Dr. Coleman & Dr. B Talk Naltrexone vs Suboxone: Part 3

Dr. Coleman & Dr. B Talk Naltrexone vs Suboxone: Part 3

In part 3 of Dr. Banimahd and Dr. Peter Coleman’s interview, they discuss how you can detox off opioids with naltrexone as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) versus using Suboxone.

If you missed part 2, you could read how Dr. Peter Coleman formulated The Coleman Method during the opioid crisis in the ’90s here.

Explore the recap of Dr. Peter Coleman’s YouTube video, “Dr. B interviews Dr. Coleman about the Coleman Method for Opioid Detox and Naltrexone MAThere.

Dr. Banimahd and the Coleman Institute

Dr. Banimahd
I do want to mention how I started working with Dr. Coleman.

If you didn’t know, I work in Orange County. I believe that the treatment industry here could be better.

I am in a bubble, it feels like. I don’t work with anyone else, whether it is detox programs, facilities, or doctors.

When I was first approached, it was by a business contact or associate of Dr. Colemans. They sent me a few emails or called a few times, and I just ignored them at first.

Dr. Peter Coleman
Yes, that was us trying to reach out.

Dr. Banimahd
I had just left the university, and I was turned off what I was seeing.

But then you called me, and we finally connected. You wanted to meet up, so I was like, “okay, let’s meet up.”

Your professionalism impressed me. You were so knowledgeable and had such integrity. You brought Gene and Andrew with you.

Until then, I had “blinders” on.

We’ll get into Suboxone and maintenance treatment in a minute.

I was pleased we went forward with our relationship. I was so impressed with the Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine.

Patient Selection for The Coleman Method

Dr. Banimahd
Okay, let’s talk about patient selection.

Dr. Peter Coleman

Dr. Banimahd
I have some thoughts on it, based on my own experience.

I mentioned that the Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine pushed this medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The SAMSHA, the head honcho on all of these issues, called naltrexone medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

What are your thoughts on this?

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Dr. Peter Coleman As I mentioned earlier, no one was staying clean or sober. Studies going back 40 to 50 years showed that even patients were being put on farms in the middle of Tenessee, they were struggling. They went straight to using after getting out. You could put them in jail for years, and they’re getting high the moment they get out. Addiction is so strong. In the early 90s, I worked on a program that looked at alcohol patients. They were in the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). They had a 70% average success rate. Our opioid patients had a zero percent success rate. Not one person finished the program. That is what we were up against. There’s something about the way opioids work in the brain. They just feel so good to be on. And it was impossible without a form of medication-assisted treatment.

Methadone to Treat Opioid Addiction

Dr. Peter Coleman Methadone came out in the 70s to help with this. But patients don’t like being on it and prefer not to be. So when I first started, it was methadone or nothing. Suboxone wasn’t available yet. So when I learned about medication-assisted treatment and naltrexone implants, I was like, “this is perfect.” They are nonaddictive. Patients don’t experience withdrawal. Unlike Suboxone, you don’t need to detox from that. When you are finished, there are no cravings. My only question was, how long would it last? Because I knew that taking daily tablets wouldn’t do. People would forget or not want to take them.

How Does Vivitrol Work?

Dr. Peter Coleman I have ideas on why that works. Access to a drug has a lot to do with the cravings. So when you put in Vivitrol, another form of naltrexone, it lasts longer. Dr. Banimahd Vivitrol blocks access. Dr. Peter Coleman Your brain doesn’t have access to it anymore, and you can’t even get high if you want to. And patients realize that and stop thinking about it. Let’s say you’re on a retreat for a week, and you don’t have access to cigarettes. Eventually, you’ll stop thinking about them. But once you are out of the retreat and have access again, you’ll start smoking. But Vivitrol doesn’t give you access. When people take the daily oral tablet, their brain is already thinking about getting high tomorrow. Patients tell me that it reminds them that they can get high when they open the medicine bottle. But with the implant, they’re done for two months, and the Vivitrol shot a month. People love it. We have found that the key to being sober is to keep them that way long enough that the brain goes back to “normal .” Then, they can learn to make changes in the long run. That is what real recovery is all about. Most people, unfortunately, want a shortcut. They want the problem to be done and over with. But it just doesn’t work that way.

Addiction is a Disease

Dr. Peter Coleman Most think that due to a genetic vulnerability, we have addictions. So when people start using drugs, it creates the disease of addiction, and our brain remembers. This stays with you for the rest of your life. So working on recovery is a lifelong thing. But, first, you must ensure that you’re not putting yourself in vulnerable situations. You can’t let the addiction back in. And that doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t be a doctor just by saying, “I want to be a Doctor.” You have to go to med school and study. So it’s the same thing. Dr. Banimahd Yeah.


Stay tuned for Part 4 of Dr. Peter Coleman and Dr. Banimahd’s interview on the Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine on Facebook and Twitter. Looking for the rest of the webinar series? Check out parts 1-2 and 4-6  below:

Recovery Starts With Finding The Right Detox Option For You.

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