Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

Psychiatry & Psychotherapy located in Chapel Hill, NC

If you’re struggling with opioid dependence, it may seem like there’s no way to bounce back comfortably. However, medication-based recovery with suboxone can boost your recovery journey and get you better, faster. Matt Bader, MD, and Andrea Hernandez, MD, at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, offer this therapy to opioid-dependent patients. Suboxone alleviates withdrawal symptoms and prevents the opioid high so you can focus on your recovery. New patients can call the office or make an appointment online.

Suboxone Q & A

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone treats opioid dependence for both prescription and illegal medications. The medication is a blend of two drugs:

  • Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist that alleviates withdrawal symptoms.
  • Naloxone, an opioid antagonist that prevents misuse by making opioids ineffective.


Suboxone comes in sublingual (under-the-tongue) form.

How Does Suboxone Treatment Work?

Suboxone treatment at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill follows a pattern designed to help you succeed.

  • Consultation: You meet with your psychiatrist to discuss whether suboxone is a good choice for you.
  • Induction: You take your initial dose after you start significant withdrawal symptoms. You'll take this first dose at home. Initially, you'll take 4mg (half a film). If that doesn't relieve withdrawal, you'll take the other half film. Most patients then take 8mg (one full film) twice daily for one week.
  • First Maintenance Visit: Within one week, you'll meet with the psychiatrist again. You'll have a urine toxicology screening at this time, and during all subsequent visits. You'll discuss dosage and effects with your doctor and make changes if needed.
  • Second Maintenance Visit: You'll meet once a week with your psychiatrist until you find the optimal dose. When you reach the optimal dose, you'll feel comfortable and won't have withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone makes opioids ineffective, so you won't feel the effects if you try to use them.
  • Long-Term Maintenance: If you're stable, have clean toxicology screenings, attend your scheduled psychotherapy sessions, and feel healthier overall, you can wait up to four weeks between suboxone visits.
  • Taper: Once you've been clean and stable for a number of months, you and your doctor will discuss if you can safely taper your suboxone dose. If you decide to taper, this is a gradual process done with your safety and health in mind. Some patients require more than 12 months to start the taper process, and some patients decide to stay on suboxone indefinitely.
  • Recovery and Avoiding Relapse: Your doctor works closely with you after suboxone treatment to help you maintain your sobriety in the long term. You may opt for Narcotics Anonymous meetings, group psychotherapy, or individual psychotherapy.


Your doctor supports you through the entire suboxone process. Our most successful patients are actively engaged in their treatment all the way from induction through recovery.

What if I Relapse After Suboxone Treatment?

Honesty is key, so tell your doctor immediately. Relapse can be part of your recovery if you use it as a learning tool.

If you relapse during maintenance, you'll schedule appointments once a week. You can then build up to four weeks between appointments with clean toxicology screenings and adherence to the program.

Suboxone can be life-changing for the right candidates. New patients can call Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill to schedule a consultation.