Suboxone or Probation clients can be added income for your practice but they can also be a problem if you don’t take some simple steps. Setting up a behavioral contract for Suboxone or Probation clients as part of your intake can stop some of these problems before they happen. Learn how to write a behavioral contract to keep your Suboxone or Probation clients on track.
I worked with addiction clients for years and was aware of the problems that could occur. But I had never worked with Suboxone clients before. They present new problems that you may not be aware of if you worked in methadone before. Unless, you work directly with their Suboxone doctor, they can try to avoid therapy while still getting what they need to keep getting their medication.
Clients in Suboxone treatment are generally required to have therapy related to their addiction twice a month. But insurances only require a letter verifying therapy every 3 to 6 months. It seems like even a simple letter stating they had therapy on a certain date or did an intake is sometimes enough to get them authorized for another 6 months of medication. Obviously, there are a few who take advantage of this loophole and only go to a therapist once every authorization period to get a letter and then don’t go back until they need another authorization. Some will go to a new therapist each time to avoid facing actual therapy. These are often the people who need therapy the most.
As anyone who has worked with probation clients knows, sometimes the probation officer is active and sometimes they aren’t. I’m sure they get overwhelmed with their caseload. I haven’t had any problems with probation clients but I could see the same thing happening as with Suboxone clients so I included them in the behavioral plan.
Due to problems with Suboxone and Probation clients who may not show, show up late for appointments or cancel without 24 hours notice, I added this form to my intake. I feel that being up front about what the counselor expects of clients will reduce any problems before they start.
Download a template for a Behavioral Contract specific to Suboxone or Probation clients:Download