Suboxone & Opiate Addiction
The Role of “Suboxone” Medications in Treatment of Opiate Addiction
Michael Brown, MD and Sjardo Steneker, MD are certified to provide treatment with various forms of “Suboxone” medication for opiate dependence and addiction. Persons from the greater Seattle area come to Marina Medical in Normandy Park, WA to receive treatment with Suboxone as part of their path to recovery and healthy, fulfilling lives.
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 Rickitt Benckiser Pharmaceutical Company’s brand name of a combination drug containing buprenorphine and naloxone. Other brands for this same combination are Zubsolve and Bunavail.
Why take Suboxone to assist in 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 suddenly feel “normal” and before long 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. Life is good when it’s feasible to take constructive steps to full recovery.
Will Suboxone cure my addiction?
A pill is not the same as a cure for the disease of addiction. Also, recovery does not happen overnight; it takes time and effort on your part. Good recovery refers to two important issues. First, it means you have re-learned that life can be as joyous, happy and free as it was before using; taking Suboxone can allow you that experience. Second, it means you have learned as much as possible about your addiction and that you have a variety of ‘tools’ you have learned to use to avoid relapse. Those tools are gathered as part of a full recovery program. Without them, relapse is more likely when ‘triggers’ occur. Taking Suboxone reduces craving, so it makes relapse much less likely, but you also need the safety net of those tools and other people.
Recovery cannot be done alone; it requires the help and support of others. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and its parent organization Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are made up of people who usually thought they could do it themselves, then eventually learned it takes the help and support of others who have had similar experiences and can help you find your own path of recovery.
Many lifestyle factors such as nutrition and movement also play roles in recovering from addiction to opiates. While these factors are addressed during individual follow-up appointments, Group Appointments and participation in OWLS (Optimal Wellness and Lifestyle Support) can provide opportunities for education and support from wellness coaches and other patients in the Suboxone program. OWLS also 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 206-201-2884 to ask for a no-charge 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 have the opportunity to meet 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.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!
Hours & Location
19901 First Avenue South Suite 409, Normandy Park, WA 98148
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9 am - 6 pm
9 am - 6 pm
9 am - 1 pm