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Effective and Potentially Life-Saving Drug Administration approved the first once-monthly buprenorphine injectable, called Sublocade, for moderate to severe opioid use disorder.


The primary objective of Methadone treatment induction is to reduce the signs and symptoms of withdrawal, and keep individuals in therapy while ensuring their safety. Methadone changes how the brain and nervous system respond to pain, thereby lessening the pain of withdrawal; it also reduces the euphoria of opiates. Methadone is available in pill, liquid and wafer form and is taken once daily, lasting for about 4 to 8 hours. The initial dose of methadone depends on the person’s degree of dependence and tolerance level to opioids. The induction phase requires careful observation to avoid lifethreatening effects.


In 2002, the FDA approved Suboxone for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine, a partial opiate agonist, and naloxone, which is a medication that blocks the effects of opiates, including pain relief and euphoria, two primary causes of opioid abuse. The phrase “partial opiate agonist” refers to the fact that buprenorphine gives the brain less of an effect than a full opiate; however, the brain “thinks” it has received a full opioid effect, thereby relieving withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The effect lasts for 24 hours. Induction with Suboxone also requires careful observation for effective titration and harm prevention, i.e., precipitous withdrawal.


Subutex differs from Suboxone because it does not contain naloxone. It is buprenorphine alone. It is administered in tablet form, taken sublingually once per day, and cannot be cut, chewed or swallowed. It is also advisable not to eat or drink anything until it has fully dissolved (wait about 30 minutes before eating or drinking). Induction depends on the type of opioid the patient has taken (short or long acting), the timing of the last dose, and the degree of opioid dependence. Giving Subutex to patients being transferred from methadone or other long-acting opioid products has the potential for precipitous and prolonged withdrawal. Therefore, it is given only when it is clear that at least moderate withdrawal symptoms are present, and not less than 24 hours after the patient has used a longacting opiate. Both Methadone and Subutex are the drugs used for treatment of opiate dependent pregnant women.


Vivitrol, also known as naltrexone, is a once-per-month, non-addictive extended release intramuscular injection for the purpose of preventing opioid-dependent and alcoholdependent patients from relapsing. It can only be given by a doctor or nurse, and acts by blocking the euphoric

and pain-relieving effects of opioids that lead to abuse. Prior to receiving Vivitrol, a patient must be opioid free for at least 7 to 14 days, not have used methadone or buprenorphine in the past 14 days, not be in withdrawal, and not used any opioid medicine within the past 10 days. Vivitrol is contraindicated in the presence of liver or kidney disease and/or blood clotting disorders. It passes through the breast milk and can be harmful to nursing babies. Currently, it is unknown as to the effect on unborn fetuses. There has also been recent debate about renaming MAT to either: “Medication Supported Recovery” a trademarked term; or “Medication Assisted Recovery” an ASAM term. The terminology issue is multifactorial and underscores the complexities of treating the most complicated illness confronting our country and its people.


The treatment modalities listed in this article are not cures. They can be used acutely for detox purposes, short-term, as in weeks or months, or for long-term maintenance treatment for years if indicated, depending on individual patient needs. Each modality is an option for treating substance use disorders within a more comprehensive treatment and/or rehabilitation program. The benefits of a well-developed treatment plan, mutually agreed upon with a motivated and engaged patient, has the potential to achieve sustainable results and excel one’s quality of life and career. The benefits of substance-use disorder treatment to families and society as a whole is significantly impacted in dollars, personal well-being and self-esteem, community safety, healthcare, the criminal justice system and beyond.

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For a thorough, confidential, psychiatric evaluation and • Specializing in Adult & Adolescent Psychiatry an individualized treatment plan tailored to fit your specific • 60 Minute Sessions needs with appropriate treatment(s), please call our office at • Variety of Effective Talking Therapies 609.484.0770 to set up, by appointment, this comprehensive • Medication- Evaluation & Management and compassionate confidential assessment. • All Services Rendered by Same Provider Don’t suffer in silence any longer. We can help! • Independent Medical Evaluations • Addiction Psychiatry Providence Professional Park • Board Certified 3069 English Creek Ave, Ste. 225

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The County Woman Magazine

EHT, NJ 08234

July/August 2019

Profile for The County Woman

Atlantic County Woman - July/August 2019  

The County Woman ™ is part of a nationally syndicated publication and has been around for over 31 years. There are over 371 other counties t...

Atlantic County Woman - July/August 2019  

The County Woman ™ is part of a nationally syndicated publication and has been around for over 31 years. There are over 371 other counties t...