Dr. Jonathan Collin, MD

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Buprenorphine for Opiate Addiction

Buprenorphine is a prescription medication that can be used for opiate addiction treatment under a physician's care. It's part of a class of medications called opioid partial agonist-antagonists, which can help limit the withdrawal symptoms associated with the discontinuation of drugs like heroin and OxyContin. If you or a family member is struggling with opiate addiction, this drug is an option that may be able to help you get your life back.

If you are addicted to opiates and we determine that buprenorphine is an appropriate treatment, our first step will be to prescribe an appropriate dose. We will start you on a low dose and increase your dose until it is effective. Taken together, these drugs prevent the withdrawal symptoms you may have experienced in the past when attempting to discontinue opiate use.

When taken appropriately for opiate addiction treatment, studies show that buprenorphine can help patients stay in drug treatment programs, suppress withdrawal symptoms as well as opiate cravings, and block the effects of other opioids. That means if you use heroin or oxycodone while on this prescription, you won’t experience the euphoric high associated with the abuse of these drugs.

While the use of buprenorphine maintains a low level of physical dependence, it eliminates the symptoms associated with addiction (such as impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm and craving the drug). In time, patients taking buprenorphine are able to slowly taper off the drug with minimal side effects in a way that is not possible with illicit opioids.

Many of those who are struggling with addiction have more success with buprenorphine than with methadone. While methadone treatment is similar, it requires daily visits to a clinical setting, which can be challenging for those who have a career, a family and other obligations. Buprenorphine is also a more affordable option for addicts who are looking to get and stay clean.

In addition to buprenorphine we do use nutritional medicine as a support for addiction. The use of amino acids, ascorbic acid, B vitamins, minerals, and herbals is helpful for addiction treatment and will greatly increase the effectiveness of buprenorphine.

If you're struggling with opiate addiction, help is available. Please contact the office of Dr. Jonathan Collin to schedule a consultation.

Reprinted from innovativemedicine.org.


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