Why So Few Suboxone Doctors?

Some parts of the country report a shortage of physicians who are DATA-2000 certified, i.e. able to prescribe Suboxone and other buprenorphine products. The shortage of buprenorphine-certified doctors parallels shortages of mental health practitioners in general, including psychiatrists and addictionologists. Larger cities and areas near the east and west coasts are less likely to have shortages of doctors than are smaller and more-rural parts of the country, particularly across the Midwest.

The shortage of Suboxone doctors is caused by a number of factors.  All doctors train in medical schools, which are primarily located in larger cities.  So by the end of training. most doctors have spent several years living in larger cities, establishing friends and business partners and sending their children to area school districts.  As with members of any profession, doctors are more likely to choose positions in areas they know than to move to unknown areas, unless the area holds special attractions like morning sunrises over the ocean or mountain views.  Even doctors who grew up in rural areas find it hard to move back, after living in more urban areas during the 12 years of college, medical school, and residency.

 

How to Use This Site

If you are searching for a doctor certified to prescribe buprenorphine, click on the third selection in the menu above– or simply click here, for ‘Doctor Directories.’  You will be taken to a page that lists a number of buprenorphine-certified doctor databases with comments about each database.  People are encouraged to list any database not mentioned here in the ‘comments’ section (as one reader has already done).

Again, the information is at Suboxone Doctor Locators

The menu contains links to several other resources.   Bupetube, for example, is a collection of YouTube videos about addiction and the use of buprenorphine to treat opioid dependence.  The link ‘Google-Results’ is a destination page for searches related to Suboxone .   To use the search on web sites about buprenorphine, opioid dependence, or addiction, simply enter your search term in the box at the right of the header labeled ‘Google Custom Search’ and click on ‘Search’.  If you leave the page that contains your search results, you can return to it by clicking on the link to ‘Google Results.’

 

How Long Should I Take Suboxone?

The length of time a person stays on Suboxone, i.e. buprenorphine treatment, has become a needlessly-heated issue.  Readers of my blog, SuboxoneTalkZone, likely know my opinions on the topic.

I recently met with the parents of one of my buprenorphine patients who were frustrated over their son’s ‘lack of progress.’  They complained that he has been on Suboxone for three years, and wondered when I would finally get him off the medication.  They pointed out how sick he gets when he forgets to have the medication refilled, saying that he is just as ‘dependent’ as he was when he was taking heroin.

I am glad, at such times, that I don’t have to search my conscience to determine whether my treatment plan has a financial incentive.  In short, it doesn’t.  If anything, my financial incentive would be to get everyone off buprenorphine as quickly as possible.  I have a long waiting list of people who are hoping for a spot in treatment.  And since new patients usually need a higher level of care, bringing in new patients results in more ‘business.’  Because of the 100-patient cap, the portion of my practice taken up by people on Suboxone has become a small, relatively-stable group of patients.