Medically Reviewed

How is Suboxone Regulated in Tennessee?

- 4 sections

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Addiction affects millions of people each year. In fact, the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health reported that 19.7 million Americans battled a substance use disorder in 2017. Unfortunately, the citizens of Tenessee are no exception to the evergrowing substance abuse epidemic. While Tennessee is known for beautiful mountain scenery, fantastic southern cuisine, and their booming music industry, this state is not immune to the effects of addiction and alcoholism. According to Tennessee state government data, there were 16,363 nonfatal overdose reports in 2018 with 1,304 fatal overdoses being reported. As a result, drug rehabs in Tennessee have been refining their treatment plans in order to create the best possible outcome for their patients.

Like many areas of the country, Tennessee has experienced a rise in overdose deaths related to opioid use, such as heroin, fentanyl, and prescription pain killers. As a result, addiction treatment centers in Tennessee are offering Suboxone treatment for those suffering from addiction to opioids or alcohol. Suboxone is an FDA approved medication used to prevent withdrawal symptoms for patients suffering from a substance use disorder. Withdrawal symptoms are known as being a factor in causing relapses during early addiction recovery. While this medication has faced controversy, it’s withdrawal reducing-qualities have been clinically proven to increase patient success rates.

Suboxone Treatment in Tennessee

Addiction and alcoholism treatment centers in Tennessee have started utilizing Suboxone treatments in combination with traditional addiction therapies. Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is a medication used to treat opioid dependence. While this medication is a controlled substance, dependency only occurs when this drug is misused. ( To explain, the drug can cause physical dependence or addiction, however, this medication is only administered by trained and licensed medical professionals. In other words, addiction specialists at Suboxone clinics in Tennessee monitor their patients closely in order to ensure safety and recovery progress.

Uses of Suboxone in Tennessee

The FDA has approved Suboxone to be used for the treatment of certain conditions. While the medication may be used for off-label reasons, the following conditions covered are typically treated with Suboxone in Tennessee.

Suboxone is approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid dependency in Tennessee. In fact,  the American Society of Addiction Medicine recommends the use of Suboxone in opioid addiction centers. Suboxone helps to treat opioid dependence by reducing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms that occur once opioid use is stopped. As a result, Suboxone clinic patients in Tennessee are able to fully focus on their recovery.

Oftentimes, Suboxone is used in addiction treatment centers in Tennessee as a part of a detoxification program in order to reduce opioid or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. While this is technically an off-label use, this is the most common form of Suboxone treatment in Tennessee. Detoxification programs are typically short-term, inpatient treatment programs specializing in weaning patients off of drugs, such as opioids or alcohol.

Suboxone Regulations in Tennessee

In order to protect the safety of patients, Suboxone clinics in Tennessee must follow specific guidelines and regulations. Precautions are taken in order to ensure safety, such as consulting with a doctor about taking additional medications, ensuring sobriety from drugs or alcohol, and monitoring any liver-related health conditions. Additionally, before an individual can begin treatment, the medical professional must determine eligibility for Suboxone treatment.

Ideal Suboxone treatment candidates in Tennessee must:

  • Have been diagnosed with an opioid or alcohol dependency
  • Display willingness to follow safety precautions for treatment
  • Be cleared from any health conflicts with using buprenorphine
  • Review other treatment options before agreeing to Suboxone treatment

Unlike methadone treatment, which is only prescribed in a structured clinic, Suboxone can be prescribed and dispensed in physician offices. In other words, patients have the option to take Suboxone in the comfort of their own homes rather than attending an inpatient program. However, there are strict rules on dosages and refills of this medication when used on an outpatient basis in order to prevent misuse. Suboxone is prescribed in Tenessee depending on the frequency of doctor visits and multiple refills are not permitted during early treatment.

Suboxone is used as a tapering medication. In other words, the dosage will gradually decrease based on the patient’s progress. Additionally, once a patient has reached a stable dosage and does not indicate illicit drug use, follow-up visits may become less frequent. For example, patients may be reduced to a monthly follow-up plan rather than attending weekly visits. However, this is only done when patients achieve progress towards their treatment objectives.

Continuation or modification of Suboxone treatment in Tennessee should be based on the physician’s evaluation of treatment outcomes and objectives, such as:

  • Absence of medication toxicity
  • Absence of medical or behavioral adverse effects
  • Responsible handling of medication by the patient
  • Patient compliance with all treatment plan aspects such as recovery-oriented activities, psychotherapy, or psychosocial modalities
  • Abstinence from illicit drug use or alcohol consumption

If treatment goals are not being achieved during Suboxone treatment in Tennessee, the medical professional should re-evaluate the appropriateness of continuing this form of treatment. When a patient is going to end their Suboxone treatment, they will be tapered off of the medication in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms and ensure patient safety.

Attending a Suboxone Clinic in Tennessee

If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid or alcohol dependency, you may be eligible for Suboxone treatment in Tennessee. Suboxone has been known to control the withdrawal symptoms in regard to detoxing off of opioids or alcohol, allowing patients to fully focus on their recovery. Additionally, Suboxone clinics in Tennessee require patients to undergo additional addiction treatment modalities; including psychotherapy, recovery-based activities, and additional support methods. When these addiction treatment methods are used in combination, patient success rates increase substantially. If you would like to begin a new way of life and achieve long-term sobriety, contact PAX Memphis for more information on Suboxone treatment in Tennessee.