When a NewDay client is admitted to Intensive Outpatient, they are seen upfront by our Medical Director, Dr. Michael Hall. The client receives a physical, drug screen, blood work and assessment to determine if they need medication to help with withdrawals.
Many people with opiate addiction have been prescribed Suboxone. Not all who are prescribed Suboxone are receiving proper counseling to deal with the addiction aspect — many of these people are calling us with Suboxone related issues. Dr. Hall manages Suboxone patients. Our goal is to always get our clients off all mood-altering drugs as soon as possible as medically indicated. Some people in recovery need medication long term, but they are rare. In most cases we can develop a treatment plan to help clients gradually become drug free.
There are no miracle drugs:
In most cases, medication alone doesn’t change a person’s life significantly to make recovery possible. At some point, if there’s no recovery mentally and emotionally, the person will return to their drug of choice or one similar. It’s a good thing that medications are available for those who need it, but we never want to give the impression that any drug is a miracle drug.
There have been many “miracle” drugs, like Valium and Xanax, that were hyped as the great cure for depression and anxiety, but later we discovered that these drugs can be dangerous when addiction developes. There’s no substitute for counseling, family and community support and personal change when it comes to managing recovery from addiction.
Medication like Suboxone can keep someone from craving opiates long enough for the person to develop a recovery plan and get into a support system, but Suboxone alone will never be the answer long term. Long term management of recovery is multifaceted, including family, family physician, AA/NA, church (if the person is a part of the faith-based community), nutrition, exercise, life-long learning, and even periodic counseling to get back on track when life goes awry at times.
Medical management and Suboxone are short term strategies, although a person’s family physician should be a part of long term recovery management. It’s important for those in recovery from addiction to choose a family physician who understands addiction and recovery.
If you have a problem with opiates, or if you’ve been taking Suboxone with no plan to become drug-free at some point, and you want to develop a plan to become drug-free, call a counselor at NewDay and let us help you put this plan together.