How to Start a Suboxone Treatment Methadone Clinic

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Suboxone and methadone are medications used in a clinic setting to help opiate-addicted individuals withdraw from and stop using drugs. Suboxone contains the semi-synthetic opioid buprenorphine and naloxone, a drug that prevents opioids from interacting with neuro-receptors. Methadone is a synthetic opioid used for treating chronic pain and opioid addiction. Each medication is used in different cases. To start a Suboxone treatment program in a methadone clinic, you must design an comprehensive, physician-directed process that does not just dispense medication, but conducts ongoing monitoring and backup counseling services.

  • Create a budget for your proposed Suboxone treatment center. This budget should include costs of a physician, malpractice insurance, support staff, medical equipment, facilities maintenance and other basic operating expenses. Also determine any potential funding sources, such as state or federal grants or Medicaid, as well as any private recovery or detox organizations that might serve as sources of funding. You'll also need stores and samples of Suboxone on hand, so factoring the cost of Suboxone supplies will be necessary for your budget.

  • Contact your state health licensing agency to determine your area's licensing requirements prior to starting your Suboxone methadone clinic. You will likely need to apply for a National Provider Identifier (NPI). This simply requires entering all of your clinic's information and submitting a form. If you do not already have a physician or other licensed professional, such as a clinical social worker, on staff, you will need to wait until you hire one to complete the application.

  • Hire the services of at least one pain specialist or other physician qualified to prescribe opioids and treat opioid addicts. The physician must have an active license through the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), since both methadone and Suboxone are classified as controlled substances. Your physician will determine which patients will do best with Suboxone treatment and which should use the methadone method. Generally, patients with less severe or long-term addiction problems do well on Suboxone, while methadone is employed to treat more difficult addictions.

  • Hire state-licensed substance abuse counselors or licensed clinical social workers who specialize in addiction. Counseling can provide vital support in the recovery process. If you decide not to hire addictions counselors, you should develop a list of potential referral sources for clients who are taking Suboxone and may benefit from services that address the behavioral portion of their addiction.

  • Advertise your clinic. Advertising in the local newspaper, phone book and online is an effective way to meet potential customers. Contact the directors at local mental health clinics to obtain referrals, since clients at the mental health clinic who are receiving therapy for opiate addiction could be referred to your Suboxone clinic. Contacting professional addiction journals and magazine editors as well as networking with halfway houses and clinical social workers can also increase potential customer base.

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