An initial intake appointment is required to go over your entire medical & substance abuse history. If you are not already stable on Suboxone, we will discuss plans to end your current opioid use and begin Suboxone (this is called “induction”).
On the day we choose for induction after your visit with the provider, you can pick up your prescription from the pharmacy and return to the office with the medication. You will need to be in moderate opiate withdrawal prior to starting your first dose. During initial doses we suggest 8 mg strips and we recommend taking 4 mg (1/2 a strip) for your first dose. You may need to repeat this every 3 to 4 hours for control of your withdrawal symptoms and cravings. We will meet 2-3 times for the first week and then weekly for the next 3-4 weeks and fine-tune the dosing. During the second month, provided there are no relapses, we will meet every other week. Beginning the third month, we intend to go to monthly visits, however, that is patient-dependent and dictated by the presence or absence of relapses. Once a stable dosage has been achieved and toxicological tests do not indicate illicit drug use, less frequent follow-up visits may be appropriate.
Those patients that continue to do well and are treated successfully for six months may be eligible to begin telemedicine visits. Telemedicine visits would be every other month in lieu of your visit to the clinic. Your regular monthly fee would still be collected during the telemedicine visit, however, you could perform your visit from home through any smart device or camera enabled computer.
Once Suboxone treatment starts, all patients are required to be in active counseling/therapy. Counseling must continue for the duration of treatment. It is essential to your recovery. Counseling may incorporate such elements as motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, prevention education, and intervention in case of relapse.
Options for counseling/therapy:
1. Contact your insurance company to find a contracted substance abuse counselor in your area and once treatment has started have the counselor fax us proof of attendance.
2. Referral list of local substance abuse counselors is available upon request. Once established, have the counselor fax us proof of attendance.
Why is counseling an essential tool in the treatment process?
Addiction is a learned behavior that changes the brain to become conditioned to continually wanting the substance. Counseling and other behavior health modifications can help the brain change physically. Changing your environment, starting a new job, new hobbies and making new friends can all alter the brain in some way. It is possible to undo some of the changes that occurred while addicted. Therapy will recondition the brain closer to pre-addiction status. This will better prepare the patient for a time when they may no longer require medication.
You will need to obtain your medication from a pharmacy; the cost may be largely covered by your health insurance. Please check with your insurer to find out. The retail cost of Suboxone varies depending on dose. You may wish to check with your pharmacy before pursuing treatment. Providers will usually have medication discount cards on hand for the medication but these are not guaranteed to be in stock and may or may not benefit your financial need.
If for any reason we determine at your intake meeting that we are not able to treat you, there will be no fee for that visit.
Urine drug screens must be performed at each appointment while in Suboxone treatment, and may be necessary more often if there is suspicion of a problem. If you are seeing the provider through telemedicine visits you will test only on your required office visit appointments.
Testing positive for substances of abuse may be grounds for dismissal from treatment. Once treatment starts, we will be giving patients two exceptions when relapsing and testing positive for illicit drugs occur. However, on the third relapse and positive test, we will dismiss you from our program and provide resources to facilities that may help you in a different setting.
Please be aware that patient confidentiality will not protect fraudulent attempts to obtain controlled substance prescriptions. If we suspect any deception or fraud (such as selling medications, altering prescriptions, obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors, etc.), it will be grounds for immediate termination from treatment and we will report it to law enforcement.
Please be aware that NO MEDICATIONS of any kind are stored in our office. We do not physically dispense medication. Anyone needing medication will be obtaining it from a local pharmacy.
If you feel that you would be a good fit for treatment here, please call the office at 480-770-4540. You can also submit your contact information through the “contact us tab” on our website page www.eastvalleyserenityhealth.com
Forms needed for your initial visit can be found on our website. You may also choose to arrive fifteen minutes early to your scheduled appointment and complete the forms in the office.
East Valley Serenity Health will not provide treatment if you have been dismissed (“fired”) from Suboxone treatment by any other provider within the last twelve months. We will provide treatment if you are currently in good standing with another Suboxone provider, and need to transfer care due to a geographic move, retirement of your provider, or similar reason. We will also provide treatment if you were previously seen by another provider but cannot return to that provider due to such reasons. We may request records from your previous provider. It is your responsibility to ensure that you can send these materials to our office prior to beginning Suboxone.
If you are currently under treatment with methadone (or have been within the past two years), we will need to discuss your situation in more detail prior to beginning treatment.