Suboxone was designed with the goal of controlling a patient’s withdrawal and then tapering them down until they no longer need Suboxone because their withdrawal is over. Until the brain is totally recovered from the neuroadaptation that is a normal brain response to ongoing opiate intake beyond several weeks or months, withdrawal symptoms will persist unless an individual is taking sufficient amounts of Suboxone using the proper techniques to fool the brain into physiologically perceiving that withdrawal is over. When their brain has totally recovered/healed from the opiate-induced physiologic changes, Suboxone is no longer needed because the withdrawal process is over.
Since Dr. Russ developed his latest Suboxone protocol in October, 2011, 100% of his patients who have totally complied with the protocol by taking the proper amount of Suboxone until their brains are totally healed, have either gotten off of Suboxone with little to no difficulty.
Said another way, patients need to be treated with Suboxone until their withdrawal is totally over, a process that can easily take more than a year for heavy long-term opiate users (more than 300 milligrams of oxycodone per day). Light users of opiates, (60-300 milligrams of oxycodone per day) typically take 3-6 months of proper Suboxone treatment before their withdrawal ceases and they can stop taking Suboxone. People who have taken 10-60 milligrams of oxycodone typically can be tapered off of Suboxone in weeks to 1-2 months.
What is even more impressive than our ability to get virtually anyone off of Suboxone if they comply with our protocol, is that 100% of the patients (with whom we ongoing have contact) who have stopped taking Suboxone by following the protocol are still sober and claim that they have no craving for opiates. This group includes post-treatment sobriety durations that range up to 27 months (the time since the implementation of the most recent protocol), which greatly exceeds the national sobriety rate of 24.3% at 6 months.
Sadly, most Suboxone providers are not successful at getting their patients off of Suboxone. Consequently, they end up keeping their patients on Suboxone, in essence creating a Suboxone maintenance program, or terminate them prematurely (before their withdrawal has completely stopped, which essentially guarantees an opiate relapse because they succumb to the craving component of their ongoing long-term withdrawal state.