Congratulations on taking the first Milestone towards improving your life! At Milestones we offer a full circle approach in our treatment plans by offering in house counseling services that is included in your treatment program. We also offer a number of other resources and referral services to our patients and families.

Many people are curious about Buprenorphine and similar treatment methods. Suboxone/Subutex/Zubsolv is used for safe and comfortable detoxification from opioids and opiates (prescription pain medications, heroin). Suboxone/Subutex/Zubsolv treat opiate addiction by preventing symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and other opiates. Buprenorphine is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates, such as pain relievers like morphine. Approved for clinical use in October 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), buprenorphine represents the latest advance in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Medications such as buprenorphine, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of opioid dependency. When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine is safe and effective. As with all medications used in MAT, buprenorphine is prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and participation in social support programs.

Buprenorphine offers several benefits to those with opioid dependency and to others for whom treatment in a methadone clinic is not preferred or is less convenient. The FDA has approved the following buprenorphine products:

  • Bunavail (buprenorphine and naloxone) buccal film
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) film
  • Zubsolv (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets
  • Buprenorphine-containing transmucosal products for opioid dependency

Refer to the product websites for a complete listing of drug interactions, warnings, and precautions.

How Buprenorphine Works

Buprenorphine has unique pharmacological properties that help:

  • Lower the potential for misuse
  • Diminish the effects of physical dependency to opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Increase safety in cases of overdose

Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. This means that, like opioids, it produces effects such as euphoria or respiratory depression. With buprenorphine, however, these effects are weaker than those of full drugs such as heroin and methadone.

Buprenorphine’s opioid effects increase with each dose until at moderate doses they level off, even with further dose increases. This “ceiling effect” lowers the risk of misuse, dependency, and side effects. Also, because of buprenorphine’s long-acting agent, many patients may not have to take it every day.