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Suboxone Use in Addiction Treatment

Suboxone is a medication that is used in the treatment of opioid dependence.1 Using medication in combination with evidence-based behavioral therapies can provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of a substance use disorder (SUD), which can be very effective.2 Medication for addiction treatment is often used in treating withdrawal symptoms, dependence, and addiction to opioids.3

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone.1 It comes in the form of a sublingual film that is dissolved under the tongue or in the cheek and is used in the treatment of a dependence on opioids1 Suboxone is the brand name for a buprenorphine and naloxone combination medication for opioid use disorder treatment.2

What is Suboxone Used For?

Suboxone is typically prescribed for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) in patients who are dependent on opioids.1 Suboxone works to minimize or eliminate opioid withdrawal symptoms, blunt or block the euphoric effects of self-administered opioids, and reduce opioid craving.3

How Does Suboxone Work?

The buprenorphine in Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist so it works like an opioid but has a weaker effect than other opioids.2 Buprenorphine works on opioid withdrawal symptoms to lower the effects and reduce cravings.2

The naloxone in Suboxone is an opioid antagonist.2 It works to block opioid effects.2

Addiction Treatment Settings That Use Suboxone

There are limits to what medication alone can accomplish. Medications for opioid use disorder can improve a person’s quality of life but many people with substance use disorders have complex issues surrounding their drug or alcohol use. These issues may benefit from other forms of treatment, including counseling and behavioral therapies.3 This whole-patient approach to treating OUD may include treatment in inpatient or outpatient settings for the duration of time deemed necessary given your individual care needs.

Only a healthcare provider can help you determine what type and length of treatment is best for you.2

Suboxone Detox Programs

Medically supervised withdrawal, or detox, is typically the first step in treatment.3 Suboxone is one medication that may be prescribed during detox to reduce the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence.3

In some treatment programs, medications for opioid use disorder will be started during medically supervised withdrawal and then gradually decreased until the medication is stopped.3 This tapering, followed by a period of abstinence, is necessary for anyone transitioning to naltrexone treatment, as opioids need to be out of a person’s system for at least 7 to 14 days before starting naltrexone.3

However, studies show that most patients with OUD who undergo tapering in medically supervised withdrawal will start using opioids again and won’t continue in recommended care.3Studies show that more optimal outcomes are achieved when patients consistently receive medication as long as it remains beneficial, commonly referred to as “maintenance treatment.”

OUD medication provides individuals with the necessary time and capability to undergo other forms of treatment, such as inpatient or outpatient drug rehab, that can help them to make crucial life changes essential for long-term remission and recovery from OUD. This includes altering their social circles, environments, and associations related to drug use. Not only does Suboxone eliminate or reduce withdrawal symptoms, it enables individuals to better manage various aspects of their lives likely affected by past drug use, such as parenting, education, and employment.

Suboxone Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment can benefit those with more severe addictions, who have been to treatment before, or those with additional challenges, such as co-occurring disorders.4 Inpatient treatment is very structured and offers intensive care.4 Those in inpatient treatment live at the facility full-time and receive ongoing medical attention throughout treatment.4

Suboxone Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment can be through a clinic, counseling office, or outpatient treatment facility.4 In these types of programs, patients visit their treatment provider on a regular schedule but do not stay full-time at the facility.4 They may receive individual counseling, group counseling, or both.4

Does Insurance Cover Suboxone Treatment Programs?

According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all health insurance plans are required to cover essential health benefits, which include mental health and substance use disorder services and prescription drugs.5 Check with your health insurance provider to see your specific mental health and substance use disorder benefits.5

Finding Opioid Addiction Rehabs

If you or a loved one is in need of opioid addiction treatment, American Addiction Centers (AAC) provides tools and guidance to locate the best treatment program for you. One of their easy-to-use tools is a rehab directory that allows you to locate treatment programs that are closest to you.

AAC also provides information on how to pay for treatment through your health insurance coverage as well as paying for treatment if you do not have insurance. Additionally, you can verify your health insurance coverage on their website to see if your plan will cover treatment. For more information on AAC and getting started on your way to recovery, reach out to a caring and compassionate admissions navigator today at . You can also quickly and easily check your insurance coverage for free by filling out the form below.

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