Suboxone is a life-saving treatment for opioid use disorder that helps millions of Americans. This medication is what we refer to as medication-assisted treatment, and it is endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Suboxone treatment is available from many addiction treatment facilities and clinics nationwide. However, not all programs are created equal. To help you choose a Suboxone treatment program, we’re breaking down key facts about Suboxone and sharing a checklist of things to look out for.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is the brand name for a specific medication: buprenorphine/naloxone. It is one of only three FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder. Generally, these medications are referred to as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The goal of MAT is to assist the individual to achieve a full recovery.
How does Suboxone work?
Suboxone medication works in the brain to alleviate dependence on opioids. This medication has a low potential for misuse. Suboxone helps with withdrawal and cravings caused by opioid addiction, but is safer to take. Many people say that helps them get their life back after opioid addiction.
You can read more about Suboxone in our comprehensive guide, The Science of Suboxone (Buprenorphine).
How effective is Suboxone?
In terms of efficacy, there are numerous studies to support the use of MAT, proving that this treatment approach:
- Improves patient survival
- Decreases illicit opioid use and other criminal activities among people with substance use disorders
- Improves birth outcomes among pregnant women with substance use disorders
- Increases retention in treatment
- Increases patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
Research shows that MAT is a far more successful treatment of opioid use disorder than alternatives, resulting in a lower likelihood of overdose.
What to look at when choosing a Suboxone clinic
When looking for a treatment provider, it’s important to understand the unique characteristics of opioid use, effective treatments, and potential barriers to care, like work or remote living. It’s also important to consider personal goals of recovery, what you’re looking for with treatment, and—perhaps most importantly—how experienced a provider will be at meeting your needs. Here are our top five tips to consider when choosing the right provider:
- Personal: Find a provider that listens to your treatment goals. Ask if they will work with you to establish your recovery goal. That might mean abstinence, or it might mean methods of harm reduction. It’s important that the provider works with you to find the solution right for you.
- Experienced: Look for providers with experience in the treatment of opioid use disorders, especially medication-assisted treatment.
- Individualized: Find a treatment solution that meets your needs and commitments. If you work full-time or live remotely, can you find an experienced treatment provider that offers remote telemedicine for addiction treatment?
- Safety: If you decide to go for in-person treatment, check if the provider has strict protocols in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Also, consider whether you will receive personalized medical care during your treatment by licensed physicians.
- Counseling: Given that Suboxone is most effective when combined with talk therapies, ask the provider what counseling is available as part of your treatment.
- Aftercare. Make some inquiries about aftercare treatment and support groups. Is that offered as part of the provider’s treatment plan? What support will you receive once you complete their program? It’s important to ask how they will help you maintain recovery post-treatment.
The Workit Health Solution
One option for an individualized, private, person-centered MAT program is Workit Health’s online Suboxone Clinic. We deliver personalized psychotherapy to individuals in varying stages of opioid use disorder throughout the state of Washington. We know that psychotherapy is a generally effective addition to MAT, especially if the approaches are tailored and flexible. In addition to our online curriculum, Workit counselors provide real-time support through text messaging, video calls, or phone calls. Our counselors are thoroughly trained in evidence-based counseling modalities.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Workit Health program or have any questions, please reach out to us by calling 855-659-7734 and choosing option 1. Our care navigators will be happy to help.