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The 5 Step Suboxone Treatment Plan Unleashed

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For those addicted to opiates such as heroin, hydrocodone, or oxycodone, Suboxone offers a new outlook on life. The Suboxone treatment plan is unleashed in five distinct steps that lead from the initial intake process through withdrawal from opiates and ultimately to the recovery from opiate addiction that no longer requires Suboxone to prevent withdrawal symptoms or opiate cravings. The five steps of Suboxone treatment include: Intake, Induction, Stabilization, Maintenance, and Medically Supervised Withdrawal.

Suboxone Treatment Intake

During the intake process, a doctor will get to know you personally and will ask questions about your addiction. A complete medical history will be taken as well as a psychosocial history to learn of any medical problems you may have as well as any history of past (or present) mental illness. During the intake process, the doctor will take blood to test the functioning of your organs and a urine screen will be performed.

Suboxone treatment intake will assess the type of opiate that you are addicted to, how often you use the drug or drugs, the amount of the drug that is used and also how it is used. Following the workup of your medical history and your exam the doctor will explain to you how Suboxone is used as well as any side effects that are possible during the Suboxone treatment (the most common being headache and constipation). It is important that you answer all questions related to your opiate use with honesty to assure that the doctor is able to develop a Suboxone treatment plan that will be successful for you.

Suboxone Treatment Induction

During the induction phase of Suboxone treatment you will transition from opiate use to Suboxone use. When you begin the induction phase it is important that when you visit the doctor’s office you are already experiencing withdrawal symptoms that are mild to moderate. When you first take Suboxone it can cause severe withdrawal feelings if you are not already feeling mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms as a result of your opiate use.

The doctor will give you the first dose of Suboxone and monitor you for any adverse reactions. The tablet will be placed under your tongue to dissolve and you should feel results within an hour. If the first dose of Suboxone does not greatly reduce the symptoms of withdrawal within an hour or so then the doctor may administer you another dose of Suboxone at that time. This phase of Suboxone treatment may last 1-2 days depending on the severity of the opiate addiction, withdrawal symptoms and the effectiveness of the Suboxone at relieving the withdrawal feelings.

Suboxone Treatment Stabilization

During the stabilization phase of Suboxone treatment the dose is lowered to the absolute lowest necessary dose of Suboxone that is needed to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. The doctor will discuss a recovery plan with you and also will help you to determine how Suboxone will fit into your plan for a full recovery from opiate addiction. Depending on a decision between you and your doctor, Suboxone treatment may be used long term or it may be slowly tapered off and discontinued. This will be discussed as part of your Suboxone treatment goals.

Suboxone Treatment Maintenance

If Suboxone is to be used as maintenance to prevent opiate use then addiction counseling will also be incorporated into the treatment plan. The success of Suboxone treatment is largely dependent upon your acceptance of professional counseling and support which can be received in conjunction with the Suboxone treatment. If maintenance doses of Suboxone are chosen, the doctor will administer the lowest possible dose of Suboxone to stop withdrawal symptoms or opiate cravings. The maintenance phase of Suboxone treatment may last months, a full year or longer.

Long term use of Suboxone can result in minor dependence on the drug. It is important that you discuss the withdrawal symptoms that may result when Suboxone is eliminated from the system and also risk of Suboxone addiction that may result from long term Suboxone maintenance treatment.

Suboxone Treatment Medically Supervised Withdrawal

For those who are not on a long term Suboxone treatment plan the medically supervised withdrawal phase of Suboxone treatment will not be much different the the induction phase. Suboxone will be slowly tapered from the system so as to reduce the withdrawal symptoms that may occur from abrupt elimination of the drug. During this phase, the doctor will gradually reduce the dose of Suboxone in a manner that will result in the fewest cravings or withdrawal symptoms and eventually Suboxone treatment will be completely stopped. Depending on how long Suboxone maintenance treatment is undergone this phase may take a few weeks or only a few days.