Subutex Detox Treatment Program

Subutex Detox Treatment Program Header
Last Edited: July 30, 2020

Patricia Howard, LMFT, CADC

Clinically Reviewed
Andrew Lancaster, LPC, MAC

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

Subutex is a prescription medication that can help treat Heroin addiction and dependence on other Opiates. Subutex is known generically as Buprenorphine, which can be used as a stand-alone treatment for Opiate dependence. However, it is recommended that treatment include rehab, different types of therapy, and aftercare. The goal is to use Subutex to help with withdrawal symptoms, while working on the underlying problem. By the end of treatment you will have been weaned off of Subutex and have the skills necessary to continue to live clean.

Specially trained doctors oftentimes use Subutex during a medical detox to relieve the discomfort of the detox. These doctors are quite careful with the dosage, as Subutex is a somewhat subdued Opioid that helps the gradual decline of the consumption of the Opioids. If used by someone who does not have special training in detox, the use of the Subutex can create an inadvertent dependence as opposed to simply relieving the discomfort of detox. Subutex allows the patient to go through detox without fearing the severe withdrawal symptoms that come with Opiate addiction. It is not meant to be a life long maintenance drug.

If you decide that you want to get off of Opioids, and someone offers you Subutex to help, do yourself a favor and get professional treatment. The first step in getting help with an Opioid addiction is going to detox. In detox, specially trained doctors will monitor your detox to keep you as comfortable as possible. Should the detox require Subutex, the doctor will administer it in a safe environment with a healthy dose.

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Subutex Detox and Treatment

Subutex detox treatment is typically broken up into three phases. Although some detox centers might treat the phases slightly differently this will give you a general idea of what is going to happen during your detox.

Phase One: Induction
Subutex for induction starts when the patient hasn’t used in at least 12 hours. At this stage mild withdrawal symptoms will have started. It is important that the Opioid has started to leave your body because if it hasn’t Subutex could kick start your withdrawals.

Phase Two: Stabilization
Stabilization starts when the patient is not having cravings any longer, and is experiencing little to no withdrawal symptoms. The Subutex dose may need to be adjusted during this phase.

Phase Three: Withdrawal
The withdrawal phase is literally the withdrawal of the Subutex. This happens when the patient is doing well on a steady dose. After patient shows no sign of Opiate withdrawal, they are then stepped-down until they are no longer on Subutex.

After Subutex Detox

The important thing to remember for anyone who is entering detox is that detox by itself is not a treatment program. It is merely the very first step in a treatment program. Remember also, that an addiction is rooted in the brain. The Opioids deliver dopamine to the brain so the brain gets the message that it doesn’t have to make as much. Upon removing the dopamine in detox, your brain is very much in need of a re-wire. Your brain needs to be taught about the healthy levels of dopamine that it should be creating. This is done through professional counseling and therapy, both group and individual. Also, the treatment will likely include behavior therapy, which will give you the tools needed in times of stress or any other trigger so that the Subutex is warranted completely unnecessary.

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