If you are struggling with opiate addiction, your doctor may recommend Suboxone treatment as a path to recovery. Suboxone is a medication that will stop or reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for you to withdraw from heroin or another opiate and avoid its use in the future. This treatment is very effective, but it is not always what patients expect. So before you enter into a Suboxone treatment program, take a look at the following:

1. You'll start with an induction appointment

While you will eventually be able to take Suboxone at home, your treatment plan will begin with an appointment during which your doctor administers your first dose. This appointment is called the induction appointment. You'll be asked to arrive at the appointment having not used opiates for about a day so that you're in the beginning stages of withdrawal. Your doctor will then slowly administer Suboxone and observe your reactions as the dose is slowly increased. This will allow them to prescribe the appropriate dose for you. 

2. You'll be asked to provide urine samples

After your induction appointment, you will be sent home with a prescription and specific dosing instructions. However, you will still need to come to checkup appointments. During each appointment, you will be asked to provide a urine sample. This is to ensure you are not using illegal opiates or abusing your Suboxone.

3. You'll also be in therapy

Suboxone is not a standalone treatment for addiction. It helps you deal with the physical symptoms of addiction, but it does not address the underlying psychological components of addiction. For that, you will need to see a therapist. Often, being in therapy is a requirement for continuing Suboxone treatment, and it is definitely a good idea. Therapy can help get you in the appropriate mental space so that once you are weaned off Suboxone, you are able to avoid going back to opiates.

4. There is no set timeline for treatment

Many patients wonder how long they'll be on Suboxone. There's no specific answer to this question. Some patients only use it for a few weeks, and others use it for a year or more. Your doctor and therapist will work with you to slowly reduce your use of medication over time at a pace you all feel comfortable with. Some patients prefer an aggressive approach, and others like to take things slower. It's largely up to you.

Now that you know a little more about Suboxone treatment, you can walk into your first appointment with confidence. If you have any additional concerns, talk to a Suboxone treatment provider near you.