After Subutex Treatment In Rehab, What Happens Next?
There is a new trend in rehab. Finally, they are offering MAT to their residents. In fact, if you search Google, you will see an incredible array of rehabs that now offer MAT.
The way it works is that a Subutex doctor at the rehab prescribes buprenorphine tablets and the staff watches the patients take it. The problem is, what happens after discharge? What happens when you no longer see the Subutex doctors in rehab?
Arrangements must be made
When you are in rehab, they have mapped out your recovery plan. First, you will go to detox, then a residential or day program. Afterward, you will be ready for outpatient treatment.
Rehab treatment plans often include various types of treatment, including therapy sessions and support groups. Treatment facilities may also provide therapy for mental health issues.
They may even arrange for sober living to help support your recovery. If you stay clean, it is a straight path back to normal life. You are ready to start your journey of long term recovery.
However, if you relapse along the way, you go back to detox. Many patients have taken this more circular path. While Subutex in the rehab will improve your chances of success, what happens after you leave treatment?
What is “continuity of care?”
Continuity means that your medical care is consistent, even if you transfer to another doctor or facility. In fact, doctors are intensively trained in providing continuity of care. Year after year, in residency, doctors in training learn to review charts and orders with the new shift to make sure that no one drops the ball.
While rehabs employ doctors, non-medical people often own and manage the treatment facilities. You cannot underestimate the importance of medical culture and training that doctors take many years to complete. In the case of MAT in rehab, continuity means that you have a doctor to go to when you get out.
In the case of an opioid use disorder, medical assistance is particularly critical. Unfortunately, not all rehab centers agree with initiating and continuing medication-assisted treatment
How to find Subutex doctors on your own.
First, I should say that Subutex doctors should more appropriately be called doctors who practice MAT. While the rehab may have given you Subutex, it is more likely that your doctor out in the real world will prescribe Suboxone or ZubSolv.
Your doctor may even recommend Sublocade, the monthly buprenorphine injection. Brixadi is an alternative weekly or monthly injection containing buprenorphine.
If your rehab does not make arrangements, you can still find Subutex doctors/MAT doctors on your own. I have written various articles about how to find an addiction doctor.
If your rehab did not refer you to a specific doctor after discharge, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still see a doctor. Rehabs may not refer you to a Subutex doctor because they are concerned about addiction to Subutex and the potential for abuse.
Fortunately, the risk of addiction to Subutex is low. As an additional abuse-deterrent, doctors prescribe Suboxone which is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone causes sickness when a patient attempts to abuse Suboxone by injecting it.
Making sense of it all.
The world of rehab, MAT, and addiction treatment, in general, can get confusing. However, when it comes to opioid addiction treatment, we cannot afford to make any mistakes.
I recommend reading an authoritative book on the subject. For example, there is “Overcoming Opioid Addiction”. You can find an interview with the author here.
This book lays out very specifically what we must do to provide proper treatment for opioid addiction. You will find that continuity of care is very important in the treatment of this chronic illness of addiction.