Opiate Detoxfication Using Buprenorphine
Frequently Asked Questions
The newest way to comfortably and completely detoxify from Oxycontin, Percocet, Heroin, Vicodin, Methadone, Norco, Zydone, etc.
Most people are concerned about detoxification from opiates due to having tried to detoxify on their own or in other programs and have had experiences that have been painful or anxiety provoking. With buprenorphine, the detoxification is, 99% of the time, very comfortable.
Many of those patients who were considering detoxification under anesthesia (Ultra-Rapid Opiate Detoxification) are now opting for this more cost effective, less invasive form of comfortable detoxification from opiates. The way one detoxifies is not related to length of recovery.
In my opinion, it is best to invest in excellent chemical dependency counseling and treatment than to spend most of the resources on the detoxification phase. One can detoxify using buprenorphine and stay working or stay in school. With Dr. Nathan’s outpatient program, one does not have to be away from family.
Outpatient treatment has been shown to be of equal effectiveness to in-patient treatment. The only people who should consider in-patient are those who are extremely medically ill to begin with, those with severe psychiatric disorders or those who do not have a safe and sober place to live during treatment.
Buprenorphine was originally used for pain control when it was available as an injectable drug in the U.S. It has been used as a detoxification medication in Europe since the mid-1980’s where it had been available in a tablet form.
It was FDA approved for prescription in the U.S. for opiate detoxification in 2002 and the tablets became available in 2003. Buprenorphine is an opiate that significantly decreases ALL withdrawal symptoms.
At NABU Medical Services, we add additional medications to the regimen to help make you sleep comfortably at night. The dose of sublingual buprenorphine (Suboxone® or Buprenorphine Plain Sublingual Tablets (Previously Subutex®)) is slowly tapered during detoxification.
Buprenorphine can be used as a detoxification drug to get you drug free. It can also be used as a maintenance drug.
Like methadone, buprenorphine can be used for maintenance; however in my practice the goal of treatment is to become drug free.
There are many patients who do well with methadone so if you’re on methadone and are doing well, it’s always your choice whether to consider a switch to a drug free approach that starts with buprenorphine.
When on methadone, if one uses another opiate, they do not feel the opiate. Similarly, buprenorphine is a "forgiving" drug. If you happen to relapse on opiates during detoxification, you will not feel your abused opiate and therefore will not have strayed far from the path of detoxification.
In my opinion, for many, methadone is like a "roach motel." You check in but you find it hard to check out. With detoxification using buprenorphine, there is a smooth transition between detoxification and becoming drug free.
Not if you follow directions.
After a history and medical exam, I tailor the detoxification to your individual needs, based on drugs used and amount used, length of addiction and other bio-psychosocial factors.
I have been detoxifying patients since 1987. Buprenorphine is the most comfortable, humane and cost effective way to detoxify from opiates. If you happen to have decreased energy during detoxification, there are medications that are used for this too.
I am available on pager from 8AM-8PM eastern time daily (weekends and holidays, too) to help you with any concerns that may come up during your detoxification.
I tailor the detoxification to your individual needs, based on drugs used and amount used, length of addiction and other bio-psychosocial factors. Time can vary from being on buprenorphine from 10 days to 3 months.
Some people need longer tapers than others. It is not a race to being drug free.
Yes, you will be able to sleep beginning on your first night of detoxification. I prescribe medications to help you get and stay asleep and wake up refreshed.
There are two forms of the sublingual tablet. One is called Suboxone®. Suboxone® is prescribed for detoxification from opiates. The other is called Buprenorphine Plain Sublingual Tablets (Previously Subutex®). Buprenorphine Plain Sublingual Tablets (Previously Subutex®) is usually used for the first dose or doses of the detoxification. It is usually given by the doctor directly to the patient.
Active Ingredients: buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride dihydrate
Inactive Ingredients: lactose, mannitol, cornstarch, povidone K30, citric acid, sodium citrate, FD&C Yellow No.6 color, magnesium stearate, and for flavoring, Acesulfame K sweetener and a lemon-lime flavor Please note that the naloxone in the above drug is not absorbed orally. It is only there so that someone cannot inject the liquefied form of this tablet and get high.
Buprenorphine Plain Sublingual Tablets (Previously Subutex®)
Active Ingredients: buprenorphine hydrochloride
Inactive Ingredients: lactose, mannitol, cornstarch, povidone K30, citric acid, sodium citrate and magnesium stearate