Joseph M. Ripperger, MD, Amy M. Boggs, APRN, & Associates
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What is SUBOXONE®?

SUBOXONE® Film is a narcotic medication indicated for the treatment of opioid dependence, available only by prescription, and must be taken under a doctor's care as prescribed. It is illegal to sell or give away your SUBOXONE® Film. Please go to for more information. Please click HERE if you are interested in SUBOXONE® treatment.


Why dependence needs treatment:

Opioid dependence—addiction to opioid prescription painkillers such as OxyContin®, Vicodin®, Percocet®, Actiq®,* or to heroin—can reset the brain’s chemistry to think the drug is necessary for survival. When your brain tells you that you can’t live without a drug, it can quickly lead to compulsive drug-seeking behavior.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have defined dependence on opioids—addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin—as a long-term brain disease. Because opioid dependence is a medical condition, it can be treated effectively with medication-assisted treatment combined with counseling and support. Don’t let shame or stigma get in the way of getting the help you need. People with other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma also benefit from medical treatment combined with behavioral changes.

Getting started may be easier than you think:

Next, a $330.00 payment is required before we can schedule the initial evaluation. This payment will cover your first visit with the doctor (approximately 45 minutes), and it must be paid in full before we schedule the appointment. Please keep in mind that your appointment might be scheduled 3 weeks out, but all SUBOXONE® patients are given first priority on our waiting list.

Your physician will go over the SUBOXONE® agreement during the initial appointment. Within the agreement, regular psychotherapy will be required. Therapy fees vary depending upon the therapist. You will be scheduled for regular medication management appointment to monitor your progress. Within these appointments, the doctor will assess your progress, check your medications, and review your therapy notes. These visits are $80.00-$110.00, depending on the length of the session. Random drug screens may be required. These screens are $30.00; you will be responsible for this payment at the time of the screen.

Comprehensive treatment includes:
  • Regularly scheduled appointments with your physician
  • Frequent therapy with a counselor
  • Random drug screens may be required
  • Suppressing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings
  • Learning to recognize triggers in order to minimize risk of relapse
  • Bringing balance to your life, thoughts, feelings, and behavior
  • Improving your physical health
  • Reconnecting with the important people in your life
  • Focusing on things in life that really matter
  • Adding other support services, such as the 12 step program, as needed

Why we require counseling:

Keep in mind that opioid dependence is so much more than a medical condition: your relationships, your thoughts, and your daily routines are all tied together. Staying connected with your therapist is crucial for your treatment. Counseling can help you learn to manage triggers and high-risk situations while you work to get your life back on track. That’s why, when you combine SUBOXONE® with counseling and other forms of support, you increase the likelihood that your treatment will succeed.

On your first visit with your counselor, you might begin the conversation by talking about your current situation, and how you've been feeling lately. Explain that you're concerned about your use of opioids and think you may have become dependent. Or, if you're already in treatment, talk about your decision to get treatment, your hopes for the future, and what obstacles to success you may need help with. Counseling can also help you deal with the day-to-day challenges of getting opioid dependence under control.

Your counselor will help you:
  • Understand that dependence changes your physiology, psychology, and behavior
  • Learn how to identify and avoid triggers and high-risk situations
  • Understand how to deal with emotions, thoughts, and behaviors
  • Make meaningful lifestyle changes
  • Take steps to improve relationships
  • Keep your medication-assisted treatment on track
  • Regain the ability to speak frankly and honestly 

Keys to Successful Treatment:

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, dependence treatment is typically more effective when:
  • You remain in treatment for an adequate period of time
  • Your family is involved in your treatment
  • Your progress is objectively monitored by your treatment providers, through the use of urine drug screens and check-ups
  • You and your family understand what it means that substance dependence is a "chronic illness" and not something that just goes away after a short treatment
  • You engage in counseling and other behavioral therapies—like people with diabetes or heart disease, people in treatment for drug addiction will need to change behavior to adopt a more healthful lifestyle
  • You engage in services that help you take care of multiple needs. For instance, if you have another medical or psychological condition, you receive treatment for that as well. It could also mean that you utilize services that help you with employment or housing.

What makes achieving success more difficult?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, dependence treatment is typically less effective when:
  • You use other substances
  • You end treatment too soon
  • There is other substance use in your home
  • You have family problems that aren't being addressed
  • You have other medical or psychological issues that aren't  addressed
  • Your work conflicts with treatment

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