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 Post subject: DUI on suboxone
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Hi everyone, I thought I would share my experience.....

First of all, I want to say I have been on sub for about a year and a half. I started on 8mg and now am down to 4mg. I have not relapsed and I rarely drink alcohol. I am also on abilify for depression.

Back in May, I was driving to the store. It was raining hard. The person in front of me was going 20mph in a 35mph zone. She was in the right lane. I go to the left lane to pull around her and BAM, cop lights in my rear view mirror. I pull over and the cop says I was following the car in front of me too close and I was driving unsafe for the conditions. Then she says she smells alcohol. I wasnt drinking and told her so. She makes me do a shit load of sobriety tests. I was so nervous, Ive never had to do this before. I thought I did OK. She asks if I am on any prescription meds. I told her I was on sub and abilify. Then she gives me the breathilizer. Its zero. She says she is arresting me for being on drugs. They impounded my car.

She takes me to the hospital to do a blood test, drives me back to the station and lets me go. So about a month later I get a notice in the mail that the assholes are charging me with DUI. I got a lawyer. The lawyer says that even though the drugs are prescribed to me that I can still get a DUI. The blood test comes back positive for abilify, bupe, and norbupe(a metabolite of suboxone). My lawyer talks to my doctor to make sure the levels of bupe in my blood are appropriate. The levels are normal for my dose.

So now my court date is for the begining of Dec to fight this thing. I cant belive they are doing this! My doctor thinks this whole thing is a joke too. He said there are many studies that show driving is not impared when people are tolerant to methadone and suboxone.

I wonder if I should have lied to the cop and not told her I was on sub...but I was trying to be honest and knew I was doing nothing wrong!

So my fellow sub users, be careful out there! I would hate to see this happen to anyone else! I will update you all after the court date for sure!


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 Post subject: Good to know
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:42 pm 
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:roll: So very sorry you having to go through all this non sence. Just goes to show you how police officer can be difficult.
I sure agree that subs do not affect my driving skills it peoblbly makes my more aware with whats going on around. You have to hire an attroney bunch of money get your car out more money and now court, Orange I sure hope you get off of these charges, it is just insane.
Good Luck to you and Trying to be honest gets you this. damn police are something else sometimes.....If thats the case then they need to give us all disabilty so we can stay home (but I still would not stay home Thanks for the warning

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:40 pm 
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This is the single most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life! I am so sorry you are going thru this. In my eyes this is complete abuse of power and the fact that a DA would press charges on this is insane! What kind of message is the legal system trying to send? We are going to come after those that are doing the right thing? I hope Dr. Junig sees this because I would really like to hear what he has to say about it.

I have to believe in the end this won't stick, but it will probably end up costing you thousands of dollars. Not to mention the tax payer dollars that will be wasted. Please keep us posted and if there's anything we can do to help please let us know. Maybe we could write letters to your DA or chief of police?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:56 pm 
A few years ago I got out of two seperate prescription-related DUI's I really shouldn't have gotten out of and one attempt by the state to have my license taken away after a third reckless driving citation. In all of these cases I was on either high doses of methadone/benzo's or Morphine/Oxycodone/benzos and 100% should not have been driving. The 2 DUI's involved me crashing my cars. Once into a SUV towing a boat down the highway. When I'm with a few old friends we'll sometimes still joke about how I crashed my SUV into a boat when I was high. Funny now, at the time it was sad, sad, sad. Anyway, my pain management Dr. wrote glowing notes on my behalf each and every time explaining that I was completely tollerent to any intoxicating effects of these medications and was perfectly fine to drive. Like I said, I wasn't fine to drive and it's crazy to me today that my Dr. would write me these notes, but it got me out of that hot-seat three times. So, you being completely in the right may find use in something I found use in when I was completely in the wrong!

-Travis


Last edited by travispnorton on Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: re:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:24 pm 
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I have a very strict code I abide by when dealing with dumbass cops: lie- its none of their f'in business what you take and i sure as hell wouldn't let anyonetake my blood


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:53 am 
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Thanks for the support guys.

Indigo- I feel the same way about cops. At first I told the cop I was refusing the blood test. She told me that if I refused I would automaticaly loose my drivers licence. So I did it. Plus I knew that I would be clean from everything except sub. Little did I know a person could get a DUI even if the drugs are prescribed! This whole thing is just stressful bullshit!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:52 am 
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Oh my... I'm so sorry this is happening to you! To be honest, that's always been a fear of mine-mostly because I'm one of those people who's pupils are very small from the suboxone. Are yours? Could it be that the police officer noticed the size of your pupils?

I would definitely fight this tooth and fucking nail. Will your doctor help you? I mean all the way - write letters, testify on your behalf? You need him (or her) on your side to explain the way suboxone works. It could very well be that the DA and LEO don't even know what it is and the minute that the judge hears the doctor testify they could dismiss the case.

Also, your lawyer needs to accumulate as much documentation as possible - research papers on suboxone, citations, etc, to back up everything he says about suboxone.

Finally, if I were you I would send an email to Dr. Junig. Although he gets scores of them a day, I would still try to reach out to him. This is a situation that I think he would be very interested in and might be willing to help in some small way. Just make your subject line very clear (Forum member charged w/ DUI for suboxone), something like that that will grab his attention. I can't guarantee he'll read it and get back to you, but it's worth a shot.

BTW, if you're so inclined, maybe you could tell us what state you are in? Just in case one of us is near you and can PM you to offer more support.

Again, the fact that this is happening to you is outrageous and I'm so sorry. Hang in there and please do keep us posted.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:10 pm 
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How many attorneys have you talked to? I would get a second opinion. This doesn't sound right. You shouldn't even have to be going to court, this should have been dropped. Also what state or region of the country do you live in? That can have an impact as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:00 pm 
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You did the right thing telling the truth about suboxone. Bc if you lied and that came up on your blood work, you would be in a whole other mess right now.

But this really scares me one because im on methadone two because i sold drugs for a long time in a small wealthy suburb and never got caught when they would pull me over. Ever since they are just waiting to get me on something. And methadone will def make my pupils pin points and i get pulled over at least twice a year as soon as they run my tag. Last one was bc i had a air freshner on my rear view mirror. I know all of will say i have one in the same spot if a cop really wants to it is ubsrtruction of view.

They as in amherst cops

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:48 pm 
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Hat- I think you are right on about the pinpoint pupils. The cop was totally staring at my eyes when she was talking to me in the car. She also spent alot of time making me look left and right with a flashlight in my eyes as part of the sobriety tests. My pupils are definatly smaller since Ive been on sub.

I don't really have the option of talking to another lawyer at this point. The one I have now is free through my husbands job and I cant afford to pay another one. I am lucky enough that I get this free one. I think he is doing what he should be doing. He is getting a letter from my doctor, my doctor is very supportive.

oh, and Im in WA state.

At this point, there is not much more I can do but hope and pray this thing gets reduced or dropped. Thank you all for your support! I will let you know what happens.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:58 pm 
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that's terrible.........we're nieghbors, kinda........im in oregon, but right on the border,,so we go to wa quite a bit. I don't notice much of a diference, becuase this is a small comunity and the cops get hard ons for anything that happens here, and I mean anything!!!!
Hopefully you'll have a jury if it goes that far, becuase if your lawyer eduacates them on what suboxone IS, there aint a jury in the world that'd convict you!!!
Jeez,,,,,i am gonna be more carefull, and I really hope you get thru this with no bs charges....it shouldn't have even gone this far, but we a ll know unfair shit happens all the time and the freakin cops or sheriff or whoever gets a way with it. it really sux.
anyway best of luck
sending good vibes


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:18 am 
FWIW...

I would have simply responded with "nothing"... if asked by a cop 'what are you on'...

Why...???

Because MOST would have only asked for a 9 panel U/A-tox... looking for the "usual suspects" and the bupe wouldn't have revealed itself.

Hell... even if you did run across a savvy one who did request a specific norbup... and it was found... how would the outcome be any different from what it is from "being honest/forthcoming"...???

I am of the opinion that one of the main reasons bupe is preferred is because it doesn't readily show up on standard tests... and therefore allows my patients to continue to work, hold jobs, and take urine tests without the flack from their employers and/or the officers of the court.

YMMV...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:47 am 
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hi docnuson'. i would have rather be a doctor'. my music studio is not doing well" do to the lack of customers.
same go's with the more advanced studio down the road. it is nice to have you come on in and talk with all of us
med/ druggy's or just druggy's. on suboxone " the road to recovery' with out a D.U.I. i hope. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: re:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:01 am 
indigochild wrote:
I have a very strict code I abide by when dealing with dumbass cops: lie- its none of their f'in business what you take and i sure as hell wouldn't let anyonetake my blood


+1

I learned while getting high that one should never ever ever admit to any kind of drugs for any reason. The only way a cop would know about my sub is by searching my car and finding the bottle..at which point, you're screwed anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:15 am 
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Wow. What a messed up situation. So what you're saying is, under the current legislation.. Driving on buprenorphine is illegal. That's a real worry. If people trying to get their lives together can't drive, how does that affect our job opportunities, or need to get ahead after all those wasted years?

It angers me slightly. I too came up against the system recently, in much different circumstances. I was told by a few people to "be honest", and it backfired when seeing an occupational physician to get my diving license. Fortunately I managed to get it with the help of a letter from my prescribing doctor, who backed up my words. Like docnusum said, he made me do a dipstick test, which fortunately doesn't cover buprenorphine! And I came back clean. But it seems the moment we admit to being in recovery, trust from authorities can easily go out the window. But it got me thinking. If there was a someone trying to become a pilot for a 747 passenger jet. Would I feel comfortable if they were on Suboxone?

I'm running on a tangent here. Continue!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:12 am 
johnboy wrote:
hi docnuson'. i would have rather be a doctor'. my music studio is not doing well" do to the lack of customers.
same go's with the more advanced studio down the road. it is nice to have you come on in and talk with all of us
med/ druggy's or just druggy's. on suboxone " the road to recovery' with out a D.U.I. i hope. :wink:


What in the HELL are you going on... and on about...??? This is the second thread that YOU have written silly shit in... Stop NOW...!!! Step away from the keyboard... go to the sink... splash some water on your face and return. Your addict shit is showing.


Tearj3rker...

I've been in healthcare for 25yrs.
I've been looking at a LOT of tox screens.
I've ordered quite a few also.

Every patient we admit to our 8 bed secure detox has to have a tox screen at the hospital before we allow them on the property.
Every patient we involuntarily detain at our 2- 16 bed psych units MUST have a tox screen prior to admission.

NONE of these hospitals (about 8 of them) that send us patients ever check for buprenorphine unless it is specifically asked for by a provider. Most aren't sophisticated enough to asked. Hell... the probation/parole departments don't even look for it... which is one of the reasons why it has a street value and its being diverted and used without a script.

As for airline pilots...
We have a "duty to report" commercial pilots and healthcare professionals... who also don't qualify for "maintenence" Treatment. These are all of our naltrexone/antabuse clients.

YMMV


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:00 am 
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Just to clarify DocNusum. Are you a doctor?

The reason I ask is that your nickname and avatar can leave people the impression that you are a MD. A lot of people don't understand what an MPA actually is.

Taking into consideration you're new, understand that you can't write posts like that directed at fellow members. It's even more important if people perceive you as an authority in the field.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:03 pm 
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years ago when I went to a certain methadone clinic in Indiana, cops were known for waiting on the side of the main road you came out of to get to the freeway and pulling people over and cite them for dui. I was actually pulled over one day and ( my son and I both went in one car) I told the officer that I was simply driving my son to the clinic because I had concerns of him driving himself right after dosing and he let me go and basically said that was a good idea.

As far as suboxone I have never felt any kind of buzz on it at all I hope they drop the charges that is just ridiculous..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:20 pm 
tearj3rker wrote:
Just to clarify DocNusum. Are you a doctor?

The reason I ask is that your nickname and avatar can leave people the impression that you are a MD. A lot of people don't understand what an MPA actually is.

Taking into consideration you're new, understand that you can't write posts like that directed at fellow members. It's even more important if people perceive you as an authority in the field.



Umm...

My "credentials" were made crystal clear in my introductory post.... in the introduction section of this forum.
My forum name and avatar is supposed to leave people the impression that I have a DEA number and a license to practice medicine.
MDs, DOs, PAs, and NPs ALL practice medicine in the united states.

Yeah... I have no idea what a MPA is...

Taking into consideration that I am new, understand that if the first 3 posts I put on here are immeadiatly followed/responded to as above... then this comes across as someone trying "take the piss out of you"...

A key concept in communication is to respond to people in the language and manner in which they address you...

Ivy league talk doesn't work on skid row...which is where I'm originally from...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:43 pm 
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You made it very clear in your introductory post that you are not a doctor. However you must understand that your nickname, DocNusum, may give people the impression that you are. Therefore, if you gave someone advice, they would follow it as that of a doctor over a physician's assistant.

The majority of this board would not have read your introductory post, and going on your avatar, nickname & signature, people will assume you are an MD. Most people I've spoken to were of that belief.


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