"I started Suboxone treatment about 2 weeks ago (after 7 days clean of opiates). This medication has changed my life so dramatically for the better that I am already afraid and obsessing about the day they take me off of it. You have to understand that, even when I was not using opiates, I had moderate to severe treatment-resistant depression. I had extremely low energy level and sleep disturbances. This was BEFORE the opiates came into my life, and while I was being prescribed practically every antidepressant on the market to no avail. Since Day 1 of starting Suboxone I have felt like a normal person. I can sleep 8 hours a night and have plenty of energy during the day. I actually enjoy life again! My mood is more stable than I can ever remember it being. I'm afraid that once I wean off of the Suboxone I will go back to the depression! Are there some people who stay on it permanently?"
I have worked with people who stay on Suboxone long-term. I start tapering the medication no sooner than when my patient starts working step 9 with her sponsor in AA or NA. The desire to stop or reduce the dose comes from the patient. I never prescribe Suboxone outside of at least once per week group therapy for addiction. The medication alone will only help with the physical aspects of the disease. Real healing requires treatment of the emotional and spiritual aspects of the disease—which happens in 12 step meetings, fellowship and therapy.
- Dr. Kimberly Dennis
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