Medication Supported Recovery

        Harmony House Experience with Suboxone Supported Recovery

        Over the course of five years of assisting residents who utilize Suboxone, we have some observations that may be pertinent to someone considering such treatment.

  • Treatment success is linked to dedication to a full recovery effort, including refraining from use of drugs of abuse.  Use of benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Klonopin and Valium are very problematic for individuals in Suboxone treatment.
     

  • Proper utilization of Suboxone as prescribed by a physician is very effective.  Relapse may result if the medication is not regularly and properly taken.
     

  • Follow up with a physician is essential.
     

  • Rapid tapering off medication has been observed to be ineffective.
     

  • In our experience, short-term use of Suboxone has not yielded much success.
     

  • Residents have reported feeling “normal” when they take Suboxone.  They are able to function in society and are not overcome by cravings or depression.  Many are able to go through significant periods of time without preoccupation with getting high or cravings, perhaps for the first time in years.
     

  • Some individuals report a reduction of cocaine cravings while taking Suboxone.
     

  • Many individuals report that if they continue Suboxone treatment persistently, do not return to opiate use, even if they relapse on alcohol, marijuana or cocaine.  Such relapses tend to be less severe than without Suboxone treatment.  A return from a relapse to abstinence and recovery is easier if Suboxone treatment is maintained.
     

  • For those who are not able to consistently take Suboxone as prescribed, Methadone treatment may be a better option.    In addition, if several attempts with Suboxone treatment have been unsuccessful, Methadone treatment should be considered.
     

  • Some individuals have been able to slowly taper off Suboxone over the course of one to two years.  Some report that they may need to maintain a low dose of Suboxone indefinitely in order to maintain recovery.
     

  • A few Suboxone patients report developing headaches.  Switching to Subutex (Buphrenorphine without Naloxone) for a short period may relieve headaches.

 

**Medication supported treatment utilizing any prescription medication should be done only as prescribed and monitored by a licensed physician.  Nothing contained in this website should be considered medical advice.  Please consult your physician.

 

 

 

 

 

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