Opiate Addiction and Suboxone

Opioids, or opiates, are addictive narcotics in the same family as opium and heroin. Opiates include many prescription pain medications such as codeine, morphine, Vicodin®, Demerol®, Dilaudid®, OxyContin® and Percodan®. Opiates have grown in popularity and today, only alcohol outranks them as the drug of choice.

At Henry Ford Maplegrove Center, the home for addiction treatment at Henry Ford Behavioral Health Services, our addiction specialists help patients safely detox and recover from an opiate addiction.

Opiate addiction treatment in Michigan

We view addiction as an illness, not as a moral issue or a matter of self-control. We work with patients and their loved ones to create an effective, comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.

Our goal is to stop the addiction cycle and help the patient reintegrate into family, work and community life. Features of our opiate addiction treatment include:

  • Evidence-based approach. Our proven methods and techniques are backed by the latest addiction research.
  • Expert, experienced team. Maplegrove’s team of addiction specialists has extensive training and experience in treating opioid addictions. Meet the Maplegrove team.

Opiate detoxification: Inpatient and outpatient programs

Our program combines detoxification with counseling. Patients may undergo detoxification either on an inpatient or outpatient basis:

  • Our experienced addiction team will determine if the patient requires inpatient or outpatient detoxification. The decision depends on many factors. We will make the determination based on our physician’s thorough physical examination.
  • We generally recommend outpatient detoxification for patients who are medically stable and do not have an accompanying alcohol and/or sedative addiction.

Suboxone®: Safe detoxification process at Maplegrove

Because a sudden discontinuation of opioids can cause serious withdrawal symptoms, we use medical detoxification with the medication Suboxone®. This is the crucial first step to successful treatment.

As a detox medication, Suboxone:

  • Has shown limited abuse potential
  • Can effectively help patients manage symptoms of withdrawal and craving that often lead back to active addiction
  • Offers excellent results, as patients using it more likely to complete detoxification successfully and remain in treatment during rehabilitation and recovery

Detoxification: Recovery and follow up

Following detoxification, Maplegrove offers a variety of ongoing treatment programs including:

Benefits of Suboxone

A sudden discontinuation of opioid use can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. This is why medical detoxification with Suboxone is a crucial first step to successful treatment. In fact, patients using Suboxone are more likely to successfully complete detoxification and remain in treatment.

Because Suboxone is an opioid, many wonder if using it is simply substituting one addiction for another. However, many studies have shown that this is not the case:

  • Suboxone has demonstrated limited abuse potential, meaning there is a low chance of becoming addicted to it and abusing it.
  • Many medical studies show that combining a detox and maintenance treatment with a low-dose opioid:
    • Keeps patients healthier
    • Prevents patients from getting into legal trouble
    • Helps prevent contracting the AIDS virus from needle sharing

Detoxification with Suboxone: What to expect

Every opioid can have stimulating or sedating effects, especially in the first weeks of treatment. Our addiction specialist works closely with patients in our detoxification program to find the right dosing for each patient. But Suboxone is only part of a successful treatment plan. The proper resources, counseling and family participation are all critical components of a patient’s recovery.

  • Dosing. The correct dose of Suboxone is the one that allows the patient to feel and act normally. It may take a few weeks to find the right dose.
  • Family support. Opiod addiction is like other chronic diseases such as diabetes. Patients require ongoing care, as well as the proper medications, counseling and lifestyle changes. Families should encourage regular medical care, help the patient remember to take his or her medication and participate in addiction recovery support systems.

Follow-up care with Suboxone treatment

Once patients are stable, they will need to see a physician every two to four weeks. It is important that patients not miss an appointment, because if they do, they may not be able to refill the medication on time. This could cause patients to experience the difficult symptoms of withdrawal. At each follow-up visit, patients:

  • Bring their medication container
  • May need to give urine, blood or breath samples

In addition to routine medical visits, other aspects of follow-up care include:

  • Special medical care. Some patients may require care for needle-related problems, such as hepatitis or HIV disease. They may need to go for blood work or see several physicians for these illnesses.
  • Counseling. Counseling is an integral part of addiction treatment. We will develop a plan for regular appointments with an individual counselor or for group therapy. Sometimes we ask patients’ family members to join in family therapy sessions.
  • Meetings. Most patients participate in a 12-step recovery group to maintain their sobriety. It may take several visits to different groups to find the right "home" meeting. In the first year of recovery, patients may attend meetings every day or several times per week. Family members may attend groups, such as Al-Anon or Naranon, to support them in adjusting to life with a patient who has an addiction.
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