Dr. Jennie Byrne, M.D., PhD. With over 15 years of medical expertise, Jennie Byrne, MD, PhD, is a board-certified psychiatrist with experience treating mental health conditions in adults, including dementia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. After practicing in New York City for 12 years, Dr. Byrne relocated to North Carolina in 2008; she currently cares for patients in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill. Dr. Byrne earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She then received her doctorate from New York University Department of Neurophysiology. She also has a doctorate of medicine from New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Byrne went on to complete a psychiatry residency at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. In addition to her work as a psychiatrist, Dr. Byrne has performed extensive research on attention, memory, and depression. As a board-certified adult psychiatrist, Dr. Byrne focuses on the needs of each patient to pro

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