Addiction Treatment Specialist


Integrative Medicine Doctor & Addiction Treatment Specialist located in San Francisco, CA & Marin County, Mill Valley, CA

Addiction Treatment Specialist 360-MD offers comprehensive and caring outpatient alcohol and drug treatment services to San Francisco and the community of Mill Valley, California and the surrounding areas. We provide effective medication and non-medication treatments for opiate addiction, including Suboxone (buprenorphine), Vivitrol (naltrexone), Probuphine (buprenorphine implant) and Sublocade (buprenorphine injection).

Addiction Treatment Q & A

Are opiates really addicting? 

For many Americans, opiate addiction begins with legitimate, prescribed medication to treat chronic pain. However, with regular use over time, pain medications change the function of the nerve cells in the brain. Eventually, this leads to developing a tolerance and needing an increasing amount of the drug to maintain the same results or to avoid withdrawal symptoms. 

Withdrawal symptoms occur when the body is deprived of a substance it has come to rely on. Withdrawal symptoms typically include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Cramps 
  • Joint pain 
  • Tremors 
  • Chills and sweats 
  • Anxiety, depression, and insomnia 

In some cases, patients not able secure sufficient prescription drugs to manage their pain and avoid withdrawal symptoms, may turn to heroin use. 

What Kinds of Patients Are Suitable for 360-MD’s Addiction Program? 

We see patients in both our San Francisco and Mill Valley offices for outpatient drug and alcohol medical treatment. We specialize in treating young adults to seniors who want to stop using heroin and alcohol as well as others who have gotten hooked on pain medications like oxycodone, Vicodin or Norco to treat chronic pain. Many patients come in after they have tried unsuccessfully to detox on their own and others come in after discharge from rehab for continued care. Either way, we can help and we are glad you are here.

In addition, 360-MD developed Recovery Superstar, an online education and support program for high functioning and motivated people who want to overcome their addiction for good in a private online group setting. Sign up here to be first to know about the next class. 

How Does 360-MD Approach Addiction Treatment? 

We provide safe, effective and non-judgmental medical treatment for your alcohol and drug problems. We specialize in using the latest treatments, based on research in neuroscience, to help your brain heal and recover from alcohol or drug use. 

The doctors at 360-MD use FDA-approved medication treatments including, Suboxone® and Buprenorphine to help patients with addiction. These medications help mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal, curbing the physical addiction while learning to manage and control the psychological aspects of addiction.

We are the only practice in Northern California that offers Probuphine®, which is the new buprenorphine implant which provides 6 months of medication treatment. We also offer Sublocade®, just released in March 2018, which is a once a month injection of buprenorphine (the main ingredient in Suboxone®). Other patients may be benefit from Vivitrol® (naltrexone), an opiate blocker which can be given as a monthly injection. 

If needed, we can also prescribe other medications for depression, anxiety or insomnia. 

How Does Buprenorphine help you get off opiates? 

The simplest explanation of how buprenorphine works is that it helps reduce opiate use by reducing the cravings for opiates. Buprenorphine reduces cravings by occupying the same opiate receptors in the brain in which other chemical opiates attach. In fact, buprenorphine actually binds longer and stronger than other opiates, like oxycodone or heroin, which helps people stabilize, reduce drug consumption and overcome addiction. 

After a few days of being on the medication, the vast majority of patients feel “normal,” with little to no cravings and can drive, go to work, take care of their kids and move on with their lives. 

How Does the Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program Work? 

There are three phases to Suboxone or Buprenorphine treatment. 

Stabilization phase:

In your first visit, the doctor will review your history and help you decide the right next step for treatment. Treatment options include: buprenorphine (Suboxone), naltrexone (Vivitrol), buprenorphine implant, or injection, other medications to assist with tapering and withdrawal symptoms, and non-medication approaches.

If you are being prescribed buprenorphine (Suboxone), you will leave your first appointment with a prescription to fill at a local pharmacy and detailed instructions on home induction and stabilization. You are closely monitored after your first visit and have follow-up appointments at least every week until you have stabilized and are ready to enter the maintenance phase of treatment. These appointments allow the doctor to monitor your well-being and adjust your dose if necessary.

Maintenance phase:

The maintenance phase is the longest part of your physician-supervised recovery program. This phase begins when your medication dosage is stabilized. During the maintenance phase, you begin to feel normal, both physically and emotionally. Your visits become less frequent during this phase and you spend more time dealing with the psychological aspects of your addiction. Then as you recover from all aspects of your addiction, you finally enter the tapering phase.

Tapering phase:

During this phase, you slowly reduce your dose of Suboxone or Buprenorphine with an end goal of being free from reliance on all drugs. This part of the process can take anywhere from 8-24 months and the tapering of your prescription is tailored to meet your needs. Once you have tapered off your prescription and are doing well, you are officially discharged.

How Do I Get Started for Addiction Treatment? 

To access care, call our office at 415-642-0333 to make an appointment.

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