Raked Sand represents the order Denali brings to the chaos of addiction with Suboxone

The Raked Sand of a Zen Garden represents the Denali Philosophy of bringing order to the chaos of addiction.

Methadone vs Suboxone for Narcotic Addiction Treatment

Denali Healthcare uses suboxone for narcotic addiction treatment.  We are frequently asked how this is different from Methadone replacement and why do we use Suboxone.

pill bottle

How does drug addiction start?

How Did I Develop Drug Addiction– Denali Healthcare Drug Addiction By Nora Volkow, M.D., Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse What Is Addiction? It all comes down to physiology rather than character.

You can download and print the intake form by clicking the button below. Please print and fill out prior to coming to your appointment.

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Understanding The Science

The physical affects of narcotics are related to the pharmacology of the drug.  Opiate receptors exist in the body, like light sockets waiting for a bulb.  When we fill a certain percentage of the available sockets with a narcotic, we get an effect- pain relief, euphoria and altered levels of awareness.

If, for the sake of argument, the average person had 100 receptors, and we gave them some Vicodin and filled 80 of them, we get an effect (obviously these numbers are made up, but the concept is what is important to understand).

The problem is that, over time, if we continue to take the Vicodin, we end up with more receptors.

Suboxone blocking narcotics

narcotic receptors

Say after 2 months instead of 100 receptors, we now have 150.  In order to get the same effect as we had when we took enough Vicodin to fill 80 of them to start with, now we have to take enough to fill 120.  Over time, the number of receptors continue to climb.  After 4 months, perhaps we have 300, and now to get the same effect as we originally had we have to take enough Vicodin to fill 240 of the 300 receptors.  Graphing it shows not a straight line, but a rapidly rising curve.

That is the first problem, we develop tolerance to the Vicodin, and must take more and more to overcome that tolerance and get the effect we desire, be it pain relief or euphoria.  The second problem is that the amount of Vicodin we can physically tolerate taking is unchanging, and eventually we can no longer tolerate the amount of narcotic we need to take to keep up with our increasing tolerance.

Not only does this mean we have unanswered pain, but the empty receptors that remain are screaming to be filled.  These are commonly called ‘cravings’.  So we continue to take the high doses of the narcotic not to deaden the pain or feel mellow, but to quiet the receptors and prevent ourselves from going into withdrawal.  We are trapped and can’t get away without going into withdrawal.

suboxone therapy

Suboxone Therapy is very effective

Is Suboxone a Narcotic? – Denali Health Care Michigan Is Suboxone a Narcotic? Yes it is, but it is a special kind of narcotic and is ideally suited for narcotic addiction therapy. Call 989-339-4464 for help!

Strategies To Break Dependency

The basic picture is now clear, this is what happens with narcotic dependency.  We now turn to strategies to break the dependency.

  1. Cold Turkey

    The first is cold turkey.  We simply stop taking narcotics- more and more receptors empty out and the screams of the empty sockets get louder and louder, we get sicker and sicker and in sort order we fail.  Our bodies, with pain, nausea, anxiety and uncontrolled bowels force us to start taking the narcotics again.

  2. Replacement Therapy (Methadone)

    Strategy number two is to simply start taking a narcotic (methadone) again, fill the receptors and accomplish nothing.

  3. Decreasing Dosage (Suboxone)

    The third way is to take a narcotic, and fill 50% of the receptors. We deal with a little sweating and maybe a little nausea until the number of receptors drifts back down over time until that same dose fills perhaps 75% of the ones that are left. Then we cut back to filling 50% of those and repeat the process.

Suboxone Therapy Works

Suboxone occupies the receptors but doesn’t do much for pain or euphoria.  It allows us to concentrate on getting the total number of receptors down to normal over a period of a few months or a year.  We concentrate on withdrawing a little at a time, no more than we can tolerate, and we don’t get a ‘reward’ for taking the drug- other than we are not punished for NOT taking it.

The number of receptors took months to build up to the level we became tolerant and it will take months for them to drift back to normal.  But the key to the program is to always move forward, one step, one reduction in dose at a time.
Denali Healthcare provides marijuana friendly suboxone therapy to help with withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone therapy is designed to help those currently on narcotics, both prescription and ‘non-prescription’, who wish to end their dependency on them while minimizing the symptoms of withdrawal and detox. We have had great results, and this is a proven method of addiction therapy. We provide a viable alternative to a methadone clinic and suboxone is the only form of medical addiction therapy North of Gaylord.

We Are Not Offering Suboxone Therapy at This Time.

The Cost of Suboxone Therapy

Addiction Therapy accomplished by frequent contact with our clinical staff, and you can expect a change in your dosages (generally a reduction) nearly every office visit. This is an expensive program, the initial visit is $400 which includes your initial evaluation, follow up visits are $125 and we do random drug screens at an additional cost of $60. We do not keep people on long term suboxone therapy. You are on suboxone to get off all narcotics, including suboxone. Denali Healthcare does not accept insurance and insurance may or may not cover the cost of the medication.

Patients need to arrange substance abuse counseling PRIOR to their first visit with our nurse – you MUST be in counseling to participate in the program by law. Contact our office for help in finding a counselor if you do not have one.


Download and Print Suboxone Intake Form

You can download and print the intake form by clicking the button below. Please print and fill out prior to coming to your appointment.


Want to Learn More?

Help with Addiction

There is help for those struggling with addiction

Methadone vs Suboxone Narcotic Addiction Therapy – Denali Healthcare Denali Healthcare uses Suboxone narcotic addiction therapy, how does this differ from Methadone treatment? How does Suboxone work?
heroin bottle

Narcotics were once over the counter

The History of Narcotic Use- Denali Healthcare Michigan Narcotic use dates back to antiquity with natural and synthetic preparations of opium. Raw poppy leaves, smoked opium and injectable morphine are examples.
helping hands

We are here to help you

Success with Buprenorphine- Denali Healthcare Buprenorphine (suboxone) has achieved remarkable success with narcotic addiction. Senators Levin and Hatch discuss legislation to raise treatment levels.
prescription drugs

Prescription drugs are a leading cause of accidental death

Prescription Drug Abuse Leading Cause of Death – Denali Healthcare Prescription Drug Abuse to be Leading Cause of Accidental Death in 2014- Denali Healthcare Pain Management

Need Help Paying for Your Prescriptions?

Print Discount Cards for Suboxone     Suboxone ‘Here to Help’ Program

For More Information:

suboxone therapy

What’s new with Denali Suboxone Therapy?

What’s New with the Suboxone Program at Denali Healthcare Denali Healthcare Suboxone Program is very successful in treating those with narcotic addiction. We are not currently offering suboxone therapy.  This information is presented to help potential patients understand the science and how a well run program is structured.