We offer Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) with Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) to help patients stop their opioid use.
Combined with our empathetic care model, this transformative treatment boasts 95% of patients reporting no withdrawal symptoms at 7 days. It can change your life.
We never share any health information without your explicit consent. Your care is 100% confidential, and we take this very seriously.
With your consent, our team will design and coordinate a treatment plan that is ideal for you. And you can access this plan easily through our app.
Bicycle Health is currently available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
We’re continually expanding to new areas. Check back with us about availability in your area.
You’ll speak with an enrollment coordinator who will answer your questions about our program and what we offer, and we’ll also ask you questions to try to ensure that our program will be a helpful fit for your care.
We’ll also walk you through some required forms including consent to treatment, review of program policies and practices, payment, and directives for how we handle your medical records.
We’ll work with you to set an initial appointment which will be same-day if at all possible. We’ll then provide guidance for you to download the required app for the video visit with your provider, and your provider will contact you through the app at your appointment time.
If you’ve been misusing opioids, you might need professional help. But it can feel awkward or even frightening to talk to your doctor about Suboxone or another medication for opioid use disorder (OUD).
Almost 85% of Americans say they trust their doctors. But even so, some patients fear starting this discussion with their health care professional.
The first thing to know is that disclosing your drug use to your physician is completely confidential. There are laws in place that prevent your doctor from disclosing your personal substance use history to law enforcement.
Even if there weren’t legal protections, doctors aren’t policemen: their job is not to punish you. Their job is to keep you as healthy and safe as possible, and most of them are happy when you disclose your concerns about your substance use as it gives them an opportunity to help you.
Know that you can always trust your doctor with information about your drug use. Starting the conversation could be lifesaving, and help you get the treatment you need.
Here's what you need to know about starting these conversations with your doctor.
First, know that your doctor is not legally allowed to talk to others about your drug use, including making a report to law enforcement. Anything you say to your doctor is confidential and protected under a law called HIPAA 
You're not required to talk about where you obtain your drugs, and your doctor isn't likely to ask.
Your doctor may ask about the following:
Your doctor may ask you questions like, what substances do you use habitually? What substances do you use intermittently? Have you tried a drug once and never used it again? Is there a substance that you are using regularly? This helps them to understand what drugs you might be dependent on and what medications and therapies would be the most helpful for treatment.
How much of each substance do you take? Do you have symptoms (like nausea, shaking, or a headache) if you don't take your drug? Do you need more to get the results once delivered with a small dose? This helps your doctor understand if you have a tolerance of a physical dependence on the drug, which can help guide him or her in what types and doses of treatments can be offered to you.
Your doctor may ask about this because different delivery methods of drugs pose different risks to your health. For example, individuals who use injection drugs are at risk for different infections than those who merely snort or smoke. Your doctor may ask if you swallow pills, snor/crush pills, or if you inject drugs. If so, they may ask if you share needles with others, which increases your risk of infections.
Have you tried to quit using drugs before? What methods did you use? How did you feel when you tried to quit? What made you relapse? This can help your doctor understand right away what treatments have or have not worked for you in the past so that you can decide together what treatments - either pharmacological or behavioral - are the right ones for you.
Many primary care or family medicine doctors treat patients with Substance use disorders. Therefore, if you have a primary care doctor that you know and see regularly, talking to him/her is a good place to start. However, some primary care doctors do not treat a lot of patients with addiction, and may refer you to another specialist doctor. Oftentimes, these doctors are psychiatrists or physicians who have done additional training as addiction medicine specialists.
In some states, doctors must get a special license to prescribe Suboxone (although this is changing and becoming less common in many states in order to facilitate more easy administration of this medication.  In other states, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) can also prescribe Suboxone.
If you have a doctor you know and trust, ask them if they prescribe Suboxone, or if they can refer you to a provider that does.
You can also use an online tool like this one to find a buprenorphine doctor near you.
Suboxone treatment programs can last for months, years, or indefinitely for some patients who need life-long treatment  It's important to work with someone you trust, as you'll be connected for a long time.
Don’t let fear or intimidation prevent you from talking to your doctor openly and honestly about Suboxone: they are there to help. Ask your doctor about Suboxone, or reach out to us here at Bicycle health for more information.
Patients who have been taking opioids, like oxycodone (percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), methadone, heroin, fentanyl, on a daily basis can become dependent on these substances, meaning that if they do not take them daily, they will experience awful withdrawal symptoms, like nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, agitation/anxiety. Many people become addicted and the opioids start to take control of their life. They have cravings, think about opiates all the time, and are unable to fulfill their daily responsibilities like going to work or taking care of friends and family. It becomes an “all consuming disease”.
Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) works by stabilizing the brain. By binding to the opiate receptors in the brain, Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) prevents withdrawal symptoms, staves off cravings, and also blocks these receptors so other opioids (like heroin or fentanyl) cannot bind, preventing overdoses and saving lives. As a partial agonist (meaning it only partially stimulates the opioid receptor), Burpneorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) rarely causes patients to feel “high.” Rather, patients taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) should feel NORMAL, able to go about their day and live their life to its fullest. For these reasons, Buprnorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is considered very safe, and it is considered evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction.
Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is most effective when used in conjunction with counseling and psychosocial support.
The National Quality Forum says that treatment with buprenorphine-based medications (like Suboxone) should last between six and nine months. Some say treatment should take much longer.
Stopping Suboxone is closely associated with relapse. Therefore, most doctors encourage you to be on Suboxone for months to even years, particularly if the alternative is a relapse to opioid use. In some cases, it’s safest for people to stay on Suboxone indefinitely.
Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) involves using medications and therapy to combat opioid use disorder (OUD). Using a buprenorphine-based medication like Suboxone reduces a person's chance of early death by any cause by about half. The medication you take could save your life.
Researchers say treatment lasting at least 15 months could reduce the risk of the following:
When compared to people taking buprenorphine for six to nine months, those staying in treatment for 15 to 18 months have fewer instances of the following:
Statistics like this demonstrate how effective MAT can be when used over a long period.
There is no maximum duration for a MAT program. Some people need treatment for a few months, but others stay on their medications indefinitely.
In multiple studies, the majority of people left MAT programs involuntarily. One month later, about half of them had relapsed to drug use. In a 2011 study, researchers found that people on long-term treatment often relapsed to drugs when they quit their buprenorphine therapies. More than 90% relapsed after a three-week taper.
Before you quit your therapy, balance the risks and benefits. Talk with your doctor about whether quitting is really right for you. Staying in the program might be a better option.
The only real contraindication to Suboxone would be an allergic reaction, which is extremely rare.  As far as we know, there are no long term health risks to using Suboxone for many years to even life long. In fact, there are certainly more long term health risks with active drug use. For these reasons, Suboxone is thought to be safe long term for patients hoping to curb cravings and maintain their abstinence from opioids.
Prescription drugs like Suboxone can be life saving for those recovering from OUD. 8 in 10 American adults say the cost of prescriptions is unreasonable. If you’re one of them and you’re considering skipping Suboxone due to costs, we have good news: Insurance companies typically cover Suboxone, and if you don’t have insurance, programs exist to help you.
Federal law requires health insurers to provide the same level of care for mental health issues that they do for physical health concerns. These laws ensure that medications like Suboxone are covered by most insurance policies, both public and private.
Medicare coverage is for people over the age of 65 and with certain disabilities. Medicaid Suboxone coverage is complex. Medicare Part D covers medications like Suboxone. Depending on how much you've paid in deductibles and other factors, you may have a copay, or your medication may be entirely paid for.
Medicaid is run by State governments for people who make a certain percent of the poverty level. About 12% of people older than 18 with Medicaid benefits have substance misuse conditions.  All State Medicaid plans are required to cover Suboxone and other addiction treatment medications. Depending on where you live and other factors, your Suboxone could be entirely covered, or may have a small copay. 
Private health insurance plans usually cover Suboxone or a generic equivalent. It’s almost impossible to determine how much you’ll pay, as coverage varies from state to state and plan to plan. If you have private insurance, the best thing to do is to call your insurance company and inquire as to whether your Suboxone is covered in full or in part.
The number of people without any insurance dropped to an all-time low in 2022. Now, about 8% of people don't have any coverage. If you're in this uninsured group, you can still get Suboxone. Talk to your doctor about your hospital or clinic’s policy for medication coverage for people without insurance. Some hospitals have “charity care” programs or discount programs for people paying out of pocket or without insurance.
Suboxone's manufacturer offers a discount program. If you don't have insurance, you'll pay about $86 per month for up to 90 2 mg films.
You must apply for the program, and some people aren't eligible. If you're approved, the company sends a discount card you'll present to the pharmacist when you refill your prescription.
GoodRx is a private company that offers discounts on common drugs, including Suboxone. It's free to get started. You will do the following:
GoodRx also provides coupons for your medications, which could save you even more.
The United States government doesn't regulate drug prices. Suboxone may cost more or less depending on a few factors:
Suboxone is the brand name form of Buprenorphine-Naloxone. It is also available in generic form. The FDA regulates all medications such that brand and generic formulations should work equally well. Generic forms are often a lot less expensive than brand forms.  Therefore, it might be cheaper for you to have a generic rather than brand name Suboxone. Your plan may also choose to cover the generic but not the brand name medication.
Every insurance plan is different, and companies have a lot of control over how much they charge their clients for medications. One might charge you almost nothing for your Suboxone, while another could cost you much more. If you are choosing a new insurance plan and know that you will need a Suboxone prescription, it might be worth investigating whether the plan covers Suboxone prior to enrolling.
Suboxone comes in two main forms: tablets and strips. The tablet or the strip might be cheaper in your location. If the tablet or strip is more expensive, you might consider switching to another type.
While all pharmacies are allowed to carry products containing buprenorphine, fewer than half of them do so. The medication is tightly regulated, and some small pharmacies don't feel comfortable keeping it on their shelves.
In general, it's best to work with a large pharmacy. These facilities tend to keep Suboxone for patients.
Try a large pharmacy chain, such as these:
Call ahead to ensure the pharmacy can fill your prescription. Once you’re there, tell the team you’ll be coming back again for your refills in the future to make sure the pharmacy continues to stock your medication.
At Bicycle Health, we don't believe cost should keep people away from the care they need. Our treatment plans for opioid use disorders are cost-effective and incredibly helpful.
Schedule a call to learn more about our telemedicine treatment model, and find out if it's right for you. We can get you started on a treatment plan that will work for your situation.
Addiction to a substance is a disabling chronic condition that has two components:
Patients are physically dependent on taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) daily in order to feel normal and healthy—similar to patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or depression who take daily medications to feel healthy. Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), when taken as prescribed by a medical provider, treats addiction and does not cause the negative impacts of uncontrolled substance use on one’s life, goals, and daily functioning. Buprenorphine/naloxone treatment is NOT replacing one addiction with another.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently give approval for Suboxone purely as a pain medication (with the exception of the Butrans patch, which is FDA approved for chronic pain).
However, many other countries do use Buprenorphine as a pain medication because it does have analgesic properties in the same way that other opioids do. In the US, many doctors use Suboxone as an off-label treatment for chronic pain, particularly in patients who have previously been on opioids and do not want to continue to use opioids long term due to the risks of addiction and dependence.
If you're using Suboxone to address an opioid use disorder (OUD), your prescription could help with pain too. Some people start using opioids in the first place to address a chronic pain condition. Suboxone can be a wonderful alternative to treat pain off-label, particularly if a person is recovering from an OUD.
The FDA currently has not approved buprenorphine as a pain medication alone, with the exception of Butrans which is a subdermal patch form of Buprenorphine that is in fact FDA approved to treat chronic pain.
However, the majority of medications in the US are used by doctors “off label”, aka for indications other than strictly what the FDA has approved them for. For example, Hydroxyzine is approved as an antihistamine drug to treat allergies, but because of its sedating properties, it is often used “off label” as a drug to treat anxiety and poor sleep. In this same way, Suboxone can be safely and effectively used “off label” to treat chronic pain, particularly when the alternative is subjecting an individual to chronic opioid use which may prolong or put them at risk of developing an OUD.
Researchers say buprenorphine is a safe and effective pain medication. In one overview study of 25 trials, researchers found 14 proving buprenorphine's efficacy. And in another study, researchers found no evidence of respiratory depression (a hallmark of overdose) in people using this medication for pain control.
So yes, there is good evidence that Suboxone can be used as a medication for pain, particularly in patients who already have an opioid use disorder but also potentially in patients who are opioid naive and in whom doctors want to prevent resorting to long term opioid therapy.
Some doctors may use Suboxone for pain relief, although it's not common. Many more clinicians are starting to use Suboxone as a pain medication as we become more familiar with it over time.
Several roadblocks keep doctors from using this medication to ease discomfort.
Although many medications are used off label, because of the stigma around opioid use disorder and the barriers to this treatment, some doctors have been more hesitant to use Suboxone “off label” to treat chronic pain in their patients with or without concurrent OUD.
Doctors must go through significant training and registration processes to prescribe buprenorphine, a process called obtaining an X-waiver. This creates additional barriers to prescribing this medication.
When a doctor writes a prescription for Suboxone, the doctor must offer a diagnosis code. Doctors who use any code other than OUD can be rejected by insurance companies.
Suboxone isn't the only medication that can ease discomfort. Other choices are available, and most doctors prefer to start with non-opioid medications for pain control due to their better safety profiles and lower likelihood of dependency.
Sometimes patients with OUD on Suboxone have chronic pain, or like anyone else have an acute episode of pain after an accident or after requiring surgery. Patients on Suboxone or with a history of OUD may be even more sensitive to pain than their counterparts. In this case, they may require alterations in their dose or even the addition of other pain medications temporarily. If you are a patient on Suboxone and anticipate having a worsening of your pain (an upcoming surgery, for example), talk to your doctor well ahead of time to help plan for how you will manage your pain while on Suboxone. There are a number of options available.
It depends. Most people should wait at least 12 hours after your last opioid dose before you start taking Suboxone. However, some people may enter withdrawal sooner or later than this. Your doctor can guide you as to when is the right time for you to start your first dose.
Doctors use one of two models.
Most people feel mild-to-moderate withdrawal symptoms before their first Suboxone dose. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s temporary. Your medication should ease your symptoms.
Before taking Suboxone, your body must fully metabolize the last dose of other opioids. You'll know that it's time when you experience withdrawal symptoms.
Your physician might measure the severity of your withdrawal symptoms using a scale like the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS). To be considered in withdrawal, you will probably experience the following:
A COWS score of 11 to 12, which is generally mild to moderate opioid withdrawal symptoms, indicates that you can begin taking Suboxone. If you begin Suboxone treatment at home, wait one hour after the onset of withdrawal symptoms and then take your first dose of Suboxone. You should feel relief within 30 minutes.
Other clinicians might be less systematic and simply ask you to wait 12 to 14 hours after your last dose of an opioid before starting Suboxone.
You may need a larger dose if you do not experience significant relief from withdrawal symptoms. Your physician can guide you through the process of increasing your dose.
Your physician will tell you when to start taking this medication. In general, patients are counseled to wait a certain number of hours after taking their last opioid before starting their buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) induction.
Once you begin Suboxone treatment, you will likely follow these general steps:
It is important to wait until your last opioid dose completely metabolizes out of your body before beginning Suboxone treatment. Buprenorphine binds more strongly to opioid receptors in the brain than other opioids. It can therefore replace other opioids on the receptors in your brain too quickly and trigger withdrawal.
Precipitated withdrawal is the rapid onset of withdrawal symptoms that can occur by taking Suboxone too soon after taking other opioids. Precipitated withdrawal symptoms include pain, nausea, anxiety, goosebumps, and physical and emotional discomfort.
Precipitated withdrawal occurs in about 9% of patients taking buprenorphine inductions, almost always because the individual is impatient to relieve the withdrawal symptoms that occur when their body hasn't had opioids and they take their Suboxone too soon.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable. Work closely with your doctor and understand the instructions for starting Suboxone before your first dose. Suboxone can be a truly life saving medication for those with opioid use disorder, and when used appropriately, it can mitigate withdrawal and cravings.
Many people struggling with opioid use disorders (OUD) put off treatment because they worry that their family, friends, or boss might find out they are taking Suboxone. This shouldn’t be the reason you don’t receive the medication you need. Under the law, all your health information is private from friends, family and employers, including the fact that you are on treatment for OUD.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) restricts access to protected health information, including your name, medical conditions, and prescriptions.
Per this act, a Suboxone provider cannot give out any information about a patient or their health (that the patient is enrolled in a Suboxone program, how the patient is doing, their diagnosis, any test results, their medical records, etc.).
A provider can't break the rules of confidentiality unless one of the following occurs:
This law exists so that doctors do not ever share your medical information, including the fact that you are on Suboxone, unless you give them permission to do so.
For example, it would be illegal for your boss to call your doctor and ask if you are on Suboxone, unless you give your doctor explicit permission to share this information. Physicians are very aware of the laws of HIPAA and are usually very careful about never revealing confidential health information.
HIPAA rules also apply to telehealth visits in the same way that they do to in-person visits. . Telehealth providers must comply with federal laws and regulations that keep patients’ information confidential. Connecting with a doctor virtually doesn’t mean that the provider can tell anyone about your prescription.
At Bicycle Health, we protect the privacy of our patients’ health information per federal and state law. In particular, we protect the privacy and security of your substance use disorder per 42 U.S.C. § 290dd–2 and 42 C.F.R. Part 2, the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records (“Part 2”) in addition to HIPAA and applicable state law.
If you are interested in learning more about how Bicycle Health protects your health information, see this Notice of Privacy Practices (“Notice”) that outlines our legal duties and privacy practices.
Telehealth, or telemedicine, offers virtual healthcare through the use of digital devices, like telephones and computers. It is a safe, effective way for patients to meet with their medical providers and is often more accessible and convenient. Many services are available and effective via telehealth, including diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease, as well as behavioral health therapy.
At Bicycle Health, patients download a smartphone app to engage in video conferencing calls with their providers, and health coaches are available to help patients with setup prior to their first appointment with the medical provider, as well as any ongoing technology questions or concerns. Telehealth for addiction services allows patients to meet with their providers to check-in on their symptoms, medication management, social conditions, and more.
As telehealth becomes more popular as a safe, effective means of seeking medical care, patients and providers alike are responsible for telehealth privacy. Healthcare organizations must ensure their telehealth systems employ encrypted, password-protected videoconferencing, and this is something Bicycle Health takes seriously to best protect our patients’ privacy. Patients are also responsible for engaging in security best practices, like only using home WiFi (not public WiFi) and ensuring the security of their passwords.
Before the first video conferencing visit with your provider, patients at Bicycle Health will be educated on security best practices in order to ensure the highest level of privacy and security possible. You can read more about Bicycle Health’s Telehealth Informed Consent here.