The Outpatient Suboxone Practice for Opioid Addiction at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital is designed to help patients struggling with opioid addiction. Examples of opioids include heroin, percocet, vicodin, oxycodone, oxycontin, morphine, MS contin and methadone.
The process begins with an initial medical evaluation which is done to determine if patients are appropriate for our suboxone program. Next, an appointment for a suboxone induction is scheduled where patients will be observed at our clinic as they initiate suboxone medication. Following a successful suboxone induction, the patient enters into a weekly maintenance group for at least 12 weeks. The actual length of treatment is a collaborative decision between the patient and the treatment team. Weekly groups have a psycho-educational approach aimed to increase safe copings skills to prevent the return to active use. All patients are required to attend a 45-minute group facilitated by an addiction social worker in addition to a weekly suboxone medication management appointment with one of our board certified addiction psychiatrists. Individual therapy is available and highly encouraged for all of the patients in the suboxone practice. Following the completion of the weekly maintenance group, patients transfer into a monthly maintenance group for ongoing addiction education and support while receiving suboxone maintenance therapy.
What is suboxone?
Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid addiction and can also help with pain control. Suboxone has two components: buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine is an opiate partial agonist, which means that it partially binds to the opioid receptor, but not to the same degree as other opioids. There are many opioids which have only agonist activity: heroin, percocet, vicodin, oxycodone, oxycontin, morphine, MS contin and methadone. Having only agonist activity means that they bind completely to the receptor. Although other opioids bind completely to the opioid receptor, the brain prefers buprenorphine.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which is not absorbed orally. So if taken under your tongue, it does not take effect.
It should be noted that suboxone can only be used when withdrawal symptoms are active; early administration of the drug can actually exacerbate symptoms and cause the patient to experience a setback in their addiction recovery.
Please call 617-983-7060 (select option #2) for referrals to the Outpatient Suboxone Program for Opioid Addiction.