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Do I have to be in withdrawal before starting Suboxone?

The first phase of treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is the induction and stabilization phase. It’s important that patients have mild-to-moderate withdrawal symptoms prior to induction… otherwise, buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone)—a partial opioid—will remove full opioids (e.g. heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, methadone) from receptors in the brain, resulting in precipitated withdrawal (unpleasant and dangerous). 

At Bicycle Health, our providers and health coaches will work with you to determine how long it will take to reach mild-to-moderate withdrawal, as well as provide robust psychosocial and physical supports throughout the induction and stabilization phase.

Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Dr. Rollston is a Family Medicine Physician at Cambridge Health Alliance, Affiliate Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Primary Care Blog, and Founder of Doctors For A Healthy US, LLC. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine and her Master of Public Health from The George Washington University. Her professional interests focus on social influencers of health & health disparities, addiction medicine, sexual & reproductive health, homelessness & supportive housing, and rural health.

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