Comprehensive Guide on Prescribing Suboxone
Suboxone is one of several medications that may be prescribed as part of a medication-assisted treatment program (MAT) for substance use disorders. You should only obtain Suboxone through a valid prescription from a qualified provider. Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers prescribing Suboxone must follow government regulations to ensure you receive safe, responsible Suboxone treatment.
If you believe Suboxone may benefit your opioid recovery plan, contact the clinicians at Confidant Health’s online Suboxone clinic. Our team provides high-quality virtual Suboxone care. Get started today by scheduling a convenient intake assessment.
What Is Suboxone Prescribed For?
Suboxone is prescribed for people who need support to overcome opioid use disorder (OUD). The combination of buprenorphine and naloxone in this medication helps minimize uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Do You Need a Prescription for Suboxone?
Suboxone is a Schedule III controlled substance since it is considered to have a potential for misuse. The only way to access Suboxone safely and legally is with a prescription from a qualified provider that is filled at a licensed pharmacy.
Who Can Prescribe Suboxone?
New practice guidelines for buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder were released in 2021 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These new guidelines aim to make buprenorphine or Suboxone treatment more accessible to people trying to manage opioid use disorder. These guidelines exempt certain eligible healthcare providers from the certification requirements for the administration of buprenorphine treatment. Eligible providers who can now prescribe Suboxone as part of a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program include:
Clinical nurse specialists
Certified registered nurse anesthetists
Certified nurse midwives
The above providers must still follow requirements and regulations to provide Suboxone care.
Requirements and Regulations When Prescribing Suboxone
Although eligible providers are exempt from certain training and counseling requirements, they still must follow a set of requirements and regulations to prescribe Suboxone treatment.
1. The provider must be state licensed.
The provider’s state law will dictate other requirements for providing Suboxone treatment. Some states require any eligible provider who is not a physician to be supervised by a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registered physician to prescribe Suboxone as part of medication-assisted treatment for OUD.
Another state regulation limits providers using the exemption to treating only patients who reside in the state where the provider is licensed. The exception to this is providers working for a department or agency of the United States.
2. The provider must be registered by the DEA to prescribe controlled substances.
Providers wishing to provide Suboxone care for their patients must register with the DEA Diversion Control Division first.
3. The provider must submit a “Notice of Intent” application before prescribing Suboxone or buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.
Eligible providers must submit to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) a Notice of Intent (NOI) or buprenorphine waiver application before they may begin prescribing Suboxone to their patients for OUD.
4. The provider may only prescribe Suboxone treatment to up to 30 patients under their care at one time.
The exemption only allows for up to 30 patients at one time. If a provider wishes to treat more than 30 people for OUD at any given time, they would need to obtain the appropriate buprenorphine waiver training after their first year of certification.
How Long Can You Be Prescribed Suboxone?
Each individual’s recovery journey is different, but for many people, Suboxone is part of a long-term maintenance treatment program. When you begin a prescribed Suboxone regimen with your provider, you may wonder how long treatment will last. Since the purpose of the buprenorphine and naloxone of Suboxone is to minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings while preventing opioid misuse, you can use this medication indefinitely if your provider determines it is integral to your long-lasting recovery.
Step-by-Step of How to Get Suboxone
Knowing how to take Suboxone safely is essential. Suboxone medication should only be accessed as part of an OUD treatment plan under the guidance of a qualified provider.
1. Schedule an appointment with a qualified Suboxone prescriber.
To ensure your safety, you first need to consult with a qualified provider about your desire to overcome opioid use disorder. Suboxone treatment should only be accessed under the care of an eligible provider so they can monitor your progress and determine the correct Suboxone dosage. As mentioned above, qualified providers may be physicians, nurse practitioners, or other eligible practitioners. You may wish to consult with your primary care physician if you are comfortable speaking with them about opioid use disorder. If they are not qualified to prescribe Suboxone care, they can provide a referral to a qualified provider. You can also contact an online Suboxone clinic to connect with a virtual Suboxone treatment provider quickly.
2. Discuss your health history during an assessment with your provider.
A qualified Suboxone provider must conduct an intake assessment to determine the appropriate course of action for your OUD needs. During this initial appointment, the provider will ask about your opioid use history, the symptoms you're experiencing, and your overall state of health. If you have tried other treatment programs to overcome OUD, you should also mention this to your provider.
3. Verify insurance coverage for Suboxone treatment.
If your provider determines that Suboxone treatment is right for you, the next step would be exploring the treatment costs. Your provider can assist by contacting your health insurance company to verify coverage for treatment sessions and Suboxone medication.
4. Receive a Suboxone prescription from your provider.
If your provider feels you are a good candidate for Suboxone care, they will write you a prescription for the medication. They will decide whether tablets or films are the best form of Suboxone for your treatment and whether generic Suboxone is an appropriate option.
5. Find a licensed pharmacy that stocks Suboxone.
Your provider may be able to connect you with your local pharmacies that carry Suboxone medication. For optimal convenience, they may also electronically submit your prescription to the pharmacy, so all you need to do is pick it up. If needed, your provider may be able to connect you with a licensed pharmacy that provides home delivery of your medication.
6. Begin Suboxone treatment under your provider’s guidance.
Your provider will start you on the induction phase of Suboxone treatment for the first couple of days, where they will closely monitor your response to the medication. This usually involves several low doses of Suboxone throughout the day. Once you have stabilized, they will move you into the maintenance phase, where you will take one daily dose of Suboxone to keep withdrawal symptoms and cravings under control. While you receive Suboxone treatment, it is highly recommended you also attend therapy sessions, either virtual or in-person, to address the underlying causes of opioid use disorder.
Could Suboxone Care Be Right for You? Contact Confidant Health’s Online Suboxone Doctors
Suboxone treatment can be highly effective for managing opioid use disorder over the long term. However, you should only access Suboxone with a valid prescription from a qualified provider. Confidant Health has the online Suboxone doctors you can trust to provide safe, effective Suboxone care. Reach out to us today for convenient virtual treatment for OUD.