After being given a comprehensive substance dependence assessment, mental evaluation, and physical exam, the physician and patient will discuss the treatment protocol and long term goals in depth. Counseling and behavioral therapy is also strongly encouraged.
Patients will be switched from the opiate of misuse to the appropriate addiction treatment medication. Patients must be in a moderate state of withdrawal upon arrival for their first office appointment. Ideally, one should be opiate free for 48 hours before beginning treatment. Patients switching from daily maintenance medications should be opiate free for 72 hours after first tapering down to at least 30mg. Patients switching from a comparable medication provider will be able to continue treatment and take their dose on the same day.
The physician will adjust the dosage to determine an effective level for each patient.
The dose of the maintenance medication will be slowly decreased until the patient is opiate free. Tapering will be attempted generally after the patient has been in treatment for approximately one year. However, tapering may be considered earlier if both the patient and physician mutually agree. Ultimately, our goal is to comfortably taper our patients until they feel confident enough about their recovery to lead a healthy, productive life.