What are the Stages of Suboxone Maintenance?
There is nothing worse than having an illegal drug control your life and opiates like heroin are some of the worst drugs. Fortunately, there is Suboxone. Suboxone is a medication that helps you avoid withdrawal, prevent relapse, and treats chronic pain. Before starting Suboxone treatment you should know the stages of Suboxone maintenance treatment.
According to Indivior Incorporated, the manufacturers of Suboxone, there are certain conditions that need to be satisfied before you can start Suboxone treatment. Satisfying these conditions is known as the pre-induction stage. During this stage doctors consider:
- the type of opioid dependence
- how long it has been since the patient last used
- how much the patient has used
- what stage of withdrawal they are in
- how severe their withdrawal symptoms are
All of these things are determining factors in whether a doctor will start Suboxone treatment. If you want to be evaluated for treatment or find a treatment center for your addiction, call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?).
This is the first stage or introduction to Suboxone. You have to be in moderate withdrawal for a doctor to start this stage. During this stage the doctor starts you on the Suboxone after a complete physical and patient history.
Although the maximum amount of Suboxone that a doctor can give at the beginning of treatment is 8/2mg, they often start you on a much lower dose. The usual starting dose is 2/0.5mg. As you take the Suboxone, the doctor evaluates your symptoms and increases or decreases your dosage.
This process takes approximately a week. During this week your symptoms, opiate use, and behavior are closely monitored to make sure that the treatment is beginning to work.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, after the induction stage comes the stabilization stage. During stabilization there should be no more opioid use and you should no longer be craving them.
The stabilization stage is where the doctor will determine your final dose and your dosing schedule. He or she will give you a prescription and frequent visits might not be necessary anymore. You will still be monitored for opioid use and your dosing schedule might be adjusted a few more times before the stabilization stage is completed.
Maintenance is the final stage. This stage starts when you are no longer taking opioids and are only taking the Suboxone. Your dose is stable and you are no longer feeling the effects of withdrawal.
As the name of the stage implies, you are maintaining a steady dose of Suboxone and are free from opioid drugs. You can remain on Suboxone for a indefinite period as long as there are no problems with side effects or other issues.
From this point you can go into a tapering program to gradually reduce the Suboxone until you are off of it or you can remain on Suboxone. You will still be medically supervised but less often and your counseling and other treatment continues as normal.
You can find treatment and counseling by calling 800-891-9360(Who Answers?). We can help you find the right care for your needs.