You have questions about Suboxone doctors in Michigan. We have answers.
Is Suboxone the best medication to help me detox from opiates?
Anyone who has been through it knows an opiate detox is rough. The good news is, there is medication that can help you get through opiate detox. From basic over-the-counter medicine to help you be more comfortable to prescription medications to make detox more bearable and stabilize you long-term, cold turkey isn't the only option.
So what exactly is Suboxone?
Buprenorphine is a very weak opioid prescription medication, commonly referred to by Suboxone, it's popular brand name. The buprenorphine in Suboxone is combined with naloxone, a medicine that blocks the effects of opioids, in a very small amount to prevent misuse.
Can my current doctor prescribe me buprenorphine (Suboxone)?
Suboxone is a controlled substance regulated by the DEA, and physicians must have a DATA waiver to prescribe it. According to the National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment, "Only about 35,064 of the 800,000 US physicians (3%) have the necessary credentials to prescribe buprenorphine for addiction."
However, the tide is turning! Different types of doctors are getting the DEA waiver and beginning to prescribe Suboxone. You can ask ANY doctor to become eligible for prescribing Suboxone by getting the waiver, or find one that already has the waiver. If you already have a relationship with a doctor you absolutely love, it doesn't hurt to ask them to get waivered.
Until all doctors have the DEA waiver, Workit Clinic makes Suboxone treatment available throughout Michigan via telehealth. At Workit Clinic, your first one or two appointments are in person, and the rest are done via video chat. Due to a lack of doctors across Michigan prescribing Suboxone, we've had clients drive hours to see us for those first few appointments, then move to our totally telehealth program.
Are there specific types of doctors that prescribe Suboxone?
All different types of doctors can prescribe Suboxone. Addiction psychiatrists often treat patients with Suboxone in an office setting. Emergency medicine doctors are also on the front lines of the opioid crisis, as they've seen firsthand the effects of opioid addiction in the emergency room. This makes them especially likely to have the waiver and prescribe Suboxone. At Workit Clinic, our physician, Dr. Diane Hallinen, is an MD with over 20 years experience.
What is the three day rule?
If you need immediate relief from opiate withdrawal, and don't want to go to your dealer or the streets for help, any doctor can administer buprenorphine (Suboxone) for up to three days in an emergency situation. The three day rule doesn't mean they must administer buprenorphine, but means that they could. The three day rule:
"allows a practitioner who is not separately registered as a narcotic treatment program or certified as a 'waivered DATA 2000 physician,' to administer (but not prescribe) narcotic drugs to a patient for the purpose of relieving acute withdrawal symptoms while arranging for the patient’s referral for treatment"
Do I have to go to a methadone clinic to get Suboxone?
No. Although both Suboxone and methadone are effective treatments for opiate addiction, you don't need to go to a methadone clinic to get Suboxone. Some methadone clinics do offer treatment with buprenorphine (Suboxone), but the regulations for prescribing methadone are different than the regulations for prescribing Suboxone.
Will my insurance cover buprenorphine (Suboxone) at the pharmacy?
Private insurance often covers buprenorphine/naloxone. If it doesn't cover the brand name Suboxone specifically, then another brand name. In Michigan, Medicaid requires a pre-authorization for a Suboxone prescription, but this is something your care team can help you with.
What if I don't have insurance but want Suboxone treatment?
If you don't have insurance, our team at Workit Clinic offers a sliding scale to work with you based on your income, allowing you to pay out of pocket for your care. Workit Clinic is $300/month, which includes a doctor's care (your doctor will determine if medication works for you), engaging online lessons, and online counseling. Give us a call, as we're happy to discuss pricing and financing options with you: 855-659-7734.
Other programs in Michigan may offer different solutions, so be sure to ask about therapy requirements (and additional costs for private and group therapy). Our 1:1 counseling is included in our flat monthly fee.
What should I look for in a Suboxone doctor?
Look for a doctor that offers counseling, or ensures that you are receiving counseling, with your treatment. Buprenorphine (Suboxone) plus counseling is the gold standard of care in opiate addiction. Ensure that your doctor listens to your goals for recovery, and allows you to define success in recovery in your own ways.
Building a relationship with a doctor can be difficult, especially after opiate addiction. But honesty is crucial to success in recovery, and in medical treatment. Look for an understanding doctor that you feel comfortable talking to about your missteps, stumbles, and achievements along the way.
Have other questions about Suboxone in Michigan? Ask them in the comments.