Outpatient Suboxone Treatment: What to Expect

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October 24, 2023

So, you’ve decided to take the first brave step toward recovery from opioid addiction by considering outpatient Suboxone treatment as part of your healing process. Not everyone can summon the courage and strength to ask for help and take action on their path to recovery. Various programs are available for those misusing opioids. However, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), especially with the use of Suboxone, has proven to be the most effective, offering the greatest chances of long-term success.  

A male patient listening to a staff member discussing their outpatient Suboxone treatment option.

Preparing for Your Outpatient Suboxone Treatment Journey

At AppleGate Recovery, our staff members are ready to answer all your questions about managing opioid addiction with Suboxone. They’ll provide a safe environment throughout your journey. Our dedicated providers give patients a path to achieve long-term recovery through medications like buprenorphine and naloxone, commonly called Suboxone. Knowing what to expect from this treatment process enables you to set personal goals. This helps you move toward a life free from the chains of opioid addiction.

A medical provider writing a Suboxone prescription for a patient during a consultation.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone, comprising two main components: buprenorphine and naloxone, plays a key role in medication-assisted treatment options. Buprenorphine is a weak partial opioid agonist, and it works by attaching itself to opioid receptors and tricking your brain into thinking it’s receiving a full dose of opioids. This reduces cravings, withdrawal symptoms and drug-seeking behavior without inducing any euphoric effects typically associated with opioid use.

Meanwhile, naloxone, an opioid antagonist, blocks opioid receptors from activating. If buprenorphine is misused intravenously, surpassing the prescribed dosage, naloxone can reverse its euphoric effects.

The addition of naloxone in Suboxone serves as a deterrent for those who are prone to relapse, as any misuse of the prescription will cause the patient to go into withdrawal immediately.   

First Steps: Embarking on the Path to Recovery

Upon your arrival at the AppleGate office, after up to two days of abstinence, you will experience moderate withdrawal symptoms. It’s crucial to avoid opioids 16-48 hours before your first medication dose. Though this phase is challenging, it’s essential for staff to evaluate your withdrawal symptoms, ensuring the medication’s effectiveness.

You’ll discuss MAT options with your provider, exploring if Suboxone, with its unique combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, is right for you. Following this, you’ll share your health history and undergo lab tests to analyze your internal health.

These tests are part of a standard procedure to ensure the medical staff doesn’t overlook any glaring health issues commonly associated with opioid addiction.

The Initial Phase: Setting the Stage for Success

After taking your first dose of Suboxone, you will noticeably begin to feel better within 30 to 45 minutes. Sometimes, your provider will adjust your dosage on your first day, prescribing more doses if needed. It’s crucial to communicate with your provider during this time to assess if additional medication is necessary.

The first couple of days will require some patience as your provider may continue to adjust your dosage based on how you are reacting to the medication, including some mild side effects such as drowsiness, nausea and sweating.  

A counselor leading a group session with attentive patients.

Continued Care: Follow-Ups and Comprehensive Support

After your initial dose, you will receive a prescription for Suboxone to fill at any pharmacy of your choice. A key advantage of Suboxone treatment is the ability to self-administer it at home, eliminating daily treatment center visits.

Your journey through recovery is not a path you walk alone. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial. These sessions, which boast flexible scheduling to accommodate your personal needs, serve as strategic checkpoints. Here, you’ll discuss your treatment progression and any bodily reactions to the medication with your healthcare provider.

These appointments aren’t just for consultation; they also allow for prescription refills accompanied by necessary drug tests to ensure your safety and compliance with the treatment protocol. For efficiency and a smooth continuation of your treatment plan, it’s important to bring your medication to these check-ins. This help staff accurately monitor your recovery process.

Building Resilience Through Counseling and Peer Support

As you navigate the beginning phases of your treatment, open communication with your provider is critical, especially when discussing any potential triggers or cravings. Working with a specialized substance use counselor will allow you to set achievable goals. This collaboration builds your confidence and strength throughout your recovery process.

These counseling sessions are characterized by an atmosphere of understanding, not judgement. The focus is on facilitating your healing process, addressing not just the addiction but the underlying emotional turmoil and behavioral patterns contributing to it. Beyond emotional support, counselors are instrumental in providing referrals and resources. These can be life-changing, assisting with employment, financial management, legal concerns, and other life facets often disrupted by addiction.

Moreover, group substance use counseling sessions are also available, introducing you to a community of peers, each on their own journey through recovery. These sessions provide a platform for shared experiences, encouraging unity, inspiration, and expanded perspectives from individuals across all life’s spectra. The collective experience reinforces the notion that you are not alone, fostering a support network that becomes foundational in your long-term recovery strategy.

This integrative approach, emphasizing both medication and mental health support, underscores the holistic nature of the recovery process. It’s a reaffirmation that achieving lasting recovery from opioid addiction isn’t merely about treating the physical symptoms. It’s about healing the person as a whole.

Individual ascending a staircase, symbolizing initial steps towards recovery and hope.

Embracing Your Personalized Recovery Journey

Embarking on the path of MAT is a personal journey, one that is unique to each individual’s circumstances, needs and goals. When you enroll in the AppleGate program, it’s important to understand your recovery timeline is unique. Your milestones don’t need to match anyone else’s. This journey is yours, and it’s tailored to fit you.

A key aspect of this journey is the prospect of medication maintenance, discussed with your provider when you’ve shown commitment and consistency in your recovery efforts. It’s not about rushing through stages; it’s about building a robust recovery foundation, step by step.

From the onset, your focus is twofold: you’re grounded in the present, concentrating on initiating MAT with precision and dedication, and you’re also casting your gaze forward, envisioning a brighter, substance-free future. This transformative process is not just about overcoming; it’s about thriving, moving boldly toward a healthier, more fulfilled you.

In this journey, every step is a testament to your resilience. You’re not just enduring; you’re flourishing, actively shaping your future. And throughout this deeply personal journey, AppleGate Recovery’s support remains a constant, accompanying you as you forge your path to wellness.

Begin Your Outpatient Suboxone Treatment Today at AppleGate Recovery

To learn more about integrating Suboxone into your medication-assisted treatment at AppleGate Recovery, locate your nearest office and call or message our staff. There’s no better time to get started on the path towards a fulfilling future than today. Embrace the journey with the support of a dedicated team committed to your success.