What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Moreover, research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders. For some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery.
Suboxone (Buprenorphine) treats addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers. The medication helps normalize brain chemistry and block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids. In addition, it relieves physiological cravings and normalizes body functions.
Only doctors and advanced practice nurses (Nurse Practitioners) with special waivers can prescribe Suboxone. Click here to search for a provider in your area. At The Counseling Center, we collaborate with your physician to create a comprehensive treatment plan for you. Therefore, you will never have to ask for copies of records showing your participation in counseling to take with you to your doctor’s appointments. In short, we take care of communicating directly to your physician – saving you time and needless effort.
Why Do I Need Counseling?
The simple reason is that it’s part of a comprehensive treatment strategy. Therapy in conjunction with MAT is proven to work better than MAT treatment without any therapeutic intervention.
Patients normally stay on Suboxone, a product containing the long-acting opioid buprenorphine, for as long as it is beneficial. For some patients, this is for life. We know that addiction is a lifelong illness. Counseling is needed to address the core of the addiction. It allows a person to explore their triggers and learn how to combat them. A counselor may provide psychoeducation on addiction and the emotions and symptoms that often come with it. If and when relapse occurs, a counselor will be there to provide support, forgiveness, and promote a return to recovery.
In conclusion, addiction is tough, but you’re tougher – especially when you have learned the skills you need to succeed in lifelong treatment.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Suboxone® (buprenorphine HCI/naloxone HCI) is a medicine that, together with counseling, is approved to treat opioid dependence. Buprenorphine has unique characteristics that can help many patients manage their dependence and remain in treatment. Basically, at the right doses, buprenorphine minimizes withdrawal symptoms, decreases cravings, and partially blocks the effects of other opioids.
When a doctor starts an opioid-dependent patient on Suboxone, the patient must be experiencing mild to moderate withdrawal. At this point, the opioids from prescription painkillers or heroin have begun to leave the brain’s opioid receptors. As the opioids come off the receptors, buprenorphine moves onto and sticks to them. The patient’s withdrawal symptoms get better as the receptors fill up with buprenorphine, and Suboxone begins to suppress withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Suboxone attaches to the receptors and partially blocks the effects of other opioids. It is as if Suboxone takes up the opioid parking spaces in the brain, making it very difficult for other opioids to park there. With daily maintenance doses, Suboxone continues to keep the brain’s opioid receptors occupied. Even if the patient uses another opioid at this point, the effects of that opioid will be greatly reduced.
Looking for a Suboxone Provider?
Contact Dr. Peter Farr, M.D. and the staff at Beacon Primary Care at (317) 559-7970. The Counseling Center provides on-site and online counseling to Dr. Farr’s patients.