Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)

Medication-Assisted Treatment

North Shore Community Health’s Office-Based Opioid Treatment Program strives to improve and safeguard the lives of our patients who suffer from opioid use disorder through compassionate, integrated primary care. The OBOT program uses Suboxone (buprenorphine/ naloxone) and Subutex * for pregnant women. Services provided will include education for disease and overdose prevention, Narcan (naloxone) training and comprehensive behavioral health services.

What is Suboxone (buprenorphine/ naloxone)?

It is a medication which includes buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist and naloxone, an opioid antagonist (blocker).

So how does this work?

The buprenorphine has a strong attraction to the receptors in the brain. It attaches itself causing a chemical reaction which helps to prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Will I feel “high” from the buprenorphine/naloxone?

No. It is only a partial agonist which differs from the full agonist opioids such as heroin, oxycodone, methadone, etc.

The graphic below gives a visualization of how buprenorphine works in the brain.

The green represents opioids (heroin, oxycodone, methadone, etc.) The purple represents the receptor site. The orange is the buprenorphine. The buprenorphine, which has a stronger attraction to the receptor site, binds itself which prevents other opioids from attaching to it.


How do I get started on Suboxone?

You must be a patient at North Shore Community Health. If you’d like to be a patient, please contact our call center: (978)744-8388. After you schedule your first visit your provider will perform an exam, order lab work, and send a referral to the OBOT RN Case Manager. You will then be contacted by the RN to schedule an appointment to discuss the program and sign the treatment agreement. If you are eligible, an RN Case Manager will schedule you with a doctor who will start you on buprenorphine/naloxone.

Important information: You cannot drink alcohol, take benzodiazepines, ADHD meds, nor Gabapentin. No illicit drugs can be used once you start on your medication. Behavioral Health is required and is an important aspect to your recovery. We can assist with scheduling you with our in-house therapist or  psychiatrist.