Methadone has been the “gold standard” for assisting patients in overcoming their opiate addiction. While it is effective in curbing the withdrawal and craving symptoms of opiate recovery, it has some serious side effects that can hinder someone from getting on with their life. In addition, transitioning off methadone can be very challenging as it stays in your system for an exceptionally long time, making it difficult to start another treatment right away. Thus, many people have trouble stopping methadone treatment due to long withdrawal periods before starting a better and safer treatment.
At BRIGHTSIDE, we understand that transitioning off of methadone can be very difficult. We have successfully transitioned people off of methadone onto buprenorphine either with office visits or partnering with inpatient programs in the area. Our unique outpatient program combines ongoing coaching as the patient reduces their daily dose of methadone and starting a buprenorphine based medically-assisted treatment.
Our doctors will initially coach you through your tapering of methadone and then transition you into a buprenorphine medically-assisted treatment (MAT) program with products like Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®, and Subutex®. The BRIGHTSIDE program follows this protocol:
To successfully transition to buprenorphine, patients need to be at a daily dosage level of between 20 – 40 mg of methadone. If the patient is above this level, we have a couple options of either meeting on a regular basis and coaching the patient as they bring their dosage down to acceptable level, or we have relationships with local methadone detox providers that can closely monitor the patient as they reduce their dosage level.
Once they reach a level below 40 mg of methadone, we start the induction process of transitioning to buprenorphine. Initially, they will abstain from using methadone for 72 hours. During this time, we will provide mitigating medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms. At the induction visit, patients meet with a doctor, create an individualized treatment plan, and are induced on to the appropriate buprenorphine medication.
During the first week on buprenorphine, we want to identify the optimal dosage for treatment. Our doctors stay in constant contact through the week, monitoring the transition, and stabilizing the body on the proper dosage. At the end of the stabilization, we finalize the ongoing treatment plan.
Similar to methadone treatment, buprenorphine MAT can last from six (6) months to a lifetime. At BRIGHTSIDE, we continue to monitor and manage the medication on a monthly basis. During this phase of treatment, we recommend and offer counseling through our BRIGHTSIDE Recovery Program as well as through some of our trusted partners (see below).
When someone is ready to reduce the prescribed medication, we work as a team with counselors to develop a tapering program that will ensure a successful completion of treatment. Our philosophy is to carefully and slowly taper your medication to ensure success.
Transitioning from a life of methadone to buprenorphine can be challenging. Since our program is monthly versus daily, patients need to learn how to cope with this new freedom. BRIGHTSIDE offers structured counseling and coaching in conjunction with our MAT program ensuring that someone learns how to sustain sobriety.
These personalized one-on-one counseling sessions can be scheduled either in conjunction with your MAT visit or separately, based on your schedule.
Sometimes our patients need a more intense counseling or detox environment or non-treatment solutions. Thus, BRIGHTSIDE has developed unique partnerships with all the major hospitals, recovery centers, and individual counselors in the Chicago land area. No matter what your situation is, we will find you the best treatment solution for your financial and recovery needs.