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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:55 pm 
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Hello Friends,

Its been awhile since I last posted so I figured I would give an update. Ive been back on Suboxone (actually Subutex for now) since January 3. I am coming to terms with my decision to get back on maintenance. I am still pretty angry with myself for getting back in this situation after 18 months of being opiate free. When I had my initial convo with my doctor and expressed my feelings of feeling almost weak minded that I needed to be back on Suboxone he hit me with the whole "Well if you had diabetes and had to take medicine its the same thing" Which I understand but I still can't get totally over being kind of disgusted with myself.

When I quit Sub in July 2015 maybe I was not ready to. It had more to do with getting divorced, losing my insurance, and moving to a new state than it had to do with me being ready to stop. I was in a better place than I was when I started on Sub. I wasn't around the same people or places I was in my active addiction. I did start drinking more heavily than ever when I quit the Sub. Which led to smoking weed, cocaine, and eventually heroin and pills. I was only on opiates for maybe two and a half months before making the decision to get back on Sub. So that was good I didn't wait too long I guess.

I went to a detox center and was there overnight and the next day got inducted for maintenance and sent home. Ive been going to the 3 three hour groups weekly that are required of this particular maintenance program. And this place requires you to go daily for dosing- no scripts or take homes. Since I'm not working this hasn't been too much of an issue. I really like the staff and counselors there and have made some friends with my peers.

I found out this last Monday that my insurance will no longer pay for the 3 groups. It has something to do with the fact that this place initially functioned as a detox center only. It was just last year they added the iop program. From what I understand they need some kind of license to be considered an iop program by my insurance (Medicaid) which they are working on getting. The program is supposed to be 8 months but ive only been going for six weeks or so.

This is happening to a lot of the people in my group with insurance. There have been a few people so upset by this that they have gone out and relapsed. This one guy went to detox 13 times in the last 13 months. The staff finally talked him into doing maintenance and he is doing so well with it. Now theyre telling him he cant come any more because of insurance. How can they be ok paying for 13 inpatient detox stays but not want to pay for the program that's actually keeping him out of there?

Well they let me know about my insurance and set me up an appointment with the outpatient doctor in his private practice. My appointment is March 7 and they said I can keep going there to get dosed and to groups until I get my script from him. The counselors are very helpful in making this transition as smooth as possible. I was planning on going to a private doctor anyway, but I was planning on staying in this program for a while for the groups. It is going to be nice not to have to go daily just to get dosed, but I really am going to miss a lot of the people there. They said I can always come volunteer.

I've been clean since starting the Sub this time except for smoking some weed occasionally. They do weekly urines there. They don't say anything about the weed. But I know this will most likely change with the private dr. It doesn't bother me to stop at all, I feel like with the weed I can take it or leave it.

I had a pretty rough end of last year and ended up losing my truck, my home, and my job. I've been in a bit of a funk as you can probably imagine. But things have started looking up a bit this week, I've had several call backs for interviews and will probably take a couple jobs to start catching up. Also, I will have access to a car this week coming up, which I have not had since I had my accident last September. It's been difficult trying to find work with no transportation.

Well that's about it friends. I will keep you posted about how my doctor appointment goes. I have heard others say that he's pretty good with letting his patients stay on for as long as they need to, which is comforting because I know I'm not ready to stop again yet. I am so thankful for this wonderful drug!

Lauren


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:17 pm 
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Good luck with everything Lauren.
Sounds like you had quite the shitstorm of bad luck leading up to your relapse.
You're strong to make it this far. You're got this!

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Get your shit together and live your life." Black Snake Moan


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:00 am 
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Thanks for sharing, and welcome back. Keep your mind open; that's the key in my opinion to coming to term-- with being on buprenorphine, and with having an illness that tends to recur.

You are treating your illness correctly, and you didn't ask for this illness. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Your knowledge will help you advocate for other people who are confused by the misinformation out there.

One day at a time. Again, welcome back!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:08 pm 
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Hello Friends,

Thank you Sister and Dr. J. for your responses. I am so very grateful for this forum. It helped me tremendously when I was coming off of sub, and when I started treatment again I was excited to come back here!

I had my first appointment with my new sub doctor last Tuesday. It went very well. I like him a lot and his staff are very nice. The only weird things were he took my picture (I guess this is to deter people from using fake identities?) and there was a girl in the room with us the entire time typing like she was taking minutes of our meeting. Nothing bad just unusual. Has anyone else had their doctor take a picture of them?

He prescribed me seven strips and I had an appointment to see him yesterday. But I live in Delaware and we were expecting that big storm. So I got a phone call from his office Monday and they set up a video conference appointment using Mend. So fifteen minutes before my appointment I got a text and an email with a link to join the call. I talked with him for maybe ten minutes. He called in my script and said to call the office to make an appointment for next week. He said if I'm doing well and no hot urines I would be able to have the video appointment more often. How cool is that?

When I went in for my first appointment I discussed my constipation as being one very uncomfortable side effect I was having from sub and my doctor prescribed and gave me some samples of Amitiza. When I went to the pharmacy to pick it up they told me the doctor needed to get prior authorization from my insurance company first. So I decided to try the samples and see if they worked before I called the doctor's office again. It works wonderfully! I have to see if the pharmacy sent over the information to the doctor's office when I go pick up my subs tomorrow. This is supposed to work differently than any other laxatives. It is supposed to increase water in the intestine. Has anyone else tried this stuff? I sure hope my insurance company decides to cover it.

I do have to get into some type of counseling. I want to see if my insurance will cover one group meeting per week at the center I was going to. I have not been to any AA or NA meetings and I don't think I would like them because I am not religious at all and from what I understand they are against opiate replacement therapy? I have been going through a lot of stuff and it probably wouldn't hurt to talk with a therapist. My doctor said it can be a regular therapist and that it doesn't have to be an addiction specialist.

So I just started back to work a couple weeks ago. Things have been going well there. I really like it. I am really happy I found a sub doctor locally I really like. Things have all in all been going pretty well. That's about it for now friends!

Lauren


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Hey Lauren,
Thanks for the good update!
Much respect for you for all your efforts, important efforts! Impressed w all you are doing. happy you got into a good Dr that you like.
I have been to Dr's that require a pic. I asked why and they said bc of health insurance misuse where someone other than the insured used the insurance card.
Look up Smart Recovery, its online w some local meetings. It is supports opiate replacement and has no religious approach. Many here like it. Ime, NA/AA do look to a higher power/God and for those wo a belief, they say a higher power can be a power greater than ourselves (could be music, nature, humanity, the universe... and that can work for folks. But neither NA/AA support bup treatment.
Wow, congrats on the new job and being back working!
Great post and thanks again for letting us know. Sounds like you're doing MUCH better! P

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Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:49 am 
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Hi Lauren!

I'm also a huge proponent of SMART Recovery. They use cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help you think through your actions and through processes, some of which keep you tied to addictive behavior.

I also suggest several sessions with an addiction therapist. For most of us there are painful issues that we cover up or try to numb by getting high or even that result from our behavior as addicts. If you think you can talk about those issues in a group, then group therapy might help. But if it's easier to talk about your pain, shame, loss, whatever is eating you with an individual then find a counselor who understands addiction.

One of the best ways to prevent relapse besides taking buprenorphine is to get a handle on behaviors and memories that trigger you to use.

So even though the therapy requirement may be a bit annoying, it's actually a benefit. Your addiction will not spontaneously fix itself. :) The way you move forward while on buprenorphine determines your future success if you decide to try to step off your medication someday. Might as well prepare yourself!

We are very happy to see you here! Anything we can do to help, just let us know!

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:04 am 
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Hey qom!

Sounds like u found an awesome doctor! U deserve to feel at ease and settled. That's a huge peace of mind with addicts. If we're in constant fear and worry about our treatment, it sucks. Sounds like ur doctor is cool. I know u said u didn't want to really leave ur last place but at least u seem to be feeling pretty good with this new doctor.

Did u do any counseling before u stopped ur treatment last time, before ur relapse? Seeing an addiction counselor is so incredibly helpful, it helped me work through a lot of issues. I still see my addiction counselor sometimes. Didn't u say the place u just left required counseling several times a week? Maybe someone from there can recommend u a good therapist :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Yes the last place had 3 three hour groups per week. The groups were pretty helpful. My insurance decided to stop covering those groups. My doctor sees other people from my previous place and says they still go to one group per week while getting scripts from him. I have to check for sure but I'm pretty certain my insurance will not cover even one group per week. The counselors at the center told me before I left I could always volunteer and sit in on a group every so often.

When I was on sub last time I did see a psych for meds but no therapist. I was seeing another doctor and therapist here after I stopped taking sub but I never discussed my addiction. I have a really hard time being open and honest about my addiction. Maybe that is why I liked the groups so much, because they were made up of people who have walked a mile in my shoes.

Yes I have heard of SMART. I actually googled it the other day and was reading a little about it. It seems to be more suitable for me than AA or NA. I'm going to look some more into it. Amy, how would you suggest I go about beginning the program? I know I've read before that you participate in SMART too.

Lauren


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:34 pm 
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Hey Lauren! I would actually start on their home page, http://www.smartrecovery.org/

To find a local meeting search here: https://www.smartrecovery.org/local/#s=1

I also recommend watching the the videos on this page:

http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/ ... tsmart.htm

If you need any more help, please ask! That's what we're here for. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:43 pm 
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Thank you Amy! I looked a little on the home page already. Ill be sure to check those vids out too!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:30 pm 
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Hello Friends,

I have been looking into SMART. Im kind of disappointed there are no meetings locally. Amy is there a way to get one started in my area? I have talked with a couple friends who want to check it out too.

Lauren


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:32 pm 
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I understand your disappointment, but I am proud of you for being willing to keep with it.

I think that you and your friends could get started on your own by utilizing some of the published material available on the website.

http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/toolchest.htm

These worksheets are free to download. If I were going to start, I would first "attend" a couple of online meetings that are available through the website. They would help you get an idea of how the meetings are run. Then I would get those friends together and give everyone some homework to get started. When you begin to meet, everyone could share what they had researched, found out, what worksheet they had downloaded and worked on, etc.

There are also handbooks and facilitator handbooks. There is a link to an Amazon SMART store of suggested books to read. You could do a book club with your friends and discuss the books you read.

What do you think? Does that sound like it could work for you?

I, myself, bought a bunch of their materials to learn on my own so that I can run my own group someday. I haven't read them yet, but they weren't very expensive and are chock full of great info.

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:13 pm 
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Hello Friends,

I just got out of my appointment with my dr. He said my last urine didnt show i took my bupe that day? Theres two levels the one that is stored was scored 51 but the one that measures immediately when you take it was negative. Now i had my first 3 appointments weekly and would run out on the day of my appointment. My appointment was at 4:15 last thursday and i usually dose in the am so i told him that. He said he believes me that i have been taking it though! Thank goodness right! But we scheduled my next appointment two weeks but on Tuesday so i will def take it right before i go in.

So im still doing well. My appointment and script got pushed to two weeks now instead of 1 which is progress. I am a little worried about my insurance though. Last time i took sub i was not on medicaid and had private insurance i never had to deal with the prior auth. The first prior auth took 2 days and lasts until April 5. So i will be fine filling this script. But my next script will require another prior auth. So im glad for this reason my appointment is on Tuesday so ill have 2 films in case it takes 2 days again. I was reading my insurance's prior auth info and it said you can get authorized up to two years but the last one has to have a taper plan. That is 2 years away yes but it still makes me a little nervous. And a little angry. Who are they to dictate how long i need to be on this med. Who knows maybe 2 years from now ill have better insurance.

Another thing about my insurance is that you have to have clean urines and im pretty sure the last couple if mine have been positive for thc. The doc and nurse never have mentioned it so i guess its not the end of the world for them but who knows with insurance. I really should stop. I had one urine i knew was going to be hot for cocaine and i straight up told the dr and nurse when i gave my sample. I have been tested weekly since thr beginning of the year and it was prob 3 or 4 weeks ago gave that one dirty. They were really cool about it. He asked me why i did it i said it was offered and i made a dumb decision. He was like its not like you relapsed on dope. And he said if i gave clean urine my appointments would be increased to bi weekly which they are. So thats good.

I have been busy working alot and getting used to getting up early to be at work at 5 am. I havent had too much time to look more into Smart but i still intend to. I also want to find a good therapist because ive been experiencing some depression and irritability lately. Nothing debilitating but ive still noticed it and im sure iy wont hurt to talk about it.

Well thats it for now. Have a great day!

Lauren


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