When I was 18 years old, I moved to Orlando and spent several years working in the tourism industry there. I had my first apartment in Lake Buena Vista, got married in Kissimmee, and had my son at Arnold Palmer Hospital. All this to say, I care about Orlando. So if you’re in Orlando and wondering if Suboxone treatment is right for you or where to find it, I want to help.
When you’re struggling with opioids—whether that’s pain pills or illicit opioids like heroin or fentanyl—quitting can feel impossible. Stopping cold turkey can make you dopesick, which can make recovery much harder, but there are options that can relieve your withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Quitting is possible. Medication like Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) can help you achieve stable, long-term recovery and give you a chance to get back on track—physically, mentally, financially, and socially.
What is Suboxone?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a common term for treatment that uses medication (often along with some kind of behavioral health support) to treat substance use disorder. MAT is recognized as the best care available for opioid use disorder, stabilizing recovery, preventing relapse, and improving outcomes. Government health organizations, the medical community, and recovery advocates all endorse MAT.
The FDA has approved three medications for treating opioid use disorder: buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. Buprenorphine is the primary ingredient in Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone). It has become widely recommended, and is more accessible than methadone, due to differences in the regulations governing them.
Buprenorphine is an opioid. It binds strongly to the opioid receptors in the brain. This allows it to replace and block other opioids, impeding their effect on the brain. Because buprenorphine is filling those receptors and partially activating them, the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that would usually crop up in the absence of other opioids are relieved. For most people, buprenorphine produces minimal or no euphoria It can help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms without producing euphoria—the feeling of “high”—after they acclimate to taking it. Buprenorphine has a relatively long half-life (up to 32 hours), which provides a steady effect on the brain, rather than the intense highs and lows that come with many illicit opioids.
The second ingredient in Suboxone is naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. This means that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. When Suboxone is taken as directed (dissolved under the tongue) the naloxone has little to no effect, as it is poorly absorbed through the mouth. Its presence in the medication is to discourage the diversion or misuse of Suboxone.
How effective is Suboxone?
MAT, including Suboxone, has been shown by many studies to:
- Improve patient survival
- Decrease illicit opioid use and other criminal activities among people with substance use disorders
- Improve birth outcomes among pregnant women with substance use disorders
- Increase retention in treatment
- Increase 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.
Finding Suboxone treatment in Orlando
Buprenorphine is a Schedule III controlled substance. This means that there are regulations around prescribing and dispensing it. While all clinicians who take an 8-hour training from the DEA can prescribe controlled substances, some providers don’t feel comfortable prescribing buprenorphine. This could be because they’re not experienced with it and don’t want to get anything wrong for their patients, but it can also be because there is still some stigma around MAT in many areas. For this reason, it can sometimes be difficult to find Suboxone doctors in Orlando.
One flexible solution is to find a telehealth Suboxone provider. All Workit Health clinicians have the training and experience to prescribe Suboxone as appropriate. Our opioid treatment programs operate 100% online, so you can access them anywhere that you have internet connection.
To find an in-person provider in the Orlando-Kissimmee area, you can check out SAMHSA’s Buprenorphine Practitioner Locator. You can also check with your insurance plan; they may have a listing of providers in your area who accept your insurance for MAT.
Can you get a Suboxone prescription online in Florida?
Yes, it is legal and possible for Floridians to get a Suboxone prescription online. The Ryan Haight Act (Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008) includes a national requirement that patients be evaluated in person before being inducted on Suboxone. In 2020, some of these restrictions were loosened to allow treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many states made it possible for Suboxone treatment to be provided via telemedicine. In 2022, Florida law made it legal to prescribe Suboxone via telemedicine (along with many other controlled substances). In 2023 the DEA extended the COVID-era prescribing flexibilities at least through the end of 2024.
You still need to have a medical consultation with a licensed clinician and complete regular drug screens to get Suboxone treatment. All of these can take place via telemedicine. Your provider will discuss your substance use and medical history to determine whether Suboxone is a good fit for you. You will have regular follow-up appointments.
Workit Health offers online appointment options that will work with your availability and e-prescribes Suboxone to your local pharmacy. Workit Health accepts several commercial and Medicare insurance plans in Florida.
How effective is telehealth addiction treatment in Florida?
Telehealth has been growing more established in recent years, and has exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic as an alternative to physically entering a physician’s office. Several initial studies indicate that telemedicine addiction treatment can be just as effective as in-person treatment at supporting recovery from substance use disorders. It also improves access for people who have limited mobility, who live in rural areas, or who have work or dependent care responsibilities that make it difficult to get to a provider’s office.
Telemedicine can provide regular contact with your care team. Because you do not need to factor in travel time, appointment availability can better fit your schedule. At-home drug screening helps you remain accountable and keep your provider informed without having to drive to a lab. (Note that some kinds of tests will still require a lab appointment, but regular drug screening can happen in the privacy of home.)
Increasingly, insurance plans are covering telemedicine care the same as in-person care. You can check Workit’s online insurance checker to see if your plan is accepted, and more plans are added all the time.
Will my online Suboxone clinic ship my meds directly to me in Florida?
While Suboxone is less stringently regulated than some other medications (like methadone), there are still vital controls and regulations in place to make sure that it’s prescribed and administered properly. In Florida, that means going through a pharmacy. Most telemedicine providers don’t have their own pharmacies, so they send prescriptions to your local pharmacy, where you can get your meds.
Workit providers and clinic staff help you find a pharmacy that works with you and your insurance.
The opioid epidemic in Florida
In 2022, Florida experienced 3,003 overdose deaths that involved opioids and another 19,782 non-fatal overdose cases involving opioids. 174 of those deaths were in Orange County. As these numbers continue to climb, it becomes increasingly vital that people in the Orlando area have access to effective treatment for opioid use disorder. Help is available to help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and get into long-term recovery.