Office Based Opioid Treatment (buprenorphine/vivitrol)

Comprehensive Pharmacotherapy

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine (more commonly known as Suboxone, Zubsolv, Bunavail, and Subutex) is a medication that offers those addicted to opiates, such as prescription pain-killers and heroin, a safe way to manage detox symptoms and decrease the chances of relapse. 

It has proven extremely effective, especially in conjunction with cognitive therapy and as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

The most common question we are asked is, "How long will I have to take Buprenorphine?" The answer is - that is between you, your doctor, and your therapist. At ARStc, we encourage the lowest dose possible. However, we do recognize that addiction is a chronic disease, and, like other chronic diseases, there should be no shame in staying on medication longer term.

How Buprenorphine Works
Buprenorphine has unique pharmacological properties that help:

  • Lower the potential for misuse
  • Diminish the effects of physical dependency to opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Increase safety in cases of overdose

Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. This means that, like opioids, it produces effects such as euphoria or respiratory depression. With buprenorphine, however, these effects are weaker than those of full drugs such as heroin and methadone.

Buprenorphine’s opioid effects increase with each dose until at moderate doses they level off, even with further dose increases. This “ceiling effect” lowers the risk of misuse, dependency, and side effects. Also, because of buprenorphine’s long-acting agent, many patients may not have to take it every day.

Sublocade Injections

Sublocade is a once-monthly injectable, extended release form of Buprenorphine.  

How is Sublocade administered?
Sublocade is a subcutaneous injection administered in the abdominal region.  It is injected as a liquid.  After the injection, Sublocade changes to a solid form called a depot which will slowly release the medication.

What are the requirements to be a Sublocade patient?
Patients who are currently being treated for opioid addiction with oral Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Zubsolv, Subutex) are eligible.  As part of a comprehensive Pharmacotherapy Program, Sublocade patients will be required to regularly attend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and submit to routine oral fluid toxicology tests during each office visit. 

Does Insurance cover Sublocade?
Check with your insurance provider to see about coverage for Sublocade.

Some advantages of Sublocade include:

  • You can NOT lose or forget to take your medication
  • You do not need to worry about your medication being stolen
  • You will NOT have to worry about your children or pets accidentally swallowing your medications
  • Sublocade can help you break the cycle of twice daily medication

Vivitrol

Vivitrol is an extended release injectable form of Naltrexone (Narcan) given once a month to treat Opioid Addiction and/or Alcoholism.

Naltrexone is an Opiate Antagonist, meaning it works by binding with and blocking the receptor sites in the brain that would normally be affected by the euphoria from opiates or alcohol.

It is important that you discuss the benefits and risks of the Vivitrol injection. Our team at ARS will walk you through the steps and assist you in the process. You should wear a medical alert tag and carry an ID card stating that you are on Vivitrol. Any medical care provider should be aware that you are receiving this medication.

At ARS, patient care and safety is of the utmost importance. Cognitive Therapy must remain the cornerstone of any successful treatment.

  • During your first appointment, one of our Physicians will discuss your specific case with you and help determine an appropriate treatment plan.
  • Once enrolled, our staff will guide you through the process of getting your Vivitrol treatment covered through your insurance provider. 
  • Our experienced staff will handle your Prior Authorization and medication ordering so you may stay focused on your personal goals.
  • You will then receive your first injection in-office and return once a month for follow up injections.