Treatment Options for Opioid Addiction and Dependence


November 2018/Psych ZenHealth


In 2016, nearly 64,000 people died of drug overdoses in America — with synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl), heroin and common opioid painkillers (like Percocet and OxyContin) topping other causes of overdose, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If nothing is done, we can expect more people to die.

Americans consume more opioids than any other country, according to the United Nation International Narcotics Control Board. With the death toll of America’s opioid epidemic, one of the most pressing public health questions facing the nation today is how to treat the addiction that leads people to misuse and overdose on these drugs.

Methadone and Suboxone are proven medications for drug addiction. Suboxone is the first FDA approved treatment for opioid and heroin addiction. The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 made it legal to prescribe an opioid for treatment of addiction. These medications – suboxone and methadone deter people from using opioids by reducing cravings and withdrawal. Suboxone is an opioid, and it works by activating the same opioid receptors that other opioids do. It does so without producing a high when taken as prescribed.

As with any treatment protocol, use of Suboxone should be determined on a case-by-case basis by medical professionals.

Suboxone is simply a combination of two different medications (Buprenorphine and naloxone). Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist while Naloxone is a pure opioid antagonist. People use heroin because it activates their brain receptors causing excitement that make them seek heroin continually. Buprenorphine provides lower or partial effect and feeling like heroin. So, transitioning from heroine to Buprenorphine is considered safe, effective and government approved.

Suboxone requires a partial detoxification process (usually 12 hours to two days) before starting the treatment, while naltrexone (a promising new drug for opioid addiction) requires extensive detoxification to use(usually 3 to 10 days of no opioid use). Naltrexone also may require one shot a month, while suboxone is typically taken daily as a pill. All of these factors and more will need to be considered by health care providers and patients as they decide what treatment to use.

Before Taking Suboxone

It is important to inform your doctor of any of the following conditions:
• A breathing problem or lung disease;
• Enlarged prostate, urination problems;
• Liver or kidney disease;
• Abnormal curvature of the spine;
• Adrenal gland issues, gallbladder, or thyroid;
• Brain tumor, head injury, or seizures;
• Alcoholism and drug addiction


Preparation for Suboxone treatment:

At Psych ZenHealth, you will be required to be in moderate active opioid withdrawal before your initial Suboxone treatment. We require between 24-36 hours of abstinence from opioid use. We encourage patient not to driveuntil you see how suboxone affects you. You are required to follow up in 7 days after the initial dose.

If you’re interested in learning more about Suboxone treatment or you’re ready to take the first step to recovering from your drug addiction or opioid dependence, contact us today.


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5251 W Campbell Ave. Ste. 208
Phoenix, AZ 85031
623-225-7591 / 602-491-8015

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