Ready to get better? We have 7 easy ways to make sure you find the best Suboxone treatment provider in Bakersfield, California.
If you’re struggling with opioid withdrawal, you know getting through detox and back on track cold turkey is super difficult. That’s why the medical community recommends FDA-approved medication like buprenorphine/naloxone, more commonly known by popular brand name Suboxone, to transition from opioids and stabilize in long-term recovery.
Because this medication requires a special waiver to prescribe, not just any type of doctor can prescribe Suboxone. This means that you may have to search a bit for for a provider offering Suboxone treatment near you. Don’t be daunted. You can do this!
Here are 7 quick ways to find Suboxone treatment and kick opioid addiction in Bakersfield, California:
1. Check out Workit Health’s online Suboxone program — which just opened it’s third location nationwide, right here in Bakersfield.
So how does it work, you’re wondering? We’ll break it down:
• Come in for a single in-person appointment to our downtown Bakersfield location and meet the team.
• Follow up with your prescribing clinician via videoconference through Workit’s web or phone app.
But that’s not all. The program is more than just medication, and the app also gives you access to:
• Messaging with a recovery coach team.
• Regular online recovery groups to get you connected.
• Interactive online addiction courses to help you grow in recovery.
Not sure you can afford it? We get that. Luckily, Workit has partnered with the state of California to offer free Suboxone treatment to those who need it most. Call us to see if you qualify, at 855-659-7734.
2. Look into methadone clinics like Aegis.
Most commonly known as methadone clinics, opioid treatment programs like Aegis also offer buprenorphine treatment. Although each opioid treatment program has different protocols for Suboxone treatment, they’re all overseen by the federal government and usually have similar requirements. They may ask that you come every day while starting Suboxone treatment, and take it on site in the clinic.
If you are concerned about taking buprenorphine/naloxone home with you (because you’re scared you might take too much) or would not like to keep a prescription at home with you, this type of clinic that offers daily supervision of dosing can stabilize you on the path to recovery.
3. Ask your primary care practitioner if they are waivered to prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone, or will consider getting the waiver required to offer Suboxone treatment.
Suboxone treatment requires a special waiver to prescribe, not only in Kern County or California but all over the United States. (The irony here — highly addictive opioid pain medication requires no special waiver!)
Because we’re in the midst of the opioid crisis and Suboxone treatment is proven to reduce relapse and risk of overdose, many believe that it’s time for primary care physicians to step up to the plate and begin treating opioid addiction (or as the doctors call it, opioid use disorder) like the medical issue it is.
An important thing to consider when talking to your doctor about opioid treatment — not everyone is up on the latest research and recommendations. If your primary care doctor refers you to an inpatient rehab, ask them if the inpatient rehab will prescribe you buprenorphine/naloxone, which shows to cut death rates from overdose in half, and reduce relapse rates. If they’re recommending you to an inpatient rehab that will put you through a cold turkey detox, say no thanks, save your money (and maybe your life) and check out other recommendations on this list.
4. Submit your information to TreatmentMatch.org to find Suboxone doctors near you in Kern County (or wherever you live) currently accepting new patients.
Treatmentmatch.org is a buprenorphine provider matching system run by the The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment (the NAABT for short). Think of it like a dating site for Suboxone treatment, minus the romance. Add your information anonymously with a small bit of information about your medical history and the type of medication you’re looking for.
The information you entered will then be sent to Suboxone doctors near you, and the providers can choose whether or not to message you back. They might decide to message you based on whether or not they’re accepting new patients, what type of insurance you have, or what type of specific medication you’re looking for. After receiving messages back from providers near you, you can review their information, decide if they’d be a good fit for you, and schedule an appointment if you’re interested.
Why is this matching program so effective? Part of the challenge around finding a Suboxone provider taking new patients is that federal government regulations limit how many Suboxone patients any provider can have at one time. This means providers reach their limits, and aren’t able to take anymore patients until a few leave their programs. Treatmentmatch.org eliminates the process of calling around to see who is taking new patients by having providers reach out to you.
5. Find Suboxone treatment providers in Bakersfield using the Suboxone.com directory.
The Suboxone.com directory is another way to find doctors prescribing Suboxone in Kern County, or near whatever zip code you live in. Head to Suboxone.com and put in your zip code to find a provider near you — you can also choose how far you’re willing to drive to see a provider.
This resource isn’t super-updated but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a shot, especially if you’re looking for a provider in your zip code. It’s up to the providers themselves to update their listings when they are or aren’t taking new patients, so don’t be discouraged if you have to go through a few phone numbers before you find a provider who is available. Remember you’re worth it to receive this quality care which can get you back on track.
6. Keep a list of questions on hand when calling potential providers.
Reduce the stress you have on phone calls by setting aside time to make them, with a notebook and pen in a quiet place. This way, you won’t feel rushed on a call and will be able to feel confident relaying your questions.
Some questions to consider (but ask whatever you want to know about starting Suboxone treatment):
When is their next available appointment?
How much does the program cost?
Will they be able to bill your insurance?
Do they have any funding available for treatment in your area? (At Workit Health, we have free treatment available for those who qualify in Bakersfield through a California State Grant.)
What are the counseling requirements?
How often will you be required to come in?
Is abstinence a requirement of the program? (Many people who want to continue using other substances like marijuana find this an important question to consider.)
7. In an opioid withdrawal crisis, head to the emergency department.
Most emergency departments will not offer much when you are in opioid withdrawal. This is unfortunate, as anyone who has gone to the emergency room in withdrawal understands a couple things: 1) You’re usually there seeking help and making a big change in life, turning to medical professionals instead of a dealer and 2) Withdrawal sucks, really really bad.
The willingness of emergency department professionals to prescribe Suboxone to those who need it in crisis withdrawal situations seems to be slowly increasing, and California has been at the forefront of this movement. Dignity Health Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield has been selected as part of California’s Bridge Program to expand access to medication for opioid use disorder, so start there.
Remember the emergency department will only be able to prescribe to you for a limited number of days, and you will need to schedule an appointment with a Suboxone treatment provider after your ER visit for follow-up and continued medication management.
When you’re ready to kick your addiction, the last things you want to consider are insurance, counseling requirements, and wait time until the next available appointment. But remember, you can take it a step at a time and each step will get you closer to feeling better and finding long-term recovery.
If trying to make an appointment sounds impossible, ask a trusted friend or family member who knows what you’re struggling with to call for you or sit with you while you call. Or set a timer on your phone for an hour where you sit down with a notebook, a pen, your computer, and try to schedule an appointment.
Remember: That first step is scary, but can improve the rest of your life. You’re worth putting in the work.
Workit Health offers Suboxone & online therapy in Bakersfield.
See us once in-person then continue with online therapy and medication.
As Workit Health's Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She's interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She's written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. Connect with her on Twitter: @kalireadsbooks.