Addiction can be treated whether you are new to treatment, switching providers, or getting back into treatment. Talking with your treatment team keeps us aware of your situation so we may adjust your treatment plan accordingly. Speak frankly and honestly. What you tell us is private and will not be shared without your permission.
We believe in treatment on demand. We want to start your medication and treatment as soon as you have reached out for help. We have streamlined our intake process to help.
Starting Buprenorphine for outpatient treatment of opiate dependence works like this
First we gather accurate history. We need to know what type of opiate is involved. Short acting (heroin) vs. long acting (methadone). When you began misusing opioids, what you take, how much, and how often. If you crushed the pills to take them in another form, such as snorting or injecting, If you’ve tried to stop using opioids before and felt ill (you may have had withdrawal symptoms).If you used heroin or other illicit drugs, if you could be pregnant. Anything else that might help your doctor understand what you’ve been experiencing
You should come to your first appointment in moderate withdrawal. This means you should not have used any opiates within the past 24-48 hours. It is important to induce Buprenorphine when only in withdrawals. If you are not in acute withdrawals and take Buprenorphine, then you can go into acute withdrawal which is very uncomfortable and cravings to use opiates again occur.
The goal of this day is to safely stop your opiate withdrawal symptoms and minimize side effects.
1. You will come to the office at your scheduled appointment time.
2. You will quickly be taken in to see the doctor who will assess your level of withdrawal.
3. You will be given your first dose of Suboxone as soon as possible. Usually you will start to feel better in about 20 minutes.
4. Your response to the initial dose will be monitored. You may be given additional medicine, if necessary, to reduce your withdrawal symptoms.
5. Once you are comfortable, together we will determine the level of treatment you must be involved in. It is our policy that you must be involved in one of our substance abuse treatment programs in order to receive Medication Assisted treatment. Addiction is a bio-psycho-social condition. Medication only treats the biological (medical) part of your addiction; treatment addresses the psychological and social parts of the addiction. Basically - medication helps you stop, treatment helps you stay stopped.
6. You will then go home with a plan of recovery.
First Step receives funding from the Baltimore County Bureau of Behavioral Health that may help you obtain your physician services and medication AT NO COST - please contact us to find out how you might qualify to be in this program.
Congratulations! You are now on your way to recovery. You will be attending treatment regularly as agreed upon in your treatment plan. From time to time, you will also be seeing our doctor for medication management and follow-up. If you wish to stop being on Suboxone - you need to address this with the doctor - Suboxone is not for occassional use and should only be discontinued under the care and direction of a doctor.