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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:40 pm 
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Hi. I've been pretty steady on subs since 09. I came off it for 3 months in 2011. I can not stress this enough, it was the worst, most miserable 3 months of my life. I went in very optimistic, thinking it would be nothing. I tried, I really did. I lost 20lbs the first month. Couldn't eat, no appetite. It was winter at the time, bear in mind I rarely get cold. I'm always sweating while everyone else is freezing. For those 3 months my body ached to the bone from constant freezing. I yawned every few minutes, so big bags formed under my eyes. Those 3 months traumatized me, as dramatic as it sounds. I couldn't take it and went back on subs, near instant relief from all the above. I haven't came completely off since.

Are there doctors that offer this as addiction maintenance? My life is normal on subs, my minds balanced like before. It doesn't give me any high or major pain relief. It just balances me out & keeps me from thinking about pain pills. My life was an uber mess while I took pills. I never want to chance going back to that. I'm lost, don't know where to get any answers. I've read that physiatrists can prescribe this and I've been thinking of making an appointment with one anyway for other issues, including my addiction struggles. Even if the physiatrist wants to wean me at least maybe they can offer more help than the regular drs I've seen. I don't even know how to start with a physiatrist. How to locate one that prescribes subs. I know most places get weird if you start asking about certain meds. I know this is all over the place, but so am I right now lol.

I'm in north Alabama. I've looked through other dr lists online and they seem to just show regular sub drs, not physiatrists. If anyone knows of a physiatrist in the northern Alabama region that prescribes subs and could give me info on what I need to do? Or maybe a Dr that does subs as addiction maintenance in north Alabama?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:44 pm 
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While we don't have a network of psychiatrists and sub doctors throughout the country, sometimes a member will know of one in a specific area. There is a link at the top of the page that says "Find Suboxone Doctors" which can be helpful. Mainly you just need to be resigned to spending a lot of time on the phone calling doctors' offices. It can help if you ask everyone you talk to if they're are aware of any other docs who prescribe sub. I also suggest calling local pharmacies to see if they will tell you who is prescribing sub in the area. They may not give you that information, but they may.

Welcome to the forum!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:52 pm 
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Good suggestions by Amy....

The issue is complicated. Buprenorphine (the generic, active part of Suboxone and other related drugs) is an old medication that was used, since the 1950's, to treat pain. It was redesigned as an addiction treatment in 2003. When prescribing buprenorphine drugs, doctors have a couple considerations beyond the usual issues that come up with any treatment. First, there are the regulations. No opioid pain medication can be used to treat addiction EXCEPT under 2 specific circumstances--- the methadone dispensed daily from methadone programs, and the buprenorphine products prescribed by buprenorphine-certified doctors. Those certified doctors are listed in the places that Amy mentioned.

There are no LAWS against using buprenorphine, or any other medication found in pharmacies, for any other reason. There are no laws against prescribing buprenorphine (or oxycodone, for that matter) to treat depression. There are not even any laws against prescribing oxycodone to treat baldness or hiccups! The only LAW is the one against treating addiction. That is an old law, from 1916, called the 'Harrison Act'.

While it isn't 'illegal' to prescribe pain pills for baldness, doing so would be counter to the 'standard of care'. Medical practice is controlled through regulations in some cases... but most of the 'control' of medical practice is through the standard of care. If a doc treats baldness with buprenorphine, the state medical board would likely discipline that doctor for practicing outside of the standard of care.

So to answer your question-- yes, many doctors treat people with buprenorphine for a long time. Many of the people being treated with buprenorphine are being treated for addiction-- and so they need to see a doc who is certified to use buprenorphine. There are docs who specialize in addiction treatment; some of those docs are psychiatrists, but you don't HAVE to be a psychiatrist to treat addiction. ANY doc can get certified to prescribe buprenorphine by taking the course, and agreeing to the stipulations necessary to get certified. A plastic surgeon could get buprenorphine-certified. Even a radiologist could. Nurse practioners CANNOT prescribe buprenorphine to treat addiction-- but nurse practitioners CAN prescribe buprenorphine for other reasons--- such as to treat depression or pain.

If you are looking for a long-term buprenorphine prescriber, your best bet is to check the sites that Amy mentioned, including www.suboxdocs.com . If you are getting treatment for addiction, you will need a certified doctor. BUT-- if you are looking for buprenorphine to treat your depression, then you can have ANY doc prescribe it. Your primary care doc can treat you. This is all a bit confusing-- and most doctors don't understand the rules-- so your primary care doc probably won't prescribe it, and probably won't even believe that he CAN prescribe it!

hopefully that makes sense...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:34 pm 
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Thanks Suboxdoc for clarifying all that. Wow. F@#kin confusing and ridiculous. I so wish my pc doctor knew what you know. I love my pc and he's a great doctor and knows me so well and is completely on board with my need for suboxone. Sadly because he can't prescribe it or doesn't know he can, he sent me on a year long search through my covered care plan until I finally found the right psyche doc that could help me.

I saw 3 different pain doctors, each one passing me off to the next, three psychologists, each also passing me off to the next, and two psychiatrists, until I finally found the right doctor who spoke the right language, with the right certification and got the me right meds.

Too bad it's so complicated.....

I take it more for depression and chronic fatigue than addiction. Pain medication is the only kind of medication that address's my pain and depression. Sadly, I had to become a junkie to finally get the right kind of medication from the right kind of doctor. The good news is that the laws are changing and at least there are doctors out there that can help us with the disease of addiction, which for me and most everyone stems from life long depression and pain.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:50 am 
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Wow, thanks Sub Dr. It is very good and confusing at the same time, lol, to know the laws when it comes to Suboxone. I like Megster, get the added benefits of an antidepressant from Suboxone. Kind of a mood lifter, if you will. I hope my Dr. lets me stay on Suboxone for a long time. I have no plans to come off this medication in the future. I am just fine taking 16 mgs. That is what I have been getting from the beginning. 16 mgs. I haven't fooled around with my dose. Maybe later.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:50 am 
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Tuesday03 wrote:
Hi. I've been pretty steady on subs since 09. I came off it for 3 months in 2011. I can not stress this enough, it was the worst, most miserable 3 months of my life. I went in very optimistic, thinking it would be nothing. I tried, I really did. I lost 20lbs the first month. Couldn't eat, no appetite. It was winter at the time, bear in mind I rarely get cold. I'm always sweating while everyone else is freezing. For those 3 months my body ached to the bone from constant freezing. I yawned every few minutes, so big bags formed under my eyes. Those 3 months traumatized me, as dramatic as it sounds. I couldn't take it and went back on subs, near instant relief from all the above. I haven't came completely off since.

Are there doctors that offer this as addiction maintenance? My life is normal on subs, my minds balanced like before. It doesn't give me any high or major pain relief. It just balances me out & keeps me from thinking about pain pills. My life was an uber mess while I took pills. I never want to chance going back to that. I'm lost, don't know where to get any answers. I've read that physiatrists can prescribe this and I've been thinking of making an appointment with one anyway for other issues, including my addiction struggles. Even if the physiatrist wants to wean me at least maybe they can offer more help than the regular drs I've seen. I don't even know how to start with a physiatrist. How to locate one that prescribes subs. I know most places get weird if you start asking about certain meds. I know this is all over the place, but so am I right now lol.

I'm in north Alabama. I've looked through other dr lists online and they seem to just show regular sub drs, not physiatrists. If anyone knows of a physiatrist in the northern Alabama region that prescribes subs and could give me info on what I need to do? Or maybe a Dr that does subs as addiction maintenance in north Alabama?

Thanks.


Like you, I've been on Suboxone since 2009, and find my life infinitely better on it than off. I have found that it's very rare to find a doctor who would agree outright with a patient being on Suboxone for life, but, most just say "Take it as long as you need and you'll know when you're ready to get off of it." which, to me, sounds like a vague way of agreeing to lifetime maintenance if needed. At my clinic I never know which doctor or provider I will be seeing or what their opinions are regarding maintenance treatment. Sometimes I will get the one who's all about getting you tapered and off as soon as possible and then I will see the one who's like "Hey, if it's working and you don't feel ready stay on it as long as you need."

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:56 am 
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I don't know about n Alabama but I know exactly how you feel. My advice is to consider moving. I plan on taking subs the rest of my life. I don't ever want to taper. Why go through that just to see if you will make it and there's a chance your whole life will go in the toilet. I found a doctor that has the mentality that if you pee clean you get meds I've been in the program for five years and they never talk taper because I won't do it and that's how this is successful I'm sober don't even drink anymore and don't want to as long as I have my subs I can be a funtioning tax paying society member. The gov and med community has to make this more available and easier to get it's the answer the only answer to the opiate heroin problem.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:57 am 
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Jeep ren wrote:
I don't know about n Alabama but I know exactly how you feel. My advice is to consider moving. I plan on taking subs the rest of my life. I don't ever want to taper. Why go through that just to see if you will make it and there's a chance your whole life will go in the toilet. I found a doctor that has the mentality that if you pee clean you get meds I've been in the program for five years and they never talk taper because I won't do it and that's how this is successful I'm sober don't even drink anymore and don't want to as long as I have my subs I can be a funtioning tax paying society member. The gov and med community has to make this more available and easier to get it's the answer the only answer to the opiate heroin problem.


Here, here!

I totally agree with everything that you have to say.

Welcome to the forum!!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:03 pm 
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There sure are. I would get an index of suboxone certified doctors in your area, call around and ask if the doc provides it along with your regular questions. And some may have a malleable opinion. Mine did. At first he wanted to start reducing my dose to zero come month 2 of induction. At first I said, I am not ready, next month. Next month I was panicking because I really did not have any intentions of coming off when I came to the doctor, especially so quickly. So I told him finally, that I came here to find a better alternative to being on methadone maintenance, I wanted to be on suboxone maintenance, how I have never felt so stable in my life, and going back was playing with fire, and asked if he would provide maintenance therapy or if I would have to go elsewhere. He agreed to it. Now when I go in there, he asks me what steps I am taking to better my life, but asks nothing about the suboxone, and writes the script for the same as always.

I am on 24mg ~ 8mg 3x a day. But I am pretty sure I would be better off at 16mg. When I am ready I will head that direction & stash the other 8mg in case life happens and I get screwed. But I have nooooooo intentions of stopping suboxone. I am free :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:19 am 
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Such a great post, Iggy! Thank you!

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:20 pm 
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Let me 2nd that Iggy. Good post! From where I sit the problem seems to be about the state a patient lives in. Just reading through all the posts here over the years most of the states that give patients trouble seem to be in either the South or the East. We Western states rarely seem to run into problems getting our Suboxone.

My first doctor in California told me there was nothing wrong with being on Suboxone the rest of my life. My second physician in Nevada told me he only prescribes it for 6 months then expects his patients to taper and jump. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that and now I've been seeing him for 6 years. Maybe getting cancer changed his outlook on it. When I first saw him I was on only 1-2 mg's. Got sick and asked for 6 mg's to help with the pain issues. Now I've tapered back down to 2 mg's per day and he's fine with that.

This is an older post but still very good information. Thanks for bringing back up top.

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