Medication-Assisted Treatment Using Suboxone® and Vivitrol®
How Does AAR’s Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program Work?
Suboxone is a sublingual film strip that clients take as a substitute for narcotics (like heroin and oxycontin). In addition to using Suboxone (or equivalent such as ZUBSOLV®) or the once-a-month injection Vivitrol, all of our clients are involved in mandatory counseling at our facility to address the psychological aspects of drug addiction. AAR provides the medical management of opioid and alcohol addiction (prescribing Suboxone for opioids, injecting Vivitrol for opioids and alcohol, checking tox screens and labs) and the counseling in one convenient location. In some limited cases, AAR will do Vivitrol injections-only if the client is referred by and in treatment with another licensed facility.
Steps in AAR’s MAT Program
Intake is where new admissions review all of the requirements of the program with a professional counselor. The counseling requirement will be reviewed and once your therapy appointment is confirmed, you are ready for your Suboxone induction or scheduling your Vivitrol injection. During your first appointment, you will receive an orientation packet that reviews our rules of the program.
Induction transitions you from your opioid of choice to Suboxone or Vivitrol. Because of the way that Suboxone works in your cells, you have to be in moderate to severe withdrawal before you take your first dose of Suboxone. On the first day of induction, you will receive a prescription for Suboxone and take it to a pharmacy to be filled. You will be monitored by the therapist and the medical staff as you attend your therapy sessions for stabilization.
Note: For Vivitrol, you need to stop drinking before starting VIVITROL. In addition, to avoid sudden opioid withdrawal, you must stop taking any opioids or opioid-containing medications, including buprenorphine or methadone, for at least 7 to 14 days before starting VIVITROL.
Stabilization lasts from days to weeks. During this time you will be in counseling up to five times a week at one of our locations and you will see our doctor to keep you medically stable. During treatment, urine tox screens and other screens may be obtained. Your treatment team will guide you through the therapy process. They will help you in determining when you are ready to move beyond multiple days per week counseling sessions. We understand that relapses happen. If you relapse, we will be there to help you reach stabilization again and continue your journey in recovery.
Medical Withdrawal At some point in the future, you will talk with your treatment team including the doctor about weaning down the dose of Suboxone or stopping your monthly Vivitrol injection. When you are ready, you will be able to decrease your Suboxone dose because your brain will be ready to accept smaller and smaller doses and still keep you free from craving. You will be attending treatment sessions during this time to give you support and continued hope.