In the US, treatment for heroin or opioid addiction is a specialized area of medicine and may involve a Suboxone clinic. Doctors who prescribe methadone or suboxone receive specialized training and follow certain guidelines for treatment. These guidelines may specify a certain number of visits, blood or urine tests and a schedule of lowered dosing with the goal of complete abstinence at some point. Historically, this is because giving narcotics to addicts hasn’t been recognized as medically valid. The landscape is changing, but caution remains.
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A Suboxone clinic would parallel a methadone clinic, and many methadone clinics also dispense Suboxone. Some patients find this inconvenient or embarrassing – methadone is linked to heroin abuse and the negative stereotypes. Unlike methadone though, a “Suboxone clinic” can be in a hospital or other setting where regular patients are seen. This can even be a doctor’s office. As long as a physician has the appropriate certification, they can administer the drug in any setting.
For this reason, addicts who want to try Suboxone should ask their primary care doctor. If their doctor does not prescribe the drug, it is likely they will know another doctor who does. Hospitals or a Suboxone clinic that do drug rehabilitation will also have a doctor on staff with prescribing privileges. The end result is that patients shouldn’t have to travel far or find a methadone clinic to receive treatment with Suboxone.
In a Suboxone clinic, Suboxone is given in a single daily dose as a sublingual film that dissolves in the mouth. Initial treatment is under supervision, which means patients have to visit their doctor’s office daily. After some initial period, patients are allowed to take doses home and self-administer, once daily. A family member may be recruited to oversee and document proper use.
Because of the starting period that is supervised, some patients start the drug while still in an inpatient treatment facility and then move to home care.