Am I a Candidate for Treatment?

When I started my practice I was ready for challenges. Over 16 years, most patients have done well. Some were not ready to give up opioid agonists, and some of those people left my practice and in some cases returned when they were fully ready. Some fell by the wayside after relapse to opioids, or more recently, to meth.

Most of my patients know that I almost died 18 months ago.   At this stage of my life I am less interested in the trenches, where patients lose medications, come to appointments late, and seem less interested in a better life.

I AM interested in treating patients who are motivated to create a better life.  Here are things that tell me a person is in that category.  I am looking for people:

  • who are working, or willing to work, fulltime.   If you are the primary caregiver for young children and care for them instead of working, I understand the value of that.
  • who are willing to quit smoking, or at least cut back, in order to pay the bills.   I am very frustrated when a patient cannot pay for an appointment yet pays for a pack of cigarrettes each day.  The cost of seeing me long-term is about $25/week.
  • who will attend appointments on time, arriving at least 5-10 minutes early for every visit.  I start on time.
  • who do not create unnecessary problems in my office, who are kind to staff.    Patients are free to express anger at me, but not anyone else in the office.
  • who are ready to get honest — to be honest with me from the start (or as soon as possible).
  • who are willing to experience life undrugged, un-benzoed, sober.

If you are one of those people and looking for help with an addiction to opioids, feel free to send me an email at drj@fdlpsych.com

Suboxone Treatment in Wisconsin

Suboxone Wisconsin

We offer Suboxone treatment in Wisconsin.  Addiction to heroin and addiction to fentanyl cause death and suffering.  Help is now available through office-based buprenorphine treatment.  I’ve worked for years in various treatment settings and seen the destruction of opioid use disorder first-hand.  Media articles suggest that opioid addicts are ‘getting high,’ but users know how horrible it is to scramble hour by hour to avoid withdrawal.

Traditional Treatment

In the traditional treatment model, people addicted to opioids leave their homes and families to attend residential programs.  They return in better shape than when they entered,  but their addictions often await them. As medical director of abstinence-based programs, I often noticed obituaries of people who ‘successfully’ completed treatment. Family and friends get hopes up only to be let down again.  And counselors comfort themselves by saying, ‘he just didn’t want it bad enough.’  Nonsense! We offer Suboxone treatment in Wisconsin as an option that avoids months away from home.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted

Suboxone Wisconsin
#Suboxone treatment

treatments use a different model.  Patients are treated long-term with Suboxone treatment to reduce the desire to use opioids.  Treatment for opioid use disorder is similar to treatment of other health problems. Patients continue to work and live as they create a life free from opioids.

The most important thing to consider when choosing treatment is that change takes time.  A couple of months in a residential treatment program rarely has lasting results.  Other considerations include cost, insurance coverage, and use of other addictive substances.  Suboxone treatment provides the time required to leave opioids behind without the cost or daily visits necessary for methadone treatments.

FDA-Approved Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

  • Naltrexone is administered by monthly injections that block the effects of opioids.  Naltrexone is used in ‘drug courts’ and as an adjunct to other treatment programs.  Unfortunately, treatment with naltrexone has high drop-out rates outside of court settings.  My concern about naltrexone is that it is usually used for a year or less, and many studies have shown minimal long-term success after treatments of less than a year.
  • Methadone-assisted treatments include daily administration of methadone, a synthetic opioid, coupled with counseling and other treatments.   As with buprenorphine, successful treatment usually requires a year or more.  But more often, people entering methadone treatment become attached to a local clinic for life.  Methadone treatment is appropriate treatment for people with addictions to opioids along with other substances.  But methadone treatment requires daily visits to pick up medication at a local clinic.  Patients can never leave because doctor’s office cannot provide methadone for addiction.
  • Buprenorphine is the active substance in Suboxone.  Patients on buprenorphine develop complete tolerance to the medication and feel normal with minimal or no side effects, but the desire for opioids is reduced or eliminated.  Patients are encouraged to stay on the medicine for at least a year.  Buprenorphine treatment is not helpful for addictions to non-opioid drugs.

For more information, visit my blog, Suboxone Talk Zone.  Or discuss your options with other people in Suboxone treatment at Suboxone Forum.

Suboxone Treatment in Northeast Wisconsin

My practice provides Suboxone treatment in an office setting, serving people in Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Northeast Wisconsin.  This type of treatment is not appropriate for people with primary addictions to multiple substances other than THC.  If you are interested in buprenorphine treatment, click on the link for ‘admission.’