Drug Addiction » Behavioral Health Treatment, Overcoming Drug & Substance Abuse

Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug addiction — Alcohol abuse — Alcoholic — Smoking cessation —Substance abuse

There are multiple topics under Drug Addiction treatments offered here. In my clinic, drug addiction is as important as treatment for chronic pain. That is because most opioid dependent patients have a past medical history of a painful episode where they were introduced to pain medication (and a large number at an early age). Some say when they took that first pain pill, or that first drink, it was like having a light bulb turn on in their head and they were never able to fully turn it off again. The pain pills never stopped. It's not a cliche to say that "drugs are very destructive to persons lives and families."

Unbelievably, everyone is affected by one person's behavior of using drugs or alcohol. Family and friends are always very concerned about someone in their household's use of drugs or alcohol. What I have seen in my career is that family members are at a loss as to how to help. The drug or alcohol addicted individual does not know how to ask for help in a way that will not cause more problems. Nor does the family members really know how to offer help in a way that will not alienate the affected person.

Hopefully, somewhere on this page, you will find exactly what road to take on your trip back to the real you. To eventually return to that person not dependent on taking something from your external environment to allow you to function normally internally. Everything written here will not pertain to you. So feel free to skip around to the topics that you feel may benefit you, your family or friends/loved ones. Check out my recommended book list. Most can be found on amazon.com. I have read them all and more; and as you go through treatment with me, don't forget to ask about books that may be specific for you.

Services Offered:

Suboxone

Or its equivalent for drug addiction or dependency.

Counseling

For the individual, family or group. Offering online sessions and in-office sessions. Counseling sessions are offered one-on-one with the physician.

Smoking Cessation

This service is offered for the individual and couples. In group or online as demand dictates. Along with Dr. Brunson's harm reduction method acupuncture, prescription medications and over the counter smoking cessation aids will be offered.

Alcohol Abuse

Medication assisted with counseling and acupuncture. Family involvement is strongly encouraged.



Suboxone

Please note that Suboxone is a brand name. It is the original medication made into gel strips easily dissolved under the tongue.

If you just want some basic facts about Suboxone just read the bullets, you can always revisit and read more detailed information later:

  • Suboxone is used to treat drug DEPENDENCY
  • Unlike Methadone, you can get treated with SOBOXONE right in your local doctor's office without going away
  • The medication is covered by nearly all insurances
  • The doctor's bill is rarely paid by the insurance company
  • Ages 16 and over can be be treated with Suboxone
  • Each doctor can only take 100 patients so you may have to check around to find one without a waiting list
  • You WILL need a licensed medical doctor who is certified to prescribe you Suboxone

There is now a generic form like Suboxone which cost less and works exactly the same now available in pharmacies.

If you have a pain pill problem or an opioid addiction, Suboxone is the NEWEST and best medication most commonly being used today for this problem.

Suboxone is an opioid in close similarity to the opioids that you may be familiar with. However, there are important differences that make this opioid attractive to use in drug DEPENDECY or addiction problems. Suboxone doesn't get you high or very euphoric (another term for high). You may get a drugged feeling from Methadone, but you will not get that from Suboxone. Suboxone doesn't positively or negatively work on your brain like straight-up oxycodone would. This is an important concept for many reasons during therapy, later we will talk about receptors, agonist, antagonist, positive or negative drug, etc. Example: "You have to explain to your baby boomer parent why you need an OPIOID to STOP using an opioid. You may hear 'all your doing is substituting one drug for another, you're still getting high.'" Well no, because Suboxone is neutral (it is not an agonist, or positive opioid where you get a "buzz"). Understanding this crucial difference will make explaining your use of Suboxone so much easier. That may make a difference in your loved ones support for your therapy.

What is it?

Suboxone is the brand name and alternative to Methadone (for some). Suboxone was simply made by combining two, already in use, chemicals together: BUPRENORPHINE AND NALOXONE. You can see Wikipedia or Google these two chemicals for more of their history. But briefly, BUPRENORPHINE and NALOXONE has been in use for pain and the later for overdoses of opioids. Researchers found that when you take the BUPRENORPHINE drug withdrawal symptoms get better, the symptoms go away and stay away for a long time, for up to three days. When you inject NALOXONE you will not get high when you decide to get a high off injected opioid drugs. So it was decided that the combination of the two is ideal for helping persons to get off and stay off some drugs. Suboxone eliminates cravings, blocks injectable drugs, and lasts a long time in your systems, but you still have to take it every day.

I have friends who take Methadone and some who take Suboxone. Which will be better for me: Suboxone or Methadone?

Methadone or Suboxone may be right for you. It depends on the "severity" of your drug use problem. I have a bit of expertise in answering this question because I've treated patients who took both. I became very familiar with prescribing Methadone while serving as a physician at a local drug addiction rehabilitation clinic. My patients were primarily dependent upon injecting heroin. Either injecting it or sniffing it. If multiple bags we're injected for a long period of time, then Suboxone would probably not work. Suboxone simply was not strong enough, in my opinion. They needed Methadone. But for milder drug abusers, say persons who used pain pills daily, or who may have sniffed the pills or heroin, Suboxone usually was helpful in keeping them off the substances.

How does the program work?

You must first make an appointment. You will be asked to come into the office to fill out some paperwork and to leave a deposit for your appointment (this primarily to guarantee your appointment). You will return with your completed form and see the doctor that day. You will be asked to provide a urine sample (we expect this sample to be dirty so no need to try to hide anything). The doctor will decide if you should get started immediately on Suboxone. You will either be given Suboxone right then and there or you may be allowed to take it later. That is at the doctor's discretion. Once you have gotten started on Suboxone you will return a couple times for urine re-checks. The doctor will assist you in your counseling obligations. Ultimately, you should see the doctor monthly.

How long will I have to take Suboxone?

There is no set time limit to take Suboxone. I have prescribed Suboxone to patients for periods as short as one month to as long as many years. The length of time for one to take Suboxone varies with each patients' individual needs.

Is it difficult to stop taking Suboxone?

When it is time to discontinue Suboxone, the process is best completed in an un-rushed manner and under the close supervision of your physician. I will slowly and gradually lower the dose of Suboxone over visits.

Once I have taken Suboxone and have completed counseling, will I finally be done with drug treatment?

Like everything discussed so far, and based on if you relapsed or not, every outcome is an individual occurrence. One may be done with treatment and not relapse. But that, unfortunately, is rare. It is more likely that one will need to always be aware of the possibility that the light turned on when drug or alcohol use first began will always flicker in the background just waiting to come on full force. You should know and will learn that a relapse may occur at anytime after treatment and you should always stay close to your treating physician in the future.