"Suboxone is different," Wood explains.
The two drugs it's made of - Buprenorphine and Naloxone - balance each other out in such a way that it's impossible to overdose on, nor does it provide the euphoric high that methadone can, he says.
Abuse of methadone
"If any specialist, I don't care who they are, tells you methadone doesn't provide euphoria, then they haven't talked to enough addicts," says Wood.
"Bottom line is that people who are getting treated by (methadone) want more and more. You're treated daily, and there's a steady rate of the drug in your body, so you always want a higher dose to keep yourself where you need to be to feel healthy."
This has led to methadone being abused and sold on the street so that it is possible for someone to get their hands on enough to overdose and die.
But Suboxone, Wood explains, will not be snorted, shot up or abused.
"It's a tablet that dissolves under their tongue, over about 10 minutes, going straight into the blood system as if they've injected it," Wood says.
One of the components of Suboxone immediately puts the addict into withdrawal, and the other chemically treats those withdrawal symptoms until they eventually disappear.
"If it is used inappropriately, by injection or through the nose, only the Naloxone will affect them, which is the part that sends them immediately into withdrawal. No addict wants to go through withdrawal," Wood says.
He says what most people don't understand about addicts is that they are no longer looking for their next high. They're trying to treat their withdrawal symptoms.
"People get addicted to opiates for all different types of reasons, but they stay on them for one and only one reason - to prevent withdrawals," Wood says.
The program at Central Kentucky Second Chance Clinic costs $350 a month, with the pills running about $6.50 each. Insurance and Medicaid cover some patients, and Wood has a few on Medicare who are covered.
The cost is cheap compared to the close to $2,000 a month that the average addict spends on narcotics.
Like methadone, though, Suboxone also can be purchased on the street.
"The one thing that is really angering me is that Suboxone is getting sold illegally," Wood says, noting that the street value is about $30 a pill because addicts will pay top dollar to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
"We have pill counting procedures put in place, and the pharmacy we work through has even agreed to help us with random pill counts with our patients."
Patients are held accountable for how many pills they should still have in their possession based on their treatment, and they will have to report to a pharmacy to have an authorized person count the pills and report back to the clinic to prove they are in compliance.
Suboxone gives addicts back a sense of responsibility, a sense of control, Wood says. While methadone patients are chained to their treatment, driving to clinics daily, not able to skip a dose, Suboxone is only taken about three times a week, three pills per dose, depending on the patient.
"Not to even mention what just getting off of opiates does for their life," Wood says. "This has been a totally fulfilling venture for all of us here."
Suboxone treatment clinics are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Physicians are permitted to treat 30 patients each for the first year after certification.
Wood says he and Peavler have nine additional physicians who want to join CKSC by April, and they plan to open clinics in Somerset, Mayfield and Morehead as well.