Accepting New Patients
Phone: (813)-328-4120 Fax: (813)-328-4003 Email: 5471 West Waters Avenue, Unit 300, Tampa, FL 33634
Emergence M.A.T.
OWCP Specialist
Heroin Addiction
Medication Assisted Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an opioid, and Heroin addiction is treated the same way as other opioid addictions.
The medication assisted treatment method uses the combination drug Buprenorphine + Naloxone, which is available as tablet and film, under the brand names Suboxone, Bunavail, and Zubsolv. This medication is very effective and correct daily dosing can completely stop withdrawal and cravings.

This medication is dispensed by pharmacies, on being prescribed by a DEA authorized provider, without having to go to a rehab.

Heroin is the most addictive opioid available on the street and even though heroin addiction is easy to treat with Suboxone, the relapse rates are very high. Do not use it ... and if you do, the sooner you seek treatment the easier it is to give up. Heroin is frequently implicated in overdose deaths specially when injected or if used along with other drugs.

Of all the recreational drugs available, Heroin is ranked 1st in dependence, physical harm, and social harm.

Heroin is very addictive because it crosses the blood brain barrier faster than Morphine, and produces a rush and high very quickly. This quick high does not last long, and the low that follows is very uncomfortable. The brain develops tolerance to it very fast and people have to use higher and higher dose more and more frequently, to get the same effect.

Depending on the age of the user, how frequently one uses, and in what quantity, the withdrawal can happen in as little as 4 hours. Usually the withdrawal peaks in 12 to 24 hours, and is very intense.

Once in withdrawal the user is so miserable that they would do anything to get Heroin.

Suboxone and similar medications are very effective in preventing withdrawal, and the treatment can be successful but only if the user would follow the treatment long enough.

Heroin overdose is one of the leading causes of overdose deaths in USA. There has been increase in these overdose deaths because Heroin is being mixed with Fentanyl and Carfentanyl. Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than Morphine, while Carfentanyl is 10,000 times more potent than Morphine.

Treatment protocol for Heroin Addiction
Enrollment in the program takes 30 minutes to one hour. Patients are required to provide medical history, read and sign consent forms, have a medical exam, and understand the treatment plan.

Come to the clinic the day of your appt. 30m in early in active mild to moderate withdrawal for induction, that is, your withdrawal status will be confirmed, you will take the first dose of Buprenorphine in the office and you will be observed and monitored for side effects or allergic reaction for half an hour. Most patients feel much improved within 30 min. If there are no problems on induction then you will be prescribed Suboxone for 7-14 days and will follow-up in the clinic once a month.

Patients who are taking Suboxone do not need in office induction. They are considered transfer patients and can continue Suboxone therapy and will be given a new prescription after brief interview and intake paper work is completed.

There are also state funded programs where if you qualify then you can get the detox and rehab for free, or, at a very low cost.

You do have to be in withdrawal before you can start Suboxone.

Benefits of longer period of outpatient treatment
A short term rehab generally does not solve the problem. Patients have to be on Suboxone for quite some time to prevent relapse. This long treatment time is used to attend counseling or behavioral therapy to change the drug using behavior, to address the problems caused by drug use, and to reintegrate into the society and workplace. Once this normal behavior is established, once the mood swings are gone, and the sleep pattern is restored, then the patient can slowly taper Suboxone and come off it.

Suboxone maintenance in my program costs $8/day or less.

Depending on how motivated a patient is this process can take 3 months to several years. Ninety percent of my patients are on 8 -16 mg/day or less and are doing well, attending school, or working. Patients are allowed to taper at their own pace, however it is my job to gently help them be pro-active.

Bottom-line is ... there is no recovery without withdrawal. When a patient is in mild withdrawal, the brain is adjusting to lower blood levels of opioids and is reversing the changes that it had to make when it was being fed high levels of opioids.

Outpatient treatment of Heroin addiction with Suboxone allows patients to be in control of their recovery. Heroin addiction can be treated as long as the patient is motivated and sticks to the program. It is the first month that is difficult. Once you are beyond that hump then it is easy and smooth.

Outpatient treatment is affordable, it is cheaper than doing drugs the treatment pays for itself. It does not interfere with work or studies. When taken as recommended it does not cause sedation, does not interfere with driving and does not cloud the mind, and if it does then you simply reduce the dose.

Outpatient treatment enables patients to continue to live with their family and be a productive member of the society. The treatment is available from a doctor's office within your community. The medication is taken in the privacy and comfort of your home.

This page was last updated on September 29, 2020
Mark A. Seldes, MD
Dr. Seldes is a board-certified family physician, He is experienced with OWCP medical reports and performing Impairment Rating examinations. Dr. Seldes and his qualified staff, assist in obtaining compensation and medical treatment after a work-related injury.
We perform both In-person examinations and Telehealth visits for our Florida residents who are already established patients. depending on the patient's needs.

Contact Us Today!
Phone: 813-328-4120, We are Open Monday-Friday, From 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. (We are Currently Accepting New Patients)

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6/16/2024 8:44:12 PM