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Congratulations on taking this step. Whether you’ve just realized you have a problem with opioids, have been battling an addiction for some time, or you are trying to find trusted support for a loved one—your research is an important part of the journey to recovery.  

Millions suffer each year from opioid addiction, which is a chronic brain condition. Treatment usually includes therapy combined with medication-assisted therapy (MAT). One or the most effective medications is buprenorphine paired with naloxone, often called by the brand name Suboxone. It is proven to be a very successful form of opioid addiction treatment and can be administered by a physician in an outpatient setting.  

One of the biggest steps to recovery is choosing where to go. Below are some ideas to help you get started, choose the right doctor for your needs, and learn how medically assisted treatment works.  

Motivation and keeping your momentum 

Choosing to get help for opioid use disorder is often a difficult and fleeting decision.  Stigmas associated with substance abuse and long waits to be seen can further discourage those wanting help. Some small steps you can take to getting started are: 

  • Do research on the type of clinic you want to go to; many clinics offer different levels of care. 
  • Choose a clinic that can provide care on your terms and is available when you are. 
  • Identify someone who is willing to support and help you whether that be a friend or family member.   
  • Clear some time for the treatment to work. Each person is different, but the first 24 hours can be difficult when stopping narcotics. You will want to allow a few days of work to help adjust to the medication. 
  • Take action. Don’t delay or procrastinate. Help is out there.  

Withdrawal symptoms can be managed  

Suboxone is a prescription drug that helps to lessen withdrawal symptoms. It has lower potential for abuse than methadone and has been around since 2002.  

The drug itself is made from both naloxone and buprenorphine. The Naloxone blocks normal effects of opioids while the buprenorphine attaches to only part of the opioid receptor. Working together with this drug helps to lessen the effects of withdrawal symptoms and cravings.  

Often, withdrawal from detox can be very intense, with the use and help of this drug it can lessen several of the painful symptoms and cravings.  

Dosing and how it works 

Suboxone is not a one-size-fits-all medication, and the standard may vary. Your physician will work with you to come up with the best plan of action and you can often fill your prescription at the pharmacy.  

Some items you and the physician will cover are drug use, history and more to get a baseline and provide the best personalized care possible. 

Choosing the right doctor for you 

When selecting a provider, look for someone you can connect with, and feel comfortable asking hard questions or talking about embarrassing symptoms.  

The quickest way to find clinics close to you is by doing a simple browser search. Google and Microsoft have requirements to help ensure listings are from trusted sources. Jovive Health offers MAT in clinics in Illinois, California, and Nevada. 

DEA registered Doctors- Confirm the clinics you are considering have undergone training to administer Suboxone as an addiction recovery treatment.  You can look them up on the DEA website to ensure they are registered. Medicine is making addiction treatment more standard and normalized by no longer needing an X-wavier to prescribe.    

Come with Questions

Make sure to write down any questions you might have about the program so that you don’t forget any.  

Example questions: 

  • Is there a waiting list? 
  • How soon can I get an appointment? 
  • Are you contracted with insurance?  
  • What is a typical treatment plan?  
  • Do you also offer counseling? 
  • How long will the appointment take? 
  • What measures do you take to protect my privacy? 
  • Do you have walk-in convivence?  
  • Can you help with Care Coordination? 

 Always remember the clinic staff are there to help you, not judge you, and are always happy to answer questions. Addiction is a disease just as depression, htn, diabetes are diseases. It is not a weakness and does not make one any less of a person. Addiction is a medical problem that needs treatment, and MAT is one of the best ways to do this.  Everyone deserves a life free from addiction.