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Dr. Kloda Discusses Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) Treatment on the Dr. Steve Show

There is a disturbing trend going on that you may have heard about. People wanting to feel more energized, more upbeat, and less stressed out from their busy lives. They start their morning with a cup of coffee and a prescription narcotic pain killer call oxycodone. Well, soon they find themselves addicted, and with a much more serious problem.

Joining me now is doctor Stuart Kloda. He is an Addiction Medicine physician here in New York City.

So let’s talk about the kind of people that you treat, people thought of as not your usual addicts.

Yes, they are a subset of people who are addicted to oxycodone. They are professionals and working people. People that are coming in for treatment while they still have intact families, jobs, and careers. So they realize that they are starting to have a problem, and they come in before things get really bad.

So when we are talking about oxycodone, we are talking about a prescription narcotic that these people are hooked on?

It is a prescription narcotic, correct, although most of the patients that I treat do not obtain the oxycodone by prescription, becuse they really want to be discrete and not be found out.

So what’s going on here, what’s at stake for these people once they start doing this? They are ruining their lives, no?

Right, so it starts to head in that direction. So initially, people that are addicted to opioids, it actually causes them to feel energized, with a mood lift, less anxiety, and a buffer against pressure. That works ok for awhile, but eventually they need higher and higher doses, and they do not get the positive benefits, they get the negative effects from it.

Alright, so they’re taking more and more doses, but it just doesn’t given them what they want. You treat some of these people with a drug called Suboxone, tell me about that.

Well, Suboxone is known as opioid agonist therapy. It’s a different type of opioid, than, say, oxycodone. It works much differently. It doesn’t cause intoxication when taken at correct dosages, and you don’t need to take an escalating dose, and the psychological benefits from it are where people return back to normal. People basically say that once they start taking it, they feel fine, not intoxicated.

So are you though substituting one opioid for another? Kind of like methadone is given to heroin addicts? Are we doing that here, is that the same thing, or no?

Well, you are substituting one opioid for another, but the question that a lot of people have is are are you substituting one addiction for another? And the answer is definitely no. With addiction, it can be defined, in part, by having the inability to stop using drugs and alcohol despite negative consequences, as well as causing dysfunction in one’s life. With Suboxone you are actually getting the opposite. You’re returning somebody ┬áback to functionality, and that is the opposite of addiction.

Okay, so then do these people get on Suboxone for a long period of time, or is it something that you’re on for just a short period of time, or does it vary from person to person?

It varies from person to person, and that’s the thing about addiction treatment, it should be individualized.

Now do you have to see a specialist for something like this, or is this something that someone like you manages? What are the restrictions on this?

Basically, the restrictions are any physicians can apply for the special license to prescribe it. When you have an area like New York City, where you have a high concentration of physicians, it’s best to go to somebody who is trained in addiction. But, Suboxone is also being prescribed by primary care physicians, and depending on where you are in the country, that might be the only physician that you are able to go and see, and that’s fine also, because it’s better then overdosing, for example.

Right, now there’s been some issues, some bad press about Suboxone. There’s problems with abuse potential and things like that. Talk to me about that and some other restrictions on this medicine.

Well, there’s an article in the New York Times that highlighted the negative aspects of Suboxone, and the problem with that article is that that’s really what it did, it highlighted all of the negative aspects, and what it seemed to ignore, or touch on just kind of briefly, that there are many many many people who have benefited from this medications. They’re not overdosing, they’re doing better in school, they’re getting higher grade point averages, they are getting promoted at work, they’re making more money. Their family relationships have improved. These are things that I see consistently in patients that I treat.

Now, who would be a candidate for this? Would you say pretty much anybody who’s got this oxycodone addiction, or any kind of opioid addiction? How do you break down who’s a candidate for the Suboxone?

Well, most people are candidates for opioid agonist therapy. You do need to decide the setting that the Suboxone is prescribed in, whether it’s a solo private doctor’s office such as what I have at Columbus Circle, and then on Wall Street in January. Or it could be at a facility where there’s closer monitoring, or even at a methadone program. Some of them are starting to dispense Suboxone as a daily dose, just like methadone, and there’s a lot of support there, and supervision.

Well, Dr. Kloda, thanks so much for shedding some light on Suboxone. Very interesting, and important for people, it’s a huge problem, prescription drug addiction. Thanks so much for coming in.

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  • He is a man who has a clear understanding of the mentality of this delicate situation. His professionalism and knowledge is unrivaled. He literally has changed my life and turned it around and I am now headed in the direction that I have always should have been headed towards. He is an expert in the field and I basically owe him for giving me my life back. He is extremely respectful and tells it how it is which is what you need with this type of treatment. I can not thank him enough.

    Anthony M

  • I can’t say enough about Dr. Kloda. I have been on Suboxone for a little under two years. I’ve always wanted to taper off, but my previous doctor did not seem interested in doing so. Instead, I think that she was just trying to keep me on it indefinitely so that she could get more office visits. I switched to Dr. Kloda, and the difference has been phenomenal. I have a very demanding and high pressure job. Dr. Kloda has been able to successfully start tapering me off, while allowing me to continue working without feeling sick. He takes his time, listens, is patient, and does not make you feel bad about yourself or judge you. I wish that I would have started Suboxone with him to begin with.

    J Greenspan

  • I feel fortunate that I found Dr. Kloda, and especially right before the holidays. He is the one that was finally able to help me stop drinking. I have been drinking my entire adult life. My drinking was getting more out of control the older that I was getting. Finally, at the age of 53yo, I have stopped drinking. It has now been one year since my last drink. Dr. Kloda prescribed baclofen for me. The baclofen actually takes away my cravings for alcohol. It even makes me feel indifferent to it. I have gone to rehab and detox a couple of times, and nothing has ever worked for any extended period of time. It is amazing that with just one presciption, along with counseling by Dr. Kloda, my life has really turned around.

    I enjoy working with Dr. Kloda. He is not formal or stuffy. I have never felt judged by him, and I think that he genuinely cares about his patients. His approach to addiction treatment is very open minded. I think that he is an unconventional guy, which I believe makes him very good at what he does.

    Mike C

  • Smart, intuitive, and actually cares about you. Highly recommended!

    Joseph B

  • I started seeing Dr. Kloda for alcohol abuse six months ago. I can only say I wish I’d started seeing him sooner. He is extraordinarily thorough in assessing a diagnosis and was able to start me on a course of action that has kept me away from alcohol from the moment I went to his office. And, for me, the process has been surprisingly easy. This will likely not be the same result for everyone, but for those it works for, my goodness, it works well. I have actually not wanted alcohol since I started the treatment.

    I’ve seen comments about cost but I can only ask you to do a cost benefit analysis. The immediate savings I’ve seen from not buying alcohol combined with the longterm savings of reclaiming my health more than make up for the cost of seeing Dr. Kloda. In addition, there are the unseen future costs – court costs, hospital bills, loss of income, etc. – that are too often part of the equation with alcohol addiction. I feel like this was an investment that provide immediate and longterm returns.

    I thank Dr. Kloda every time I see him and I do it publicly here as I am truly thankful for the help he has given me. I have my life back and I owe it to him.

    Paul N, New York NY

  • Dr. Kloda is an experienced and well versed doctor. He is very empathetic with his patients and understands their needs. He has helped me a great deal with a slow Valium taper. He constantly monitors your progress. He is available by phone anytime and a great doctor.

    Chris H, New York NY

  • Dr. Kloda has been treating me with Suboxone for the past six months. My addiction to Percocet was getting worse, and I was becoming scared. I tried 12-step AA and NA meetings, but they were definitely not for me. I was eventually referred to Dr. Kloda by a co-worker, who is also a current patient of his. He came highly recommended, and I have been delighted with my treatment. Most importantly, I have found him to be extremely competent. He is also a nice guy who seems to genuinely care about me. When he says that he is available by phone seven days per week, he really means it! I have zero complaints – praises only!

    M Pryce, New York NY

  • Ok so some of the reviews are still skeptic and yes it is not cheap. But Dr Kloda is helping my wife. Her original dr who put her on the Rx drug did not know how to fix it and another Dr who had years of experience wanted to up her dose and give her more addictive drugs. Then there was the rehab places that wanted to take her out of state without her family. So that wasn’t working for us. We had serious trust issues with every Dr that we talked to.

    With lots of internet research she found Dr Kloda. After a few conversations with him she studied the Ashton method and found she wanted to go down this road.

    We find Dr Kloda to be extremely knowledgable about this method and about the chemical interactions on the various drugs that replaced her addictive drug. She has been doing well with his help and is almost done with the addictive drugs. Each session is an analyst of her well being and if she can reduce that week. Scripts are written and med boxes are filled. Outside of the sessions Dr Kloda is always available by phone for emergencies or if we have questions big or small. Other reviewers stated he only cares about the money and the TV fame. We found Dr Kloda cares a great deal about the person. He totally understands what we both are going through and is always there for my wife and I.

    Jeffrey R, Brooklyn NY

  • As much as I tried to quit cigarette smoking on my own, I had always gone back to it. It’s a horrible habit and I know it has terrible health consequences so I finally decided to get some professional help from someone who knows how to deal with all sorts of addictions from both the medical and psychological standpoint. Dr. Kloda helped me finally kick the cigarette habit; without him, I would have still being smoking myself to death. I really liked the fact that he spends a lot of time with you during his visits; I never felt rushed.

    Helen A, New York NY

  • I do not usually write many online reviews but on occasion I find a retailer or service provider that really is exceptional or is horrible enough that I feel I need to write a review.

    The reason I am writing this particular review is because Dr. Kloda is an exceptional Doctor.

    My background as an addict is extensive , and for these reasons I feel that I have a certain level of authority when if comes to Doctors and recovery. I’ve been in recovery in one form or another on and off for almost 20 years and I have been on Suboxone for about five years, I spent most of this time in recovery directed by two other doctors that prescribe Suboxone.

    Thomas V, Fulton NY

  • I was surprised to see a two star review for Dr. Kloda, so I am writing a five star review in response. Dr. Kloda was recommended to me by another patient of his, and he has been treating me for the past two years. I have found him to be extremely competent, genuinely caring, and available for questions and concerns.

    His office charges are in line with many other physicians in Manhattan, and you definitely get your money’s worth. He does not just write prescriptions. In addition to meds, He talks to you and does addiction counseling, as well as give you general advice and support.

    Joseph B, New York NY

  • As a patient, I can attest to Dr. Kloda’s expertise and practice and excellence. He is a remarkable physician. He is attentive, supportive, and is at the cutting edge of addiction medicine. He is broad minded in his approach and treats each of his patients with understanding and concern. He is extremely thorough and appreciates differences, both physiological and psychological. I found him remarkably intuitive and he means it when he says he is available by phone–and boy sometimes you need that. I found out recently that he is sometimes called on to speak to other doctors and psychiatrists about all kinds of addictive treatments and meds, including benzo’s–which so few doctors know about. I was fortunate to find him. I highly recommend him. And no, I have no affiliation with him or his practice other than as a patient.

    Jon F, Manhattan NY