Suboxone Treatment :
Opiate Addiction and Chronic Pain
At Marina Medical, Doctors Michael Brown and Sjardo Steneker have effectively treated hundreds of patients from throughout the greater Seattle-Tacoma area for both opioid dependence and chronic pain, using “Suboxone” and related medications that include the generic drug buprenorphine. (On this website, also see the tabs Opioid Addiction and Pain Management for extensive information regarding the clinical application of Suboxone at Marina Medical.)
What is Suboxone?
“Suboxone” is the brand name marketed for the initial medication combination of buprenorphine (an opioid) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). Buprenorphine is the active opioid drug; it is useful for treatment of addiction, relief of chronic pain, and opioid dependence. Naloxone, on the other hand, has NO effect unless the drug is abused by injecting it. If injected, naloxone blocks or reverses all opioid effects, precipitating sudden complete withdrawal of symptoms.
Suboxone is one of several medications that include buprenorphine. Other brand names include Subutex (early brand name buprenorphine, discontinued), Zubsolv (also combined with naloxone), and Butrans (a buprenorphine patch). A monthly injectable buprenorphine called Sublocade is currently being marketed.
Relief from Chronic Pain
Suboxone is the “go to” drug for chronic pain relief. Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting more than 3 months which is present more time than not. Opioids may be indicated if function cannot be maintained using aspirin, Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil or Aleve (ibuprofen). Long-acting opioids are then indicated for pain present constantly (or very near constantly). There are numerous advantages for using buprenorphine medications such as Suboxone instead of other opioids such as oxycontin, morphine fentanyl or methadone.
1. Buprenorphine provides pain relief that is similar – and sometimes superior – to
the other opioids listed.
2. Pain patients do not develop a ‘tolerance’ for buprenorphine, which always occurs
with the other opioids listed. In other words once an effective dosage is
determined it remains effective at that dosage.
3. Similarly, continued usage does not result in INCREASED pain (a phenomenon
known as ‘opioid-induced hyperalgesia’).
4. Most people state fewer side effects than from other opioids.
5. Buprenorphine has additional antidepressant properties.
6. Buprenorphine may be easier to obtain than other powerful long-acting opioids in
today’s “pain medication crisis”.
7. Other benefits of treatment using buprenorphine:
Intractable chronic pain can turn life into a virtual nightmare that is difficult to understand for anyone who has not experienced it. To compound the problem, the process of obtaining medical care and pharmaceutical prescriptions to alleviate pain can be intimidating and humiliating (patients often report having felt judged and shamed) because the medical system is understandably on the alert for ‘drug seekers’. A person with chronic pain is seeking pain relief and medications are merely a means to that end; staff at Marina Medical understand and empathize with that fact.
To learn more about how Suboxone and other forms of buprenorphine may help you or a loved one manage the effects of chronic pain, please click on the adjacent tab “Pain Mgt”. In addition to information on the first screen, please click on the article in the dropdown entitled “Suboxone and Pain Management.”
Relief from opioid addiction
Because buprenorphine medications prevent the symptoms of opiate withdrawal and also take away an addict’s craving for opiates, taking Suboxone or a similar form of buprenorphine allows people who have become addicted to focus on what is important each day and literally turn their lives around. We frequently hear Suboxone patients say, “I feel like I have my life back.” Suddenly it again becomes feasible to study, work, parent, nurture a relationship, manage finances and so on. Life feels worth living.
Over time many patients who were addicted to opiates choose to taper their Suboxone dosage so that they can eventually be off the medication altogether. Below is specific information regarding medication tapers and other support programs for people recovering from opioid addiction. Please see our Suboxone Taper Protocol and OWLS Discovery 360º Program.
To learn more about how Suboxone and other forms of buprenorphine may help you or a loved one recover from opiate addiction, please click on the adjacent tab “Opioid Addiction” and read the various articles about treatment at Marina Medical, including:
Am I Opioid Dependent?
Brain Changes & Long-Term Treatment
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Suboxone and Opiate Addiction
Suboxone Taper Protocol: Achieving a drug free life
At Marina Medical, we encourage tapering off of suboxone in order to eventually live a life free from the prescription medications. Although a life on suboxone vs heroin or other opiates on the street has been shown to be objectively, incomparably better and we obviously support this alternative … we structure and support a customized medication tapering procedure to help achieve a superior drug-free life when an individual is ready for this significant step. We emphasize that success is dependent upon a medication taper carefully structured by the physician and followed by the patient.
We are continuously studying and improving a comprehensive protocol to help individuals taper completely off of buprenorphine medications. As such, we offer the FREE Discovery 360º program, which includes a regimen of specific nutraceuticals and complimentary mind-body lifestyle support – nutrition, fitness, stress management, sleep, social support and life purpose/goal setting – all under the umbrella of OWLS: Optimal Wellness and Lifestyle Support.
The Discovery 360º Program is not just for those on our tapering protocol or just those taking Suboxone. This program is for everyone. “Addiction is the opposite of connection” (see Resources & Info page) and we all suffer from a lack connection or some form of addiction. Addiction has a universal nature and as such, there is common ground for everyone to aspire together toward achieving a better way of life.
To gain a better understanding of Marina Medical’s approach to and understanding of addiction as a whole, please visit our Resources & Info page on Opioid Addiction.
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