Northland physicians certified in opiate dependence treatment will evaluate patients for replacement therapy with the use of Buprenorphine (Suboxone). Patients who meet criteria for Suboxone must agree to comply with all requirements of the program, which includes attendance at all individual counseling sessions, all Intensive Outpatient Program classes (typically three times per week for 8-12 weeks minimum), 12-Step Program participation, random urine screening for the use of drugs, and an Aftercare/Relapse Prevention Program which lasts a minimum of one year. Patients will gradually taper off of Suboxone over 6-12 months based on progress in the program. Non-compliance will result in termination from the program.
Dr. David Whitsett, Northland’s medical director and nationally recognized expert on medication assisted treatment says this about this form of treatment: “Medication assistance helps retain people in treatment by suppressing or eliminating […] cravings that can persist for months after abstinence.” You can read Stuckert’s article in Addiction Professional Magazine: “Medication Assisted Treatment is Working.”
Medication-Assistance for Alcohol
In addition to the use of Suboxone, patients who are dependent on alcohol may be prescribed acamprosate (Campral) for reduction of cravings, and/or naltrexone for elimination of the pleasurable or euphoric response to alcohol ingestion.