/ How We Treat Addiction
How We Treat Addiction
How do you treat opioid use disorder?
Ideal Option uses FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Medication-assisted treatment is considered to be the gold standard for OUD. Medications used for the treatment of OUD include buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®), and naltrexone (Vivitrol®). We also encourage and refer our patients to seek behavioral health services, such as counseling or group therapy. Many of our locations offer behavioral health serivces.
What do you mean by "evidence-based" treatment?
"Evidence-based" means our treatment protocols are based on published scientific evidence and when we are faced with decisions about treatment, we look to the scientific evidence for guidance. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been shown in peer-reviewed, published research to be highly effective for opioid use disorder. Treatments that rely on tradition, intuition, or other unproven methods cannot be called evidence-based.
Does Ideal Option offer behavioral health services?
Ideal Balance recovery care coordinators are licensed substance use disorder professionals co-located in several Ideal Option clinics. Recovery care coordinators provide individualized behavioral health services and referrals to therapy, housing, food, transport, job placement services, training programs, and other social services. Costs are covered by insurance, including Medicaid. Where we don't yet offer Ideal Balance services, our providers and staff make referrals as appropriate to other facilities and services in the local community.
Do I have to be in withdrawal for my first appointment?
No. You do not have to be in withdrawal for your first appointment, but you do need to be off opioids for a certain number of hours before starting buprenorphine. If you take buprenorphine too soon after your last dose of opioids, withdrawals can actually be precipitated/caused. Your provider will speak with you about these time frames. However, some typical time frames are as follows:
- Suboxone®/buprenorphine can be started 24-48 hours after your last opioid use as long as that opioid is not methadone. Transitioning from methadone to buprenorphine requires a longer duration of time before starting buprenorphine.
- Vivitrol® cannot be administered until you’ve been off all opioids for at least 7 to 14 days, depending on the opioid used.
- You do not need to be in alcohol withdrawal for Vivitrol® to be effective.
Do you treat veterans?
Yes, we treat veterans and work with VA hospitals where we have clinics to best serve veterans. We accept Tricare and other veteran insurance providers.
Do you treat pregnant women who have opioid use disorder?
We absolutely treat pregnant women, and encourage you to seek treatment as soon as you know you are pregnant. Visit frequency will increase near the end of your pregnancy to make sure we are providing the best care for you and your baby.
Do you treat chronic pain?
We are not a pain clinic. However, many patients in our practice have a combination of chronic pain and opioid use disorder. If your main objective is to stop using pure opioids, we can help.
Do you treat mental health conditions?
Yes, we do. Some mental health conditions that we treat include depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. If we are unable to treat your exact condition, we have a wide network of other providers and organizations that we refer our patients to if needed.
Do you treat people under the age of 18?
Typically insurance providers will not pay for medication-assisted treatment for people under the age of 16. Depending on the situation, we may treat people under 18, but their admission must be approved by one of our medical directors. We do currently provide treatment to a handful of minors.
What is the difference between buprenorphine and methadone?
Buprenorphine binds to and partially activates opioid receptors. This partial activation means it is less likely to cause dangerous side effects and/or the euphoria that are often caused by opioids that fully activate opioid receptors. This means that buprenorphine is safer and less likely to cause euphoria than opioids that fully activate the receptors. However, buprenorphine does activate these receptors enough to remove withdrawals and cravings, which helps people feel normal. Methadone binds to and fully activates opioid receptors. This full activation means it is more dangerous and more likely to cause euphoria than buprenorphine. However, there are many patients who are still good candidates for methadone, such as extremely heavy opioid users. It is important to also understand that buprenorphine is typically a prescribed medication that is picked up at a pharmacy whereas methadone must be dispensed from a clinic if it is used for the treatment of opioid use disorder.