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The One Year Tapering Program for Opioid Addiction

Welcome to the Falcon Clinic!

We offer a One Year Suboxone Tapering Program for those patients suffering from narcotic addiction who are motivated to gain control of their addiction and to study, practice and implement the elements of recovery which we teach.

This program is not intended for everyone. We understand that there are patients who either cannot, or will not, for whatever reason stop using narcotics, either illicit ( off the street) or therapeutic ( such as methadone, or Suboxone). We do not criticize or judge such persons, knowing that addiction, as a brain disease, is a complex, difficult entity fraught with despondence, withdrawal and relapse.

This program utilizes a number of well accepted steps and medications and counseling tools that have been shown to motivated patients to slowly taper off Suboxone, while implementing and  practicing specific psychological methods and concepts. The goal is to slowly and methodically lower the dose of Suboxone while at the same time increasing the focus on living without narcotics.

 

To that end, the following are the major elements of the Suboxone program at our clinic. These are the requirements for participation in the Falcon Clinic Suboxone Tapering Program:

 

1. A physical examination which may include blood work, urine or saliva drug screening, and electrocardiogram.

2. A review of previous vaccinations and testing, including for Hepatitis A,  B and C, HIV testing, and testing for Tuberculosis

3. Hepatitis A and B vaccination

4. TDaP vaccination ( for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough or pertussis)

5. Be Actively Involved in a counseling program focusing on treatment of chemical dependency

6. Patients are required to obtain a copy of Psycho Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. This book is central to the Suboxone Tapering Program. Copies can be obtained at book stores, ordered online, or purchased at the Clinic ( depending on supply).

7. We will discuss and review the one year schedule of tapering.

8. Medications in addition to Suboxone may be used, at the discretion of the physician, to help the patient as he/ she goes through the tapering process. These medications might be used to help with depression, difficulty sleeping, nausea, muscle cramping, anxiety, pain, or other unpleasant transitional symptoms.

9. The patients are not allowed to obtain medications ( even over the counter medications) from anyone other than their own Primary Care Physician, their own specialist ( e.g. psychiatrist) or from the Falcon Clinic physician.  Patients cannot be taking benzodiazepines ( such as Valium/ diazepam, Ativan/lorazepam,  Xanax/ alprazolam or Klonopin/ clonazepam) while under treatment with Suboxone.

10. Patients must notify any other practitioners, including Urgent Care, Emergency Room, Dentists or other health practitioners, that they are in treatment and CANNOT be prescribed any narcotic or semi-synthetic narcotic or opioid medication ( unless it is an emergency situation such as emergency appendectomy, fracture, etc.). If a patient is given an outpatient prescription for medication by such practitioners, they must check with this office before taking the medication. Not doing so could result in a dismissal from the Suboxone program.

11. After one year of tapering, all Suboxone is stopped and the patient enters into a “transition” period of 3 weeks, during which the patient is monitored weekly to make sure that there is no narcotic left ( including no Suboxone) in the system.

12. After this 3 week period, the patient may be placed on Naltrexone, a non-narcotic medication which blocks any cravings for narcotics. Other medications may also be used to treat various issues ( e.g. insomnia, lack of energy, mild depression, muscle aches, nausea, etc.). Most issues such as the examples cited are often mild and usually do not need any treatment.

13. Treatment and monitoring after discontinuation of Suboxone will continue for 6 to 12 months after the tapering phase of the program is completed.

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