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Trinity Mental Health Service, LLC
There are no FDA-approved treatments for cocaine addiction or marijuana addiction. However, there is some limited evidence that says that a medication called BUSPIRONE can help reduce marijuana cravings in some people. Buspirone has been on the market as a non-addictive anti-anxiety drug for a long time, and it has very few side effects. It is a very low-risk treatment, and in my opinion, one worth trying. An over-the-counter nutritional supplement called N-acetyl-cysteine, derived from an amino acid, has also been useful, but the evidence for this is pretty weak.
There are several different types of drugs we can use for alcohol addiction. ANTABUSE is a medication that stops the metabolism of alcohol in the liver, and lets a byproduct called acetaldehyde build up in the bloodstream. When this happens, you can feel nauseated, flushed, hot, weak, and in general, as sick as a dog. It is a deterrent to taking that first drink, and for some people, it is effective, but only as long as they take the antabuse. You have to be careful that you don't inadvertently consume alcohol in some other form, like in cough syrup or wine sauces. NALTREXONE (ReVia, Vivitrol) helps block binge-drinking behavior. It will not stop you from taking the first drink, but it may help you from binging. It works best if it is used while you are engaged in an active treatment program like intensive outpatient treatment. CAMPRAL can be used to prevent cravings in people who have difficulty maintaining sobriety. It is not really clear how it works, and it doesn't help everybody. The best treatment for alcoholism, in my opinion, is to be actively engaged in a recovery program, have a sponsor, and take things one day at a time.
SUBOXONE is a medication used to help people recovering from addiction to opiates. Opiates are strong pain killers, and include such drugs as percocet, vicodin, methadone, morphine, and heroin. The advantage of using suboxone is that it is a combination made up of two other medications, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Buprenorphine is called a "partial opiate agonist" which means it blocks the body's opiate receptors and doesn't activate them fully. It does not allow other opiates, like heroin, to act on these receptors, and therefore you don't get high. The naltrexone is there to keep you from getting high if the pills are crushed and injected. Naltrexone is destroyed in the stomach, so you never feel the effects of the naltrexone if suboxone is taken properly.
Because the DEA controls the use of suboxone very carefully, if the use of this medication is part of your treatment plan, you will be asked to sign a treatment contract which states that you understand that the purpose of suboxone is to assist you with maintaining abstinence from opiates. However, this is only one tool that is used, and suboxone alone does not constitute adequate and sufficient treatment for this condition. Engagement in an active recovery program of your choice, to help you discover triggers for addictive behaviors and ways to prevent relapse, is equally important.
Suboxone is prescribed for YOUR use only. It is a violation of state and federal law to give away, sell, or trade this medication, or to use it for any purpose other than that for which it is prescribed.
You must attend all scheduled follow up appointments. The full fee will be charged for no-shows and cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice. For appointments scheduled on Mondays or following a holiday weekend, cancellations must be made by the previous Friday. If a suboxone appointment is missed, no further prescriptions will be written until the missed appointment is rescheduled, and any outstanding balance is paid.
Lost, stolen, or misplaced medication will not be replaced, and early refills of suboxone will not be approved. Suboxone prescriptions must be obtained in person, during a regularly scheduled face-to-face appointment. No prescriptions will be called into a pharmacy.
The use of any other illicit substance, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates which have not been prescribed for me, synthetic marijuana (spice), PCP, or club drugs should be avoided (living clean and sober means living clean and sober, right?). The unsupervised use of benzodiazepines (Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Serax, Librium, etc.) MUST BE AVOIDED. There have been instances of death that have been attributed to the combination of suboxone and benzodiazepines; therefore, use of these medications together is forbidden without the express knowledge of all involved prescribers.
Undergoing blood tests and urine drug screens is a part of treatment, to assure that you are continuing to use suboxone in a safe manner. If you are positive for opiates, cocaine, or THC on one occasion, we will increase the frequency of face-to-face appointments to weekly. If you are positive for opiates or cocaine a third time, you may be dismissed from treatment. This means that your suboxone will be tapered slowly, and will not be re-prescribed.
Any prescriptions you receive from any provider is monitored by the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program. You must give consent for your prescription records to be reviewed, in order to prevent "doctor shopping" or getting multiple supplies of the same medication from different doctors.
So if these are conditions that you can live with, and you are sincere in your desire to live drug free, suboxone is a very good treatment option.