What to Know About Suboxone Doctors
Suboxone can be prescribed by doctors, as well as specially certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Suboxone may be prescribed by your primary doctor or any of the licensed health care practitioners listed, provided they are appropriately trained to prescribe the medication. The limitations imposed on prescribers can make accessing Suboxone treatment difficult. Finding a doctor that can prescribe Suboxone can be challenging; however, developments in telehealth have made the process of obtaining a prescription for Suboxone more accessible.
Suboxone doctors prescribe Suboxone, a medication to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). The drug is made up of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist used in the medication assisted treatment (MAT) of OUD.
See Suboxone Film for more on MAT.
Buprenorphine (Suboxone) will trigger some of the same side effects traditional opioid agonists like oxycodone, heroin, or morphine cause; however, it has a ‘ceiling effect,’ meaning the impact of the drug is eclipsed when it reaches a certain point (32mg). The presence of naloxone in the drug makes Suboxone harder to abuse than buprenorphine mono products like Subutex. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which activates to block the stimulation of opioid receptors in the brain if the medication is misused, i.e., injected or snorted. Suboxone is available in a film, similar to that of a Listerine breath strip. The strip is placed under the tongue, where it dissolves and absorbs into the body via the lingual frenulum or floor of the mouth.
Learn more about Suboxone strips in How to Use a Suboxone Strip.
While buprenorphine satisfies opioid cravings and provides relief from pain, it is important to remember that it is an opioid that should be prescribed and administered with oversight from a trained prescriber.
Tolerance, dependence, and addiction are the core facets of OUD. Tolerance refers to the diluted response to opioids experienced after prolonged use; a larger dose of the opioid is required to evoke the same or similar response it did initially. Physical dependence refers to the way the neurons in the brain adapt to repeat opioid use. The brain adapts to opioid stimulation and stops producing neurotransmitters on its own in the presence of full agonists. Dependence is developed in the brain’s pain pathway. Withdrawal is the consequence of dependence. See Suboxone Ingredients; All You Need to Know to learn more about the role of neurotransmitters in the brain. The reward pathway is where addiction develops. Addiction refers to the compulsive need to fill the brain’s opioid receptors with stimuli to avoid withdrawal and manage pain. When the reward pathway is stimulated, it elicits pleasure and euphoria.
Suboxone Certified Doctors
As outlined in the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000, in order to administer, prescribe and dispense a buprenorphine product like Suboxone to treat OUD, primary care physicians and health care practitioners have to undergo training to receive what is called a Data 2000 waiver or an X waiver as it is more commonly referred. Upon completion of this training, the health care provider receives a drug enforcement administration (DEA) license number that begins with an ‘X,’ hence the colloquialized name X waiver. The training is free and available online.
Without this training, there are limits to how a physician or licensed prescriber is allowed to prescribe Suboxone. Even with this waiver, licensed prescribers are subject to regulation. They are limited to treating no more than 100 patients in their first year. After the first year, a request can be submitted to increase that number to 275 patients.
OUD is a rampant health issue which is being neutralized by way of the medication assisted treatment of addiction and pharmacotherapy. Suboxone clinics can be accessed in person and online. While Suboxone does produce side effects that include increased heart rate, nervousness, chills, goosebumps, and more, the drug facilitates stabilization and reduces cravings. Using Suboxone allows patients to develop a sense of self-efficacy and focus on psychosocial, behavioral therapies. It also reduces criminal behavior and sexual risk behavior, decreases the risk of overdose, and improves physical and mental health functioning overall. All of this helps sustain recovery and increase abstinence. Retaining patients in treatment is imperative to recovery. Suboxone supports treatment retention.
How do I get prescribed Suboxone
If this recovery plan sounds appealing to you and you are interested in undergoing MAT for OUD, contact Confidant. Consulting with a health care provider is the first step. Discuss the long-term versus short-term use of Suboxone. Examine dosage, tapering, and more. The team at Confidant are licensed Suboxone prescribers. Book your consultation today to start your Suboxone treatment.