Your questions answered!
We understand that choosing a medical provider is a very important decision, so our priority is to make sure we spend the necessary amount of time and effort thoroughly answering all your questions or concerns prior to scheduling an appointment. Here are some of our frequently asked questions that we hear often from our cliental!
Our intake specialists will talk to you with the strictest privacy and confidentiality. We will answer all your questions to the best of our ability and after you join our practice, we will continually seek your opinion of us. Again, we are working together, and this relationship is a two-way street. We don’t want fear to guide you, but instead, we want you to feel completely comfortable in expressing your questions, concerns, and most important, your complaints. Additionally, we recognize the urgency of getting help, so we work to make this entire process as simple and convenient for you as possible. Let us know if we missed anything in this” Frequently Asked Questions” page so we can be sure to provide the best on demand information possible.
Do You Accept Insurance?
This is one of our most frequently asked questions, Equinox Clinics LLC accepts most health insurance plans. We are working hard to negotiate in-network contracts with all major insurance providers, but do not guarantee In-Network Status.
We accept most insurance major carriers in the area, including:
- Oregon Health Authority (OHP)
- Willamette Valley Community
- Columbia Pacific Medicaid
- Yamhill County
- Medicaid of Oregon
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Pacific Source
- Intercommunity Health Net
We are also happy to provide services on a cash basis with office visit fees collected at the time of your visit.
Patient Responsibility Disclaimer
- You are responsible to provide current insurance information at each visit;
- You are responsible to pay co-payments and/or deductible at the time of service;
- Your out-of-pocket cost for treatment depends on your insurance, specific insurance benefits package and in-network provider status. You are responsible for any and all copayment, coinsurance and deductibles as assigned by your insurance company;
- You may be responsible to pay for any claims denied by your insurance.
If I Call You Or Make An Appointment Will Anyone Else Find Out?
Keeping your information private and confidential is central to what we do. We will not disclose your participation in our program under any circumstances, unless you specifically direct us to do so in writing. There are federal laws that work to protect information about those who seek treatment. No one at your workplace, in law enforcement, or in your family is entitled to know that you are seeking treatment. You are welcome to call us anonymously to start a conversation.
What Happens At My First Visit?
Here is another one of our most frequently asked questions, you should allow 45 minutes to an hour for your first visit. Our offices are set up just like any typical doctor’s office. We are singular in our treatment so our only focus is caring for patients struggling with substance abuse. You will check in with our staff and fill out intake forms. After you finish the forms, you will give a urine sample and then a medical assistant will take your vitals and ask you some questions about your history. At that point you are ready to see one of our providers. Your first appointment should take twenty to thirty minutes with the provider. During your appointment, your provider, with your input, will suggest the best course of treatment moving forward. The decision to proceed will always rest with you.
Do I Need To Be In Withdrawal Before I Take My First Dose Of Suboxone Or Other Buprenorphine Medication?
Patients are recommended to be in “Mild Withdrawal. If you are not experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms, you risk putting yourself into severe withdrawal when you take your first buprenorphine dose. This is called precipitated withdrawal. The amount of time you need to wait between your last opioid dose and your first buprenorphine dose is not just a function of time (hours or days), it is more a function of how long acting the last opioid you took is, and what dose you have been taking. For example, heroin and most pain pills are relatively short acting, but methadone is long acting and requires much more time to get out of your system. There is also a big difference between large and small doses; your tolerance will have a lot to do with how long you will need to wait to take your first dose of Suboxone (or other buprenorphine medication). Please be honest with your provider about your drug history so they can help you smoothly transition to buprenorphine.
How Often Do I Need To Come In For Doctor Visits?
It’s our goal to get patients to a limited monthly maintenance schedule. All patients, however, will be required to come in more frequently after their initial appointment to confirm that they are doing well. If you are stable and feeling good about your dosage, you will likely have infrequent bi-weekly or monthly visits. Some patients struggle in the beginning and we ask to see them back at shorter intervals until they stabilize. If they cannot be stabilized inside of our program’s structure, we will refer them to more intensive programs.
What About Drug Testing?
The answer to this frequently asked questions is as follows, we collect a urine sample at each visit, and if you need a drug screen between appointments, we are happy to accommodate you. Patients have lots of questions on this topic. Below are some common questions and answers:
On my initial visit, what if my urine is positive for drugs?
We expect your first urine screen will be positive for whatever substances that you are coming to address. After your initial appointment, we expect that your urine screens will be positive for buprenorphine and any other prescription medications that you are prescribed, and negative for everything else.
What if a drug test says that I am positive for something that I did not take?
We do an initial point-of-care test in our office. Even though these in-clinic tests are quality controlled to ensure accuracy, they are susceptible to false positives. That’s why, all samples are then sent to an independent laboratory for confirmation testing, using something called liquid-chromatography mass-spectrometry (LCMS). LCMS is very accurate and highly sensitive and is our gold standard for evaluating test results. Lab results are always available for you to review.
What happens if I relapse during treatment?
Here is another one of our most frequently asked questions, Relapse is part of the disease of addiction so don’t be too hard on your yourself. Patients relapse for all kinds of reasons; a death in the family, loss of employment, a move, a fight with a significant other or family member, or any other type of stressor. What is most important about a relapse is that you get back into treatment as soon as possible. The risk of overdose and death during a relapse is highest. So if you relapse call us immediately and we will help you get back into treatment with no blame or judgements.
Am I Trading One Addiction For Another?
The simple answer is no, but it requires a few definitions. Physical dependence is your body adapting to certain drugs, including some prescribed medications. Addiction is compulsive drug use despite harmful consequences—as characterized by an inability to stop using a drug; failure to meet work, social, or family obligations. Addiction is a chronic disease that requires treatment. The active ingredient in Suboxone is buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is called a “partial opioid agonist”. The partial part is what is important. Suboxone has something called a “ceiling effect”, so it won’t get you high and allows you to avoid withdrawal and cravings while at the same time allowing you to pursue a normal, functional, responsible life. Because buprenorphine produces physical dependence, if at any point, you choose to discontinue treatment, we recommend us working together to taper you down and then off of Suboxone. We provide considerable help and support with this process.
We like to think about buprenorphine as a bridge. It’s a bridge between using opioids to get high to being at a place where you are completely free of all opioids. For many struggling with opioid use, buprenorphine allows patients to get their lives back. Eventually, with the help of counseling, learning positive coping skills, patients may be ready to take the final step and completely stop use of their replacement therapy.
What Is The Difference Between Methadone And Suboxone?
Another frequently asked questions we hear is the difference between Methadone and Suboxone. Methadone was the first opioid replacement therapy to be employed in addiction treatment. The biggest difference between the two is that some patients report a “high” from their use of methadone, while Suboxone patients do not. The two share a fundamental objective, which is to move people from the dangerous addiction habits they have when they are taking opioids toward a life of independence.
Methadone and Suboxone are also prescribed differently. Methadone clinics generally require patients to report daily to take their medication. Suboxone can be prescribed so that patients can administer their doses in the privacy of their own homes.
Methadone can also be effective at higher dosages than Suboxone. For some long-term opioid users who have built up a very high tolerance, Suboxone may not be sufficient to ward off their withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Methadone, when properly prescribed, is as effective as Suboxone in treating opioid use disorder, and more effective for those whose tolerance is highly elevated.
Are All Patients A Good Fit For Equinox Clinics?
Equinox clinics are designed to provide medication assisted treatment services for patients who are independent and can be responsible for their own day-to-day living. Equinox is not designed to support patients with severe mental illnesses that co-occur with their substance use disorder. We have an excellent referral network and we will do our best to redirect such patients to facilities that are better able to address their illness.
In addition to these frequently asked questions, it’s important to note that our Equinox clinics are set up to move patients to maintenance visits with our providers as quickly as possible. We understand that you have other responsibilities in life (work, school, family, etc). Our patients appreciate the independence that provides. People at different points of recovery may require different levels of support. If you have any concerns that you may not be able to stick to our program on your own, please let us know and we will make every effort to to sort through the challenges together. If you elect to discontinue treatment with us, we will work to refer you to a more intensive treatment program.
Our Equinox clinics providers are always on the lookout for signs that our program may not be working and will address this with you if you are struggling with our program. There should be no shame in this. Our mission is to help, regardless of what stage of recovery a person find themselves. If that means helping someone find an alternative to our treatment program, we will do so.
What Do I Do If I Need Help Between Visits?
We have a phone answering service that is available 24 hours a day (541-790-2446) and we are also available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please never hesitate to call or email us. We try to be proactive and check in with all of our patients within a day or two of their first appointments to make sure that they are doing ok, but please don’t wait if you are experiencing discomfort or have questions. If you are having a health emergency, please call 911 immediately and then contact us so that we can provide needed support.
You should also make sure that you develop a relationship with a mental health or an addictions counselor. If you are not satisfied with your current counselor, please let us know and we will work to find you a better fit. Your counselor will be able to provide additional support at times of stress or concern.
Each of the medications can have slightly different side effects, so please visit the websites for whichever medicine you are prescribed. For Suboxone, the side effects are typically mild, but can be exacerbated by combining your use of Suboxone with other substances. Your Equinox clinics provider is available to answer any questions that you might have.
How Can I Carry My Medication With Me?
Ideally, our patients leave their medication at home in a secure (preferably locked) place. If you have to take your medication with you, please take the fewest tablets or films that you can. Always bring the original box or bottle with your printed prescription and leave the remaining medication at home. Suboxone and other buprenorphine products are Schedule III controlled substances and law enforcement works hard to control the illegal diversion (selling, sharing, exchanging) of prescription medications. As long as you have your printed prescription, there should never be a problem.
What Is Suboxone®?
Suboxone comes in either a pill or film format. Both are dissolvable under the tongue. Suboxone is a prescribed medication to treat opioid addiction. It is designed to help patients by minimizing opiate withdrawal symptoms. Formulated with a unique Buprenorphine Naloxone blend, Suboxone treatment acts as a bridge between addiction and sobriety. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, acting to appease the body’s withdrawal needs, while the Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which gives patients balance and clarity of mind during the recovery process. Suboxone can only be prescribed through uniquely licensed medical providers. Naltrexone (Vivitrol) is an opioid blocker, which is also an option to treat substance use disorders.