80% of people will relapse within a month if they are not in active treatment (counseling and medication).
Painfree Addiction Treatment is an outpatient based service Dr. Lynch provides that combines therapy with the medication buprenorphine, usually in the form of Suboxone, to enable the patient to abandon their dependency on opiates, without suffering through the horrible and intolerable withdrawal symptoms that have prevented them from from ‘just quitting’ before, while confronting the causal situations, modes of thinking/reacting, and triggers.
The traditional inpatient detox or ‘cold turkey’ approach that opiate addicts endure does not address the biochemical basis for addiction.
One of the reasons patients so often cannot alone overcome their addiction, and continue to be addicted to opiates is because their initial triggers, or interests, that created their desire to medicate are compounded by post-addiction changes in their brain chemistry, where their brain reduces the overall level of dopamine it produces in reaction to the dopamine receptors being stimulated externally for so long. The buprenorphine in suboxone is a partial opiate agonist that fills most of the receptors in the patients brain that were previously filled by their opiate of choice (whether that be hydrocodone: e.g. Vicodin, Lortab, or Norco; oxycodone: e.g. Percocet; morpheine or heroin). This reduces the biochemical craving for the opiate.
Second, Suboxone allows for discontinuing opiate use by removing the biggest objection or that the patient has for stopping - their experiencing pain. The withdrawal from opiates is horrible and intolerable. It involves nausea, anxiety, depression and diarrhoea; and, is an effective obstacle to the patient discontinuing use. After long-term opiate use, the patient cannot discontinue opiate use and ‘feel normal.’ Patients who were initiated into opiate use because of the need to mitigate experiencing pain due to a physical trauma experience hyperalgesia, where the patient experiences an intensified reaction to their injury. After discontinuing opiate use the patients limbs feel heavy, their body feels tired and they are unable to conduct themselves
Normally as their threshhold is now such that without some kind of medication the patient feels they cannot function normally. The buprenorphine in Suboxone mitigates this feeling providing a painkiller effect without altering the patient’s consciousness and the patient can now deal with the emotional or rational interests that perpetuated their opiate use.
Third, the Suboxone serves to negatively reinforce opiate abuse by discouraging relapse. The naloxone contained in Suboxone is an opiate antagonist that strips opiates from the patient’s brain. Suboxone has a long half-life and stays in the patient’s system for a very long time. Should the patient taking Suboxone to facilitate their transition off opiates attempt to abuse the buprenorphine or reintroduce opiates into their system, they risk precipitated withdrawl, the pain of which they reliably avoid.
The above elements combine to create an environment in which the therapy Dr. Lynch employs can be most effective. The addiction treatment that Dr. Lynch provides is assisted by medication but based upon therapy - and in this environment can be effective as a collaborative dialog between the Dr. and patient to address the interests the patient was looking to serve by medicating with opiates.
Dr. Lynch’s medication assisted outpatient opiate addiction recovery therapy is an effective and convenient alternative to inpatient rehab / rehabilitation. Located conveniently in the city of Chicago, patients normally visit Dr. Lynch three (3) days in a row for about an hour and a half, during which time they benefit from medically supervised withdrawal during Suboxone induction. After their initial 3-day treatment, patients visit Dr. Lynch for not only medication management, but also emotional medecine - therapy directed toward facilitating the patient’s ability to ‘deal with being sober.’