Radecki stated that approximately 95% of their patients became addicted to opiates from doctors who prescribed them too frequently for a pain problem. Suboxone is a drug that stimulates opiate receptors to prevent symptoms of withdrawal but not enough stimulation to cause a high. However, suboxone treatment requires two to three years.
Patients come to the clinic every two weeks. The frequency of visits are then decreased to just once a month when the condition of the patient is more stable. To monitor for drug abuse, the 200 patients that are seen at the Dubois clinic go through drug tests every visit. They are not allowed to use marijuana as well.
The Dubois clinic dispenses suboxone and subutex, a cheaper version of suboxone. Patients taking suboxone pay $500 a month and those on subutex pay $150. Radecki stated that they accept most private insurances but the clinic does not accept Medicaid.
Radecki currently has several clinics in the area, including Clarion, Kane and Seneca. He is currently treating 920 patients at these four sites. He happily reported that in the three and a half years that he was treating patients, those who successfully completed the program never relapsed. Heidi Gregg, a family nurse practitioner at the clinic, said that patients are living productive lives and staying out of trouble.