Suboxone Induction, Stabilization and
comprehensive substance abuse evaluation
will be completed to determine if you
are a candidate for outpatient treatment
or if you are in need of a higher level
of care as residential or inpatient
Many factors are taken in
consideration prior to making this
decision including prior or current
medical complications, number and doses
of substances of abuse, living
environment, support system, etc.
At times the induction is started on the
day of the substance abuse evaluation,
at other times additional information is
needed as blood work and a second
appointment is scheduled.
The goal of induction is to switch you
from your current opioid (heroin,
methadone or a prescription painkiller)
on to SUBOXONE. You MUST take your first
dose of suboxone after you are already
experiencing mild-to-moderate opioid
withdrawal symptoms. This point cannot
be emphasized enough. If you take
SUBOXONE before you are in
withdrawal, the medication will make you
feel worse because it can cause
The goal is to induce treatment smoothly
and suppress withdrawal as completely
and rapidly as possible.
Failure to do so may cause the
patient use opioids, alcohol,
benzodiazepines or other medications to
alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms, or
it may lead to early treatment dropout.
Once you take the first dose of suboxone
you can begin to feel some relief within
20 minutes, although the full effects
take about an hour. Your
doctor may suggest that you pass the
time in the waiting area or by taking a
short walk and returning to the office
at a specific time. Depending on the
extent to which the first SUBOXONE dose
suppressed your symptoms, your doctor
may decide to give you a second dose.
you are ready to leave the office after
your first induction visit:
doctor will make arrangements for
you to have SUBOXONE to take home.
Typically, your doctor will give you
a prescription for the amount of
SUBOXONE that you will need until
your next appointment, along with
any special instructions related to
doctor may also prescribe other
medications to help control
induction, daily appointments are not
uncommon. This allows your doctor to
adjust for your withdrawal symptoms and
cravings. Induction can last anywhere
from 2 to 7 days. Urine drug screening
at every visit is also fairly standard
during induction. Patients whose
SUBOXONE dose may be too low often use
other drugs to try to suppress the
withdrawal symptoms and cravings;
doctors look for this when evaluating
whether a patient is at the right dose.
and induction may both occur at the
first visit, depending on your clinical
During stabilization, your SUBOXONE dose
is "fine tuned" about once a
week, as needed. The goal is to find a
dose where your withdrawal symptoms and
cravings are suppressed and you
experience minimal to no side effects.
You and your doctor will discuss your
treatment options going forward,
specifically, maintenance versus
medically supervised withdrawal.
additional information in regards to
suboxone treatment visit www.suboxone.com/patients/suboxone.
Once your dose is stabilized, the
maintenance phase of treatment begins.
During maintenance, your treatment
compliance and progress will continue to
Participation in some form of behavioral
counseling is strongly recommended to
maximize the likelihood of your
treatment success. You and your doctor
will discuss counseling options that
meet your needs.
Your doctor may request urine samples
from time to time. Some doctors find
urine testing a helpful part of
treatment because by verifying the
absence of opioids in your system they
can evaluate the effectiveness of your
SUBOXONE dose. Talk with your doctor if
you have questions about the role of
urine testing in treatment.
During your ongoing maintenance
treatment, your doctor will want to know
if you experience any cravings. If you
do, your dose may need to be adjusted.
Appointments are usually scheduled on a
weekly basis, however, if treatment
progress is good and goals are met,
monthly visits may eventually be
considered sufficient. The maintenance
phase can last anywhere from weeks to
years—depending on what you, your
doctor, and, possibly, your therapist or
counselor determine is best for your