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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:15 am 
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Do suboxone patients qualify for recognition under the American's with Disabilities Act?

Hey everyone, sorry it's been awhile... Hope you guys are still around! Last I posted, it seemed like I was about to/going off the rails.. And I was, mentally. Physically I was screwing around in ways I had no business doing, but once the cause of my emotional turmoil finally came to a head, I soon returned to equilibrium and have been excelling ever since! =)

I even got a job (my first "real-world" job in far too long..) which has helped tremendously in getting both me and my self-image back on my feet- which is why what's going on at work right now has me so upset! =(

About 2 months into my employ, I told my employer that I take a sub-lingual medication, and as such may occasionally need time away from customers (in the form of either a break, or "back of the house"-work) to let it dissolve without having to speak. In the interest of brevity, I'll just say that ever since that same employer has given me many good reasons to suspect that she has determined the function of my medication and has since been discriminating against me in her attitude towards me, with my schedule, and even through spurious disciplinary actions.

Before I told this manager about my medication, I spoke with an HR rep. She asked me without questioning the nature of my condition whether or not I was protected under the American's with Disabilities Act. At the time I said I'd have to check and get back with her. At the time I didn't think it would be necessary to invoke such protection, so until now I've yet to find out.

So, does a suboxone patient qualify as having a disability? Does someone in treatment have the right not to be discriminated against at work based on their medical history? And if so, what action can I take to ensure that I am, at least on paper, granted the same rights and respect as other less dedicated/qualified/experienced employees?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:55 am 
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What you ask is a very good question and isn't just a simple answer, as I understand it. "Casual" drug users are not covered, but I believe people that were addicted and seeking treatment can be covered (that's my own simply understanding of it).

I found the following on "substance abuse and the ADA": http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/ada/ch4.htm

It's pretty long, but based on what I could find, it's pretty comprehensive. I hope this helps you.

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 Post subject: Problem solved !!!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:24 am 
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This is why Dr J's why of using Suboxone is the best.. you have to use the pill form ( better than film anywhy ) crush pill up with your front teeth, use your tongue to paint the inside of your mouth with the crushed up Suboxone and your done ( dont drink anything for 10-15 mins ) ... I also used to made a big ass deal out of dosing.. The film is a pain in the ass , Sorry... Dont fight at work over silly shit like this, work is the best thing to do.... Stay out of the HR dept. Managers hate those 2 letters.... Also, dose just before work or on your way to your car, everyone can go 8 hrs between doses .. Problem solved !!!!! Good luck, Mike ( the problem solver )


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 Post subject: I AGREE
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:19 am 
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Your right Mike. The best thing to do IS to dose before work, possibly even on the way to work. While I do believe that we (as recovering addicts) should be treated fairly........I agree that no manager/boss wants to get HR involved. To the OP-even if you were able to go to HR and win a set breaktime for dosing, your supervisor might decide to counteract by say.....riding you about being 2min late, or because you call in sick, or ANYTHING, just to be able to wright you up. I think its really important to keep ourselves busy.....so If I were you, and (you seem like you like your job overall) I'd just dose outside of work.

That being said, I do think addiction is considered a disability. This guy I used to work told me he was able to get medicade just by being an addict. He didn't have to pay much at all for his doctor visits or Suboxone because of his medicade coverage.

This used to REALLY piss me off though.......I was paying out the ass for Sub treatment (like most people), and he was able to get Subs, almost for free.........AND STILL FUCKED AROUND AND KEPT USING! SO UNGRATEFUL!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:17 am 
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I guess it's a little late for this for the original poster, but for anyone else reading this who thinks it's possible that they may end up in a similar situation, first off DO NOT tell your employer that you are taking a sublingual medication. There are not many medicines administered this way and it won't be too hard for anyone to figure out with the use of Google that you might be taking suboxone.

Secondly, don't take your medication at work! Get on a dosing schedule that allows you to take it before or after work or during a break at work.

To me, this all seems like plain old common sense. No offense intended to the person who posted this thread.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:15 pm 
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I hope the original poster is still employed and doing well. Relating to my own experience with Suboxone, I have to agree with Junkie781. With a half-life between 25-70 hours (depending on situation) there is no reason this should even be an issue. Since there is a ceiling effect of 4mg and a long half life, any person on maintenance dosage 'should' be able to take 4mg on their way to work and be comfortable for an 8-12 hour shift.
We pill popping addicts psychologically think we are going to withdraw after 4-6 hours. That is one of the awesome benefits of buprenorphine... the ceiling effect and long half life get us out of that 'somatic' mindset. I remember all too well!! OMG..I have a couple sniffles or feeling of anxiety-I have to take another dose. I was no different at first. Also, I don't understand what's so hard about hiding Suboxone usage if absolutely needed...you can easily bite off little pieces and there is no way someone would notice. Best wishes


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:03 am 
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The whole issue seems moot. Unless one is dosing for pain control, one daily dose ought to be possible. The notion that the dose "must" be taken at work, and that such dosing is problematic makes almost no sense.

Also, AFAIK, alcoholism/addiction are no longer considered to be disabilities when applying for benefits (by themselves).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:12 am 
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Actually, in certain cases, addiction/sub abuse is considered a disability.

This is from the link I posted above:

Quote:
The ADA provides that any employee or job applicant who is “currently engaging” in the illegal use of drugs is not a “qualified individual with a disability.”[6] Therefore, an employee who illegally uses drugs—whether the employee is a casual user or an addict—is not protected by the ADA if the employer acts on the basis of the illegal drug use.[7] As a result, an employer does not violate the ADA by uniformly enforcing its rules prohibiting employees from illegally using drugs.[8] However, “qualified individuals” under the ADA include those individuals:

who have been successfully rehabilitated and who are no longer engaged in the illegal use of drugs;[9]

who are currently participating in a rehabilitation program and are no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs;[10] and

who are regarded, erroneously, as illegally using drugs.

A former drug addict may be protected under the ADA because the addiction may be considered a substantially limiting impairment.[12] However, according to the EEOC Technical Assistance Manual on the ADA, a former casual drug user is not protected:

[A] person who casually used drugs illegally in the past, but did not become addicted is not an individual with a disability based on the past drug use. In order for a person to be “substantially limited” because of drug use, s/he must be addicted to the drug.


It just depends on if the person was addicted and is in a treatment program and is no longer using.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: Found it!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Here's something from SAMHSA that talks specifically about the rights of persons in recovery.

http://naabt.org/documents/know_your_rights_01.pdf

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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