Opiate Addiction Treatment:  Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions about treating addiction with Suboxone® or are ready to take the first step toward recovery, contact one of our treatment centers.

Suboxone is a treatment for dependence on opiate drugs such as heroin, morphine, codeine, or oxycodone. The active ingredient in Suboxone, buprenorphine hydrochloride, works to reduce the strong cravings of addiction while also reducing the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone can be prescribed in a doctor’s office (rather than in a clinic, such as those that distribute methadone).

Right away. You can contact us right now by email, using the form available on each Suboxone Center’s contact page.  If you are contacting us after hours, your email will be received and responded to within 24 hours. 

If you prefer to call, most of our offices are staffed from early in the morning until mid-afternoon. Hours may vary slightly by office, but you can get phone numbers and hours for an office near you via our Contact Us section.

Buprenorphine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in Suboxone, works to reduce the strong cravings of addiction to opiates while also reducing the discomforts of withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone occupies the receptors in the brain that would otherwise be occupied by an addictive drug (such as heroin or prescription pain killers). However, when taking Suboxone as treatment for an opiate addiction, you will not get high. A person using Suboxone is able to function normally.

If you are addicted to an opiate, sudden discontinuation of the drug can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone is used to make it easier to handle those withdrawal symptoms.

The right dosage of Suboxone is one that allows you to feel and act normally while taking it.

Opiates can have either a stimulating or a sedating effect, especially in the beginning of treatment. We will work with you to determine the right dosage for you. Most likely, the doctor will start you with 4mg to 12mg and have you come in on a weekly basis (for a few weeks) to monitor your withdrawal symptoms and adjust dosage as needed.

All Suboxone patients are required to be seen by the doctor at a minimum of once a month.

We are here to help. Our staff will strive to help you feel at ease with the challenges you face. We are committed to treating you like a person, not a number. We are not here to judge what brought you to our door; we are just glad that you are here. We are here to support your desire to overcome addiction. Contact us today to arrange a meeting or tour the addiction treatment facilities.

Yes. Buprenorphine is the main ingredient in Suboxone.

Subutex® (a sister drug to Suboxone) is pure buprenorphine. Suboxone also contains naloxone, a drug intended to deter people from abusing Suboxone or other opiates while they are undergoing treatment.

The most often reported side effects are nausea, vomiting, and constipation in varying degrees.

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms, though less severe than withdrawal from addiction to opiates, are similar to those associated with all opiates:  muscle aches and cramps, sweating, runny nose, diarrhea and stomach cramps, low fever and chills, irritability, and an inability to sleep or eat.

If a person is not addicted to opiates, he or she could get high by taking Suboxone. Suboxone does not have the same level of euphoric effects that other opiates provide, so it is not a drug that is commonly abused.

Suboxone contains naloxone, which prevents it from being abused by injection.

No. Suboxone is only prescribed for the treatment of opiate addiction. If you suffer from chronic pain and are addicted to a pain killer (such as oxycodone, Percocet, or Vicodin), your pain will return as you detox off of your medication with Suboxone.

It depends on the patient. Neither option is “better.” Your decision should be made with input from a professional, such as your own doctor or a doctor at one of our Suboxone Centers on this site.

This is probably one of the most difficult questions to answer because each person’s treatment path is affected by many variables. This is a question you should discuss with the doctor; however, here are a couple of points to consider:

  • Studies show that those in long-term treatment have a lower relapse rate than those in short-term treatment.
  • If need be, it is possible to be successfully weaned off Suboxone within a matter of months. However (as noted in previous bullet) you may face higher risk of relapse.
  • Some people need maintenance therapy using relatively low doses of Suboxone indefinitely.

Again, this can be a difficult question to answer because each person’s treatment path is affected by many variables, so cost will vary depending on dosage. Here are some points to consider:

  • Treatment has two costs: doctor visits and prescriptions. At our Suboxone Centers, most insurance coverage will pay for your prescriptions but not the doctor visits.
  • Methadone is often very inexpensive for people who receive public assistance, which has made it a viable option for those with limited income.
  • At our Suboxone Centers, we do not escalate intake costs. We maintain consistent costs through the treatment. Some other facilities may charge much higher rates for your initial visit.
  • Those who take Suboxone while in an outpatient program or at home under the care of a doctor will need to have insurance or the means to pay for it.

Not all insurance plans cover opiate addiction treatment. To see if your insurance covers treatment, call the 800-number on the back of your insurance card and speak to a representative.

You may also want to inquire about any coverage guidelines, such as limits on doctor visits or how quickly you can begin treatment.

Our Suboxone Centers are not equiped to handle insurance reimbursement. However, we will release information at your request.