Why don’t more doctors prescribe Suboxone?
When it comes to treating addiction to opioids and opiates, Suboxone treatment is becoming the gold standard. There are, in fact, more doctors prescribing Suboxone all the time. At least there are doctors taking the required course and registering to be allowed to prescribe suboxone. So, why is it so hard to find a Suboxone doctor in many regions of the country?
Five reasons why there are not enough Suboxone doctors.
There are many reasons why there is an overall shortage of doctors willing to prescribe Suboxone. Here are five major reasons:
- Oversight concerns: When a physician prescribes Suboxone for opioid addiction, that doctor agrees to have his clinic inspected by federal inspectors at any time. During these audits, the clinic may be temporarily shut down. Doctors who run urgent care and family medicine clinics would rather not deal with this oversight than can interrupt the routine functioning of their medical practice.
- Addiction treatment is complex: While the eight-hour course required for Suboxone prescribing does cover the most important points that Suboxone doctors must know, it is not nearly enough to understand the complexities of opioid addiction and addiction in general. It is true that a physician can learn a great deal about the subject from working with opioid dependent patients and working under a mentor. However, many doctors do not want to take on the responsibility of working with patients who are addicted to opiates and opioids.
- Addictive behavior is unique: Substance use disorder causes a set of unique behaviors that is troubling to many physician. Addiction causes those who suffer from it to harm themselves and to lie to others to continue the self-harming behavior. Even board-certified addiction specialists find it difficult to work with addiction patients. Proper opioid treatment involves patience, caring, compassion, empathy and a willingness to quietly listen to the patient and hear what they have to say. Not all doctors are cut out for this kind of work, though it is very rewarding to help patients to overcome opioid addiction.
- medication-assisted treatment is time consuming: It seems like it would be easy to work in a Suboxone clinic. All you have to do is write prescriptions for Suboxone treatment all day, right? No, it is not nearly that simple. First, Suboxone is a complex medication. It is comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone. explaining to the patient how these two medications work and why they are used together can be involved. Buprenorphine is a complex drug that works in two different ways at once. There is confusion surrounding the way Suboxone addiction treatment works. It takes time to educate the patient and to administer the treatment.
- Opioid overdoses are tragic: Unfortunately, Suboxone as an opioid addiction treatment has a success rate of only about 50%. While many patients who relapse will come back and try again to get clean, some relapses end in tragedy. Because of this, many physicians choose not to be involved in treating opioid addiction.
Will a Suboxone clinic kick you out if you fail a drug test for the 1st time?
What happens if you go in for buprenorphine treatment and then relapse? Will you get a second chance? The answer to this question depends on the individual opioid treatment program that you are attending. In an office-based program in a region where there are a limited number of Suboxone doctors, they may have little tolerance for relapse. If there is a long waiting list for the clinic spaces, the Suboxone practitioner may actually discharge you from the program if you fail a single drug test. On the other hand, many substance abuse professionals are understanding about the nature of addiction. Relapse is a part of opiate addiction and it happens some times. Everyone deserves a second chance, though at some point, the clinic may refer you to a program that provides a high level of care.
How do I find Suboxone doctors near me who will provide medication-assisted therapy with buprenorphine?
The first step is to use one of several online resources. For example, SAMHSA has a suboxone provider locator. So does Suboxone.com. NAABT provides a treatment match program. After finding some Suboxone physicians in your area, it is time to make some phone calls. Prepare a list of questions to ask when you call. This will help to find a medication-assisted treatment program that is right for you.