Landmark Recovery’s Approach to Opioid Addiction Treatment
In a traditional sense, Landmark Recovery provides Suboxone treatment at our inpatient rehab facilities for adults who’re addicted to opioids, including heroin. What’s not traditional is our ability to customize integrated treatment plans that fit your lifestyle.
Steps to Treatment
- We don’t require any pre-screening
- Your treatment starts with clinical consultation
- We’ll discuss your medical history and what opioids you’re currently taking
- Based on that initial visit we’ll develop a rehab strategy to help you stop the use of dangerous opioids
Our goal isn’t just to keep you from overdosing, it’s to help you take control of your life and choose recovery over addiction. During medication-assisted treatment (MAT), we’ll prescribe medications to help reduce your craving for opioids, but also address the mental side of addiction. These medications could include:
- Suboxone (a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone)
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
Landmark Recovery’s medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program utilizes federally-approved medications to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings that could lead to an overdose or relapse. The medications used in our MAT programs have been proven to increase the rates of successful recovery.
We prescribe Suboxone (a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone) which is safe to use for extended periods of time. Some people with opioid addictions remain on MAT medications for decades and enjoy much healthier lives.
Medication-assisted treatment has been shown to:
- Improve patient survival
- Increase rehab retention rates
- Decrease illicit opiate use
- Help people live more productive and happier lives
At Landmark Recovery, our inpatient rehab program includes individual and group therapy. We provide patients with a treatment schedule that involves hour-long individual therapy once a week and group skills training twice a week. Telephone support is also offered between therapy sessions.
Our licensed therapists focus on:
- Distress tolerance
- Emotional regulation
The overall goal of our integrated therapy is to help you understand the value of your life and your impact on others, while also addressing behaviors that may be keeping you from living the life you want.
How does Suboxone Work?
Considered an opioid antagonist, Suboxone activates receptors in the brain that help block pain while also triggering the release of endorphins that create a sense of pleasure. This can mimic the effect opioids have on the brain, helping to manage cravings for opioids and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Less habit-forming than methadone, Suboxone was engineered to have fewer side effects than methadone and less impact on mental function. Suboxone can be administered in film or tablet form. It’s important to follow your doctor’s directions when taking this medication.
Discover more about how suboxone can be a vital tool for overcoming opioid addiction.
Facts about Opioids in the United States
- Opioids are powerful drugs that work in the nervous system of the body or in specific receptors in the brain to reduce the intensity of pain
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 75,600 people died from an opioid overdose during the 12-month period ending April 2021, an increase of over 20,000 deaths over the previous year
- An estimated 21 to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
- Between 8 and 12% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain will develop an opioid use disorder (OUD).
- An estimated 4 to 6% of people who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
What’s the Difference Between Suboxone, Subutex and Methadone?
Suboxone versus Subutex
While Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone, Subutex contains only buprenorphine. Both medications were developed at around the same time; however, Subutex was formulated first. While it was found to be relatively effective in treating opiate addiction, there was still a potential risk of abuse because if misused, the medication could create a state of euphoria. Additionally, there was a higher risk of diversion, meaning, selling the medication on the street market because of the potential for euphoric effect.
Naloxone was combined with buprenorphine to deter abuse of the medication. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it blocks the effects of opioids at the receptor sites. If someone injects Suboxone, the individual will immediately go into precipitated withdrawal, which means the individual would experience physical discomfort versus a euphoric effect.
Suboxone versus Methadone
While methadone is a Schedule II substance, buprenorphine is a Schedule III substance, meaning it has a lower potential for abuse. As a result, buprenorphine is often considered a safer opiate treatment medication than methadone. Much like the differences between Suboxone and Subutex, Suboxone is a much safer medication for use in the treatment of opioid use disorders than Methadone as it does.
What’s True and What’s Not about Suboxone?
There are many opinions about medication-assisted treatment, including its efficacy and safety. All concerns are legitimate, but unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation going around about Suboxone and the harm reduction model of treatment. Below you can explore some common questions about Suboxone to get a better understanding of how this medication is used to treat opioid addictions.
True or False: You can overdose on Suboxone just as easily as on other opiates.
FALSE – This couldn’t be further from the truth. Overdosing on Suboxone is genuinely much harder to do than overdosing on fentanyl, oxycodone or heroin for example. Suboxone is a partial opiate receptor agonist, which means there’s an inherent cap on how active the opioid receptors can become. There just isn’t as high of a risk of slowed or depressed breathing in comparison to the use of morphine or other strong opiates.
True or False: If you use Suboxone for treatment, you’re not really in recovery.
FALSE – This stigmatizing perspective stems from the old-guard Alcoholics Anonymous tradition, which essentially viewed recovery as something best done via quitting all intoxicating or habit-forming substances cold turkey. Scientists have since discovered that quitting some substances cold turkey is hazardous, and more broadly, contemporary research widely supports medication-assisted treatment as the optimal means of recovery from opioids.
Now that addiction is more commonly accepted as a medical condition, a general consensus is being embraced by the healthcare community that something should be done to regulate the neurochemistry of a person in recovery from the prolonged abuse of certain substances in order to ensure a medically safe detox. This makes Suboxone-based, medically assisted treatment akin to insulin-based treatment for those with type-one diabetes; it treats addiction like the chronic condition that it really is.
True or False: People battling substance abuse are just going to abuse Suboxone instead.
FALSE – While suboxone, like any medication, can be overused, it’s important to understand that it causes much less of a high or euphoric feeling than other opiates produce. Perhaps it could be considered “abuse” or misuse if someone uses suboxone without a prescription to manage withdrawal symptoms while getting off heroin or fentanyl. The bottom line is that it’s hard to achieve intoxication from suboxone.
True or False: Prolonged suboxone treatment is as bad as general opiate substance abuse.
FALSE – Addictionologists disagree on what the optimal duration for suboxone treatment should be. That’s not because of any established, evidentiary precedent for length of treatment. In truth, the dispute stems from the lack of such evidence because no meaningful conclusions have been drawn about whether or not prolonged exposure to suboxone correlates with any adverse reactions. To revisit the diabetes example, insulin is typically a long-term medication for a chronic condition, and suboxone, some argue, could be best used the same way. If suboxone curbs cravings for more dangerous opioids it’s continued use has proven beneficial.
True or False: Suboxone isn’t a legitimate treatment because it’s a street drug.
FALSE – It’s actually true that suboxone is sold illegally much like heroin and other opiates, but that doesn’t inherently make it an illegitimate treatment option. In fact, suboxone’s use specifically for addiction treatment is an entirely FDA-approved course of action. It’s an excellent mechanism by which to wean one off substances from which they want to distance themselves, which can extend not only to opioids but even alcohol.
True or False: Suboxone can cure opioid addiction.
TRUE – Suboxone is an excellent tool, but it’s certainly not a catchall regarding people’s recovery needs. It’s still best applied in tandem with traditional treatment methods like therapy. Moreover, it’s important not to view addiction as a condition that can be cured. By treating it, Landmark Recovery puts you on vantage ground to manage your condition, so you’re no longer shackled to the substance that brought you to us.