Suboxone Treatment Scottsdale | Phoenix

Office-Based Opioid Addiction Treatment

Dr. Jack Shier, MD is a Board Certified Addiction Medicine doctor specializing in the treatment of Opioid Dependence/ Use Disorder. Our private outpatient clinic in Scottsdale offers a Buprenorphine / Suboxone® / Bunavail® / Zubsolv® detox and maintenance program for individuals suffering from Heroine and/or prescription pain medication addiction.

Treatment includes a complete psychiatric/medical assessment and treatment plan. In addition to medications, Dr. Jack Shier, MD offers a combination of Motivational therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

We provide in-house addiction counseling offered by our specialized addiction therapists and additional resources for 12-step meetings to facilitate long term sobriety. The addiction treatment offered at our practice is complemented by our expertise in Psychiatry as we also treat common co-occurring mental health issues including depression and anxiety via medication management and talk therapy.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a broad classification of opiate-like substances that include not only narcotic drugs derived from opium such as Morphine and Codeine, but also synthetic compounds such as Heroin, Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Dilaudid, and Fentanyl, and Tramadol.

What are Opioids Used For?

Opioids are primarily used in medicine to treat both acute and chronic pain.

What are the Side Effects of Opioids?

There is strong evidence that opioids are safe when they are used correctly and in ways that have been studied. Common side effects include sedation, nausea, constipation. More serious reactions may be observed in overdose and drug interactions including respiratory depression and death.

What are the Long-Term Effects of Opioid Use?

Tolerance and withdrawal are commonly observed processes that result from longstanding opioid use. Tolerance is a process characterized by chemical changes in the brain that result in reduced drug effects. Withdrawal refers to a wide range of symptoms that occur after stopping or dramatically reducing opioids after heavy and prolonged use.

How are Opioids Addicting?

The exact biological mechanism behind opioid addiction is not fully understood. The current brain pathways that are implicated in addiction includes the “Reward Pathway” which involves the neurotransmitter Dopamine and certain areas of the brain including the nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area, and prefrontal cortex. These pathways are involved in reward, motivation, pleasure, and euphoria.

Approximately 9% of the population is believed to misuse opioids over the course of their lifetime.

What is an Opioid Use Disorder?

An opioid use disorder is a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to clinically significant impairment in distress in multiple domains. The DSM-5 criteria requires at least two of the following occurring within a 12-month period:

  1. Opioids are often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control opioid use.
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the opioid, use the opioid, or recover from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids.
  5. Recurrent opioid use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  6. Continued opioid use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of opioids.
  7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of opioid use.
  8. Recurrent opioid use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  9. Continued opioid use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
  10. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following: a. A need for markedly increased amounts of opioids to achieve intoxication or desired effect. b. A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of an opioid. **This criterion is not considered to be met for those taking opioids solely under appropriate medical supervision.
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: a. The characteristic opioid withdrawal syndrome b. Opioids (or a closely related substance) are taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms. **This criterion is not considered to be met for those taking opioids solely under appropriate medical supervision.

What are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?

Symptoms of withdrawal may include but are not limited to: body aches, runny nose, anxiety, sweating, yawning, restless legs, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate, goose bumps, tremor, hot/cold flashes, insomnia, dilated pupils, sneezing, and tearing.

What is the Treatment for Opioid Dependence/ Use Disorder?

Treatments options can vary depending on the individual. Treatment options may involve drug rehab, inpatient, or outpatient settings and may include medications, psychotherapy, or 12-step meetings.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a formulation of Buprenorphine and Naloxone used for the treatment of Opioid dependence / use disorder. Newer formulations of Buprenorphine and Naloxone are also available such as Bunavail and Zubsolv. Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in the formulation and is similar to other opioids, however, it differs in its activating properties, half-life, and binding affinity. It is highly effective at minimizing and eliminating opioid withdrawal symptoms and has minimal euphoric effects. It serves as an effective alternative to Methadone with comparable efficacy and has been shown to mitigate the risk of opioid related deaths due to misuse. While Buprenorphine can be used as medical assistance to detox off of opioids, maintenance has been the preferred option among addiction specialists as the evidence in tapering studies have been mostly negative.

The content on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

How to Cope

  1. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle can help an individual manage opioid addiction.
  2. Relaxation techniques – Participating in mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises can reduce an individual’s overall stress level and may help curb maladaptive urges to use opioids.
  3. Exercise routine – 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise may help manage opioid addiction by reducing anxiety and diverting an individual’s attention away from opioid use.
  4. Good sleep hygiene – Healthy sleep patterns promote a stronger ability to maintain emotional equilibrium, making it easier to maintain stress and avoid the use of opioids.
  5. Avoid activities surround opioid use – Engage in activities that are not associated with alcohol use in order to prevent urges. Increase number of social contacts that are not associated with opioid use/that do not promote the use of opioids.
  6. Find new interests – Partaking in hobbies, interests or work that you find fulfilling will make you feel better about yourself and your time and may reduce the appeal of using opioids.
  7. Join 12-step/support group – Support groups will help you meet others with similar experiences, share coping strategies, and gain a sense empowerment and connection.

Last update: July 12, 2017

The content on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.