Suboxone Doctors: Should I Choose a Therapist or a Medical Doctor?
Suboxone obviously offers some great benefits, including cessation of cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It’s no wonder than the medication is a popular component of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. If you are interested in using Suboxone, you have likely learned all about how it works, but you may be less clear about who can prescribe it.
Suboxone and its main ingredient, buprenorphine, are highly regulated and doctors actually need to go through training to receive permission to dispense it. So, if you are debating between a therapist and a medical doctor as the source of the medication, a medical doctor may be more likely than a therapist to have received a waiver to prescribe and dispense the drug. However, you should also make time to see a therapist as part of your treatment.
The following discussion should give you a lot of information about who can prescribe Suboxone and what they need to go through to do so. There will also be information about what the initial prescribing process looks like.
If you have other questions, we have the answers that you seek. Research can quickly get complicated and boring. Skip all the Googling and reading and go right to a knowledgeable source. Call 800-533-1341. You can speak to someone 24-hours-a-day.
Will My Doctor Be Able to Prescribe Suboxone for Me?
Possibly. Obviously, the first step will be to express interest in medication-assisted treatment with Suboxone and inquire into your physician’s ability to prescribe it for you.
It turns out that less than ten percent of the doctors in the United States have the necessary credentials to prescribe Suboxone.
What Credentials Are Necessary to Prescribe Suboxone?
Physicians need complete an eight-hour training before they gain a waiver to prescribe and dispense Suboxone. The training covers:
- Patient Assessment
They also need to apply for a DEA#.
So, If My Doctor Did the Class, I Can Get Suboxone, Right?
It’s not that simple. Once a physician goes through the full testing and receives their DEA#, they may only prescribe Suboxone to 30 patients at a time during their first year of certification and up to 100 (275 in some cases) thereafter. If your doctor is already prescribing and dispensing to 30 or 100 or 275 other people, you may need to find another doctor.
Where Am I Supposed to Find a Doctor?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services maintains a voluntary directory and doctors who are authorized to treat opioid addiction with Suboxone can opt to be included. There is also the possibility that your doctor knows someone and can refer you. Always communicate with your primary care physician so that your records are complete and they know what is happening with your overall wellbeing.
What Does Treatment Look Like?
When you find a doctor who can treat you, the office will inform you about preparation for your first appointment. Typically, they last for a few hours. You should receive a dose that visit. You should be experiencing withdrawal by the time you take the first dose or it will bring on withdrawal and that will make you think that the Suboxone isn’t working. Your withdrawal will also help your doctor to determine the appropriate dosage for your case.
Generally, the doctor will want to see you a few times during your first week and then weekly until you can demonstrate the ability to take the medication correctly. Also, there will be a period of time where the correct dosage is being determined. You will obviously need to visit each week until that process is complete.
You may consistently receive your dose at your doctor’s office. However, some doctors will allow a pharmacy to hand out the medication. Be sure to take your medication at the same time each day.
To learn more about what it’s like to take Suboxone and the role that it can play in your recovery, call 800-533-1341. We are waiting to help you.