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Suboxone Is Used to Help with Opiate Addiction
Addiction to opioid painkillers is a problem of epidemic proportions in the USA. While there are half a million heroin addicts in the United States, there are more than two million people who are addicted to the likes of Codeine, Fentanyl, OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet.
The usual path to this addiction starts with a prescription for pain after surgery, for arthritis, or for something as normal as chronic back pain. The problem is that besides relieving pain, opioid painkillers also create a sensation of euphoria and power. And, for some people, that sensation is very strong and something that they will go to great lengths to experience again and again. With time, the reason for seeking out and taking opioid painkillers is simply to feed the addiction. The body gets used to the drug and it requires larger amounts for the person to experience the “high.” This is called tolerance. Then the drug addict visits several doctors to maintain their supply to treat their addiction. There is hope for prescription opioid drug addicts. There are drug rehab programs and there is a medication called Suboxone that eases drug withdrawal and helps protect against relapse as the person undergoes drug rehab. How does this medication work and does United Health Care cover Suboxone?
The key to this dilemma lies with endorphins. These are the neurotransmitters in the brain that are turned on by opioids. When this happens the sense of pain is reduced and the person feels strong and happy. This is the short term effect that addicted persons seek again and again. Suboxone is an opioid painkiller too. But, Suboxone does not produce the sense of euphoria and well-being that other drugs do. So, when a person takes Suboxone, it occupies the brain receptors for endorphins. This makes opioid withdrawal safer and less difficult. And, when a person enters treatment for drug addiction Suboxone can be used to ease the cravings that could lead to relapse. Commonly, Suboxone is taken for a year in steadily decreasing amounts.
Suboxone is not taken alone to treat opioid addiction. It is used as a part of an integrated twelve step drug rehab program.
Will United Health Care Pay for Suboxone Treatment?
And, does United Health Care cover Suboxone? All health insurance plans including United Health Care provide coverage for Suboxone provided that an affiliated health care professional prescribes it. Then the issue with payment is deductibles and copays. If you have a top of the line and expensive insurance policy with United Health Care you will probably have both treatment and Suboxone prescriptions covered totally. For lower priced plans there is typically a deductible. This means that you pay all health care costs, including medications, up to a certain amount and then your insurance kicks in. even then, it is common these days for insurers to require a co-payment out of pocket for each time you refill the prescription. And, because people who are taking Suboxone are prone to addiction, the prescribing doctor will taper off the medication over about a year.