Frequently Asked Questions

Whether it’s your son, your mother or you; there will be  questions.  While we have answered what we have found to be the most common questions, you may have more. Read the answers below, or reach out and ask us.  We are here for you.

General Questions

What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is an FDA approved opioid addiction treatment.

 

 

How do I know if I’m addicted to Opiates?

Opiates, also known as “Opioid Painkillers,” include prescription drugs such as Hydrocodone, Fentanyl and Morphine. These substances are effective pain relievers when taken as directed by a physician.  Signs of addiction include taking the medication more frequently or in larger amounts than originally prescribed.

Continued opiate misuse can lead to dangerous dose escalation and even conversion to the intravenous opiate, heroin. Getting addiction under control can be very difficult without the help of medical professionals. If you or a loved one is struggling with a dependence on painkillers, it’s important to take action immediately before the situation becomes worse.

How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments varies by client and is determined by the Physician.  clients with a history IV heroin use, prior relapse off of treatment, limited social support or lack of employment can expect to remain in treatment longer than clients who have never used heroin and have strong social support systems.  On average, at least 12 months of treatment is necessary for even those with a lower risk for relapse.
How often is the treatment?
The medication is taken once or twice daily, depending on the medication. Appointments with the doctor are once monthly.  If a higher treatment interval is needed due to finances or other reasons, SPC offers twice monthly appointments.
Do you accept insurance?
No. Payments forms accepted include cash, credit card and check.  You may use your insurance to cover the cost of your prescriptions. Prior authorizations services are included in the monthly fee.  Processing of claims by your insurance provider would negate the privacy model provided by SPC.  Underwriters are provided all information gathered by your insurance company.  For this reason, many SPC clients do not even use their insurance to cover the cost of their medications.
How soon can I get an appointment?
SPC works for its clients.  Appointments are available as early as same day, based on client need and physician availability.
How are you different from a typical Methadone or Suboxone clinic?
Traditional Methadone and Suboxone clinics are not able to do much to protect your privacy. Everyone in the waiting room knows exactly why you are there. The Southern Practice model is unique in that we integrate our patients into traditional Neurology practices. There is no public stigma attached to seeing an SPC physician for Opiate treatment
What is the difference between Methadone and Suboxone?
The Buprenorphine in Suboxone is a strong analgesic (painkiller) similar to other opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin. However, it produces less euphoric effects and therefore may be easier to stop taking. Buprenorphine works in the brain as a partial opiate agonist. It replaces the opiate the user has been abusing, filling opiate receptors in the brain and keeping them from experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is included in the formulation to keep people from injecting and abusing the medication. It is an opiate antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin. Naloxone stays inactive if used sublingually (under the tongue). However, if it is crushed and injected, while attempting to abuse the medication, the naloxone becomes active in the brain and causes, in an opiate-dependent person, immediate feelings of withdrawal.

 

Methadone is a full opioid agonist. Methadone binds the opiate receptor where methadone mimics the endorphins, keeping the user from experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Methadone dosing in an outpatient treatment program is closely monitored with witnessed daily dosing. A majority of patients in outpatient treatment programs require 80–125 mg/d of methadone or more and require treatment for an indefinite period of time, since methadone maintenance is a corrective but not a curative treatment for opiate addiction.

What is the difference in treatment? I've found other Suboxone clinics for less.
Treatment with any SPC network physician is an entirely different experience than a ‘cattle call’ at a Suboxone clinic.  SPC provides a one-to-one, physician-to-client treatment session, in a private practice setting.  This treatment setting affords professionals and those requiring complete anonymity an opportunity to receive the privacy they need and the treatment they deserve.
I am relocating and currently prescribed Suboxone for pain. Can I continue treatment with you?
Suboxone is used to treat pain in some states, but SPC physicians only prescribe Suboxone and other forms of buprenorphine for opiate addiction.  Please consult a local pain management practice for further guidance regarding pain management. Currently, it is not legal to prescribe Suboxone to treat pain in the state of Tennessee.
Won’t I lose my professional license if I seek help for opiates?
Public exposure for private treatment is always risky for licensed professionals. Our unique treatment model helps mitigate that risk. Your privacy is our utmost priority. Your information is always protected and never reported to insurance companies or licensure boards. Getting help should be nobody’s business but yours.
How do I keep substance abuse treatment off my medical records?
Our treatment model is designed to protect you from the prying eyes of insurance companies and licensure boards. We operate on a simple cash payment system. We do not involve your insurance company–to best insure your maximum privacy. Any medical information that we collect from you during treatment by a Southern Practice physician is also further protected under specific Federal regulations governing Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records, 42 C.F.R. Part 2, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), 45 C.F.R. Pts. 160 & 164 and cannot be disclosed without written consent. The Federal rules restrict any use of this information to criminally investigate or prosecute any alcohol or drug abuse patient.
Isn’t Suboxone just another opiate? Why would I trade one addiction for another?

Suboxone, Zubsolv, and Bunavail contain both Buprenorphine and the opiate antagonist Naloxone. Naloxone has been added to guard against abuse of Buprenorphine by individuals physically dependent on other Opiates. Buprenorphine is different from other Opioids in that it is a Partial Opioid Agonist (it doesn’t fit the receptors on the brain as well, so it doesn’t stimulate them as much). This property of Buprenorphine may allow for the following: 1. Less euphoria and physical dependence 2. Lower potential for misuse 3. A ceiling on the effects of opioids and 4. A relatively mild withdrawal profile

Total abstinence from all opiates is the ideal outcome, but is not realistic for every person. For many, maintenance of a buprenorphine product is the most responsible way to significantly reduce the odds of a potentially deadly relapse.

Can’t I just detox from Opiates on my own?
While withdrawal from Opiates is not always life-threatening, the symptoms can be quite severe. Typical signs of withdrawal from opiates include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills, increased heart rate and severe body aches. Medically assisted treatment to transition from the opiate upon which you are dependent, to treatment with a buprenorphine product significantly decreases the agony of withdrawal; thus increasing the rate of success of remission. If someone has a history of a medical condition such as heart disease, irregular heart rhythms or lung problems; the risk of complications is much higher and inpatient detoxification may be necessary.
Is there a difference between Subutex and Suboxone?
Subutex is the brand name for buprenorphine, and does not contain naloxone. Subutex is taken as sublingual tablets, which are placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve. When it’s taken in the prescribed doses, Subutex usually does not generate the same level of euphoria, drowsiness or central nervous system suppression as street narcotics. Subutex isn’t intended to be taken on an as-needed basis; it must be taken under a certified doctor’s supervision and must be used as directed in order to produce the desired effects. Some users have abused Subutex by crushing the tablets and snorting or injecting them to get a more powerful effect. When Subutex is injected intravenously or snorted in large doses, the drug can suppress your breathing and cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness and death. Suboxone is the commercial name for buprenorphine combined with naloxone, an opioid antagonist. Subutex was the first version of buprenorphine to be prescribed for opioid dependence. Suboxone was developed in response to a need to discourage users from abusing buprenorphine by injecting or snorting the drug to get high. Naloxone was added to the buprenorphine to keep the user from feeling the effects of the drug if Suboxone is injected. When Suboxone is taken sublingually, you won’t feel the effects of naloxone. However, if you crush the drug and try to inject or snort it, the naloxone will block the pleasurable sensations that high doses of buprenorphine can produce. Suboxone has recently become available as a film, which reduces the potential for abuse even more.
Do you offer Methadone treatment?
No. While both Suboxone and Methadone are used to treat patients with opioid dependency or addiction, SPC favors Suboxone treatment for the following reasons: • Suboxone is partial opiate agonist (i.e. its effects are limited, even when taken in large doses) but Methadone is a full opiate agonist. • Suboxone is much harder to abuse so patients are allowed to take it home. But Methadone can be abused, so when patients first start treatment they need to travel to a clinic each day to take their medication. At later stages of the treatment they are allowed take-home doses of methadone. • Suboxone is generally less addictive than Methadone. • Withdrawal symptoms of a Suboxone detox are generally less severe than methadone detox. • The risk of a fatal overdose on Suboxone is significantly less than with Methadone.
Won't I get very sick if you detox me cold turkey?
SPC specializes in Medication Assisted Treatment (M.A.T.) for opioid addiction. Suboxone is a medication that will relieve symptoms of opioid withdrawal by filling the opioid receptors in the brain partially. As such, it can help users of opiates transition into treatment more effectively by reducing the painful withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping opiates.
Do you accept credit cards for payment?
Yes. SPC accepts most major credit cards for payment.
What if I need Inpatient treatment?
SPC specializes in confidential office-based treatment for Opiate addiction. However, we work closely with some of the most-trusted inpatient opioid treatment facilities in the nation and can refer you for inpatient treatment if necessary.
Do you offer treatment for substances other than Opiates?
SPC uniquely focuses on office-based Opioid treatment. However, we are happy to make a referral for you through our network of world-class substance abuse treatment providers.

About Our Services

OBOT

SPC is an “OBOT” or Office-based Opioid Agonist Treatment” Facility. We can transition you from your current opiate dependence to medically supervised treatment, or we can maintain treatment initiated at a detox or inpatient treatment facility.

Psychological Support
SPC’s doctors provide treatment of associated psychiatric conditions. SPC also has partnerships with local therapists that specialize in addiction.  The premium for the sessions is included in your montly fee.
Compliance Screening

As part of treatment, we include monitoring for medication compliance with urine drug screens.  This is included in your monthly fee.

Post treatment care
For the appropriate patient, a taper off of buprenorphine may begin after 12  months of compliant treatment. In an effort to decrease the risk of relapse, SPC offers monthly appointments at a reduced rate for continued monitoring.
Webinars - Coming in 2019
Due to privacy concerns  of our clients, SPC will offer live webinars in lieu of live sessions. You will be able to login and watch the speaker live and ask questions via chat.

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Better Treatment for Opiate Dependence is Our Mission

Same Day Appointments are Available.