Frequently Asked Questions
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a prescription medication used to treat Opiod addiction (such as herion or painkillers). Suboxone relieves opiate withdrawals and protects your brain.
How is it administered?
Suboxone comes in a sublingual dose (i.e., under the tongue).
Are there side effects?
Yes, there can be side effects. The most common are nausea and headache. When prescribed correctly, the benefit of treatment outweighs the negative effects. We will discuss all side effects when you come into the office.
Is Suboxone addictive?
For most patients, Suboxone is a long-term treatment method that, when administered correctly, stops the highs and lows of heroin and opiate addiction. There isn’t a huge narcotic effect (i.e., it doesn’t make you feel high), so it’s used to stabilize and resolve the cravings and withdrawals.
Suboxone is classified as an opiate because it contains buprenorphine, so technically it can be addictive. But the way we use Suboxone actually relieves your additions. Its benefits often outweigh the risks of continued dependency on heroin and more potent opiates. When you work with a certified addiction doctor and take the medication as prescribed, you will work together to develop a plan for tapering off Suboxone.
Can you overdose on Suboxone?
While it’s technically possible, it’s far less likely to result in death than an overdose of other opiates. 40,000 people die every year from addiction to painkillers and heroin. To put this number in perspective, that’s the equivalent of 130 airplane crashes.
Why should I work with a doctor who is board-certified in addiction medicine?
The American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) is the first medical specialty board that sets educational standards, assesses physician knowledge, and requires/tracks lifelong education while providing certification. ABAM-certified physicians are able to demonstrate to their peers and patients that their clinical judgment, skills, and attitudes allow them to deliver top-of-the-line patient care.
How will Suboxone make me feel?
Most of our patients say that Suboxone simply makes them feel normal. You won’t experience cravings or withdrawals. Taking Suboxone allows you the time and energy to focus on the important things in life, like your job and family.
How often will I need to come to your office?
During the first visit, we will spend our time answering your questions and making sure you’re comfortable with the process. We then set you up with effective withdrawal medications. 30 hours after abstinence, we will begin Suboxone treatment while you’re in the office.
You will visit us in person monthly for the first few months. After this period, you may qualify to meet using telemedicine where we will meet using video chat. We also have a great app that allows you to text us questions about your treatment at any time from your smartphone.
A lot of people spend a lot of money for this level of service from “concierge” physician treatment. You will have better access to your physician at a far more reasonable cost.
How much does Suboxone cost?
Most insurance companies cover the cost of Suboxone, although it’s typically classified within the higher cost tiers. For patients paying without insurance, and for a typical dosage, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars a month. Most insurances do pay for this treatment, and a generic version of Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is available.