If you suffer on a daily basis from pain that interferes with your work or quality of life, you need help and Safe & Sane Pain Management is ready to assist you. Michael Brown, MD and Sjardo Steneker, MD at Marina Medical in Normandy Park, WA will treat you in a safe, sane, effective and supportive way. Patients from throughout the greater Seattle area find relief and new beginnings, often after months or years of living with inadequate treatment. Read below to learn how some patients utilize Suboxone (buprenorphine) as part of their pain management therapy.
Pain Management Q & A
If the following FAQ resonates with you, please click on the links below for additional information.
My pain problem has been dismissed, ignored or minimized by a doctor. Will this happen again at Marina Medical?
No. Dr. Brown and his staff understand; helping you through this predicament is of utmost concern. Perhaps you’re accustomed to being told “I can find nothing wrong with you to explain your pain. Your X-rays are normal!” Staff at Marina Medical know that many people suffer with distracting or debilitating pain on a daily basis, and that the level of their pain often seems out of proportion to any disease or pathology that can be medically identified. In contrast to obvious pain from a broken leg or appendicitis, the cause of chronic pain is often not clear because it cannot be seen or measured. Consequently, chronic pain is easy to dismiss as “faked for the purpose of getting opioids” or “a low pain threshold” or even “a neurosis or other psychiatric problem.” Dr. Brown will help you find treatment that relieves your pain.
Do I need to worry about being treated like a ‘drug seeker’ or an ‘addict’?
Again, for all of the reasons noted above, this happens much too often. But staff at Marina Medical are non-judgmental, they differentiate between dependence and addiction, and they understand that a person in pain will naturally seek relief. They will not label you. Ever.
Is there hope if I am now addicted to opioid medications that I started using because of pain?
Yes. Marina Medical has many, many patients who were in the same boat. These patients’ lives were in shambles but now, being treated with buprenorphine or Suboxone, they are happy and productive. Many have married and now have a family; many are working and have money in the bank. In other words, these individuals are now enjoying their relationships and their lives. Their pain is controlled and they do not feel addicted. You too can enjoy a more happy, successful, and productive life.
What if I am now using street drugs, even heroin, because I no longer have access to prescriptions from a healthcare provider?
Dr. Brown and his staff can help. Many thousands of persons in this country are having this experience. Since the prescription opioid “crisis”, many patients can no longer get the help they need – even though they previously received medical treatment that was effective. Suicide has increased, street drugs have increased and heroin use has skyrocketed, as have deaths from overdose. Marina Medical offers effective alternatives; compared to high-dose opioids these alternatives are not only safer but often they are also more effective for pain relief.
Suboxone & Pain Management
What is the role of “Suboxone” medications in Safe and Sane Pain Management?
At Marina Medical in Normandy Park, WA, Michael Brown, MD provides treatment with various forms of “Suboxone” medication for patients from the greater Seattle area who are living with chronic pain. Use of “Suboxone” is one aspect of this program that facilitates Safe and Sane Pain Management. Dr. Sjardo Steneker also utilizes suboxone (buprenorphine) for many of the chronic pain patients who he treats.
There are numerous pharmaceutical versions of buprenorphine, the generic form of what is called “Suboxone”:
Buprenorphine is the active medication in all forms of what are commonly referred to as “Suboxone” medications. Buprenorphine is classified as both an opioid agonist (stimulates the opioid receptors in the brain) and an opioid antagonist (blocks the opioid receptors). It is FDA approved for both the treatment of addiction and the treatment of pain. “Subutex” is the original brand name of buprenorphine (not combined with anything else) and is available in generic form only. “Butrans” is the brand name for the buprenorphine dermal patch.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist (blocker). It is combined with buprenorphine (in “Bunavail”, “Zubsolve” and “Suboxone”) to discourage intravenous injection of the medication. If injected, naloxone will cause immediate full opioid withdrawal! However, it is not absorbed sublingually or orally.
“Suboxone” is the brand name of a combination drug containing buprenorphine and naloxone. Other brands for this same combination are “Zubsolve” and “Bunavail”.
Why take buprenorphine or Suboxone for pain management?
Because buprenorphine is an effective analgesic, it is often used at Marina Medical for pain relief. It offers some advantages over other opioids such as oxycodone and methadone.
For one thing, buprenorphine does not appear to create opioid “tolerance”. Tolerance is a common problem with long-term use of opioids; this means that an ever-increasing dose of medication is needed to get satisfactory pain control. At higher doses, side effects from opioids are worse and life can become enshrouded in an ‘opioid fog’ that patients are often not aware have developed until they switch to taking buprenorphine. On buprenorphine, instead of gradually needing larger doses to maintain pain relief, the same dose remains effective over time. Buprenorphine is also very long-acting, which prevents the “up and down” effect of other opioids.
Finally, for pain patients who have developed addiction, Suboxone controls pain and stops the cravings, making it an ideal solution to the problem of pain management for the individual who has become addicted over time. Once treated with Suboxone, most pain patients are surprised to find they suddenly feel “normal.”
Why take buprenorphine or Suboxone for recovery from dependence on opiates?
Suboxone is very effective for a person wishing to stop using regular opioid drugs because it prevents withdrawal symptoms and reduces or eliminates cravings for those drugs. Taking Suboxone thus allows a motivated person to actively pursue restoration of healthy family relationships, to hold a job or go back to school. Most patients who use Suboxone say they feel like “I’ve gotten my life back.” As chaos resolves and burdens lift, the mind clears and the ability to focus returns; responsibility and productivity become possible.
Is Suboxone all I need to relieve pain or recover from related dependence?
Life is good when pain is relieved and it’s feasible to take constructive steps to full recovery from opiate dependence. Suboxone goes a long way toward allowing such progress to begin and grow. Many lifestyle factors such as nutrition and movement also play major roles in relieving pain and recovering from dependence. While these factors are addressed during individual follow-up appointments, Group Appointments can provide opportunities for education and support from wellness coaches and other chronic pain patients in the Suboxone program. In addition, OWLS provides opportunities to participate in health-oriented social activities and personal growth.
How can I decide if Suboxone treatment is right for me?
You may want to read additional information on this website, such as "Am I Opioid Dependent?", "Opioid Brain Changes and Long-term Treatment", and "Steps to Deciding and/or Beginning Treatment", but definitely call 206-878-8600 to ask for a "Meet & Greet" appointment. This initial appointment is for consultation only and is free of financial risk (no out-of-pocket payment from you). You will get to meet the Marina Medical staff, and staff will have the opportunity to learn about your particular situation – to determine how best to help you with treatment using buprenorphine. You can expect an attentive and compassionate conversation.
How can I decide if treatment at Marina Medical is right for me?
You may want to look over additional information on this website, such as:
Then take advantage of the initial free MEET & GREET appointment by clicking the 'Book Online' button below. This visit is for consultation only, and is offered free of financial risk (no out-of-pocket payment from you). It is an opportunity for you to meet the Marina Medical staff and for them to learn about your particular situation – and to determine how to best work together for effective treatment. You can expect an attentive and compassionate conversation.
When you call our office at 206-201-2884, just let the receptionist know what it is you want and she will take it from there. Dr. Brown and the team at Marina Medical truly look forward to meeting you.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!
Hours & Location
19901 First Avenue South Suite 409, Normandy Park, WA 98148
9 am - 6 pm
9 am - 6 pm
9 am - 6 pm
9 am - 6 pm
9 am - 6 pm
9 am - 1 pm