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 Post subject: Finally sober, but..
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:11 am 
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Hey..

I'm new not only here but to Suboxone treatment as well. I have been abusing opiates for years, but became addicted to them almost two years ago and could not go a day without. I took a 2 week leave of absence from work to try and tough it out (and get CLEAN) but I just could not bear the sickness. Although I wasn't taking as many pills, I was still using and still felt like hell. A week into my leave of absence I lost hope.. I could not go back to work in the condition I was in. I had heard about Suboxone and looked into Drs and found one that made me feel at ease (I have to give his nurse a lot of credit as well- she's great).

I'm almost two weeks into my Suboxone treatment and I cannot remember the last time I was sober for this long! Everyone has noticed a positive change in me. The medicine is working wonders and coupled with my counseling sessions I have high hopes for the future for the first time in a long time. But..

My insurance does not cover my prescription. Ughh.. I am starting to become afraid I will not be able to afford the medication and was wondering if anyone has any advice. I have the copay card but I can only use it once a month and even with that I cannot afford to fill my whole script at once (I have been doing partial fills now that I am past the weekly visits and am only seeing the Dr once a month).

Has anyone had experience using the drugs savings card from medication coupons on the internet? (the forum will not allow me to post the link because i am a new user.) or any other coupons/programs that can help me save?


My insurance is through my employer... I pay almost $120 a month for everything but am considering switching if I can find an insurance company that can help with my prescription cost. Any suggestions?

I pay $125 a month to see my doctor and am totally okay with that. I can afford to pay no more than $300 a month for my prescription.. I would love to pay under $100 but am willing to do whatever I have to in order to remain in recovery. Right now I am paying $6-$8 per dose and my current script is for 90 film strips/month. I looked to see if my insurance covered the tablets but they don't. I would prefer to stay on the strips, but am open to suggestion.

Anyways this post ended up being up longer than anticipated but I wanted to give enough info upfront. Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated.. I have been browsing through this forum for about a week now and this seems like the best place to get some possible answers.

Thanks again and I look forward to becoming an active member in your community - I'm glad I found it!

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 Post subject: Expensive
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Sorry about you not receiving any replies so far. Your question is a hard one and is asked quite frequently. Yes, Suboxone is very expensive and insurance companies have been trying very hard NOT to pay for it. But slowly and surely it has been getting better.

Have you spoken to anyone from your insurance company? I had some trouble in the beginning but got it sorted out by a phone call. You may need to write one or several letters asking them to cover this much needed treatment. The squeaky wheel get the grease as they say. Don't give up, keep hammering at them until you're sure it's as far as you can go.

You may be able to adjust you dose down too. I know it's early in the treatment, but if I read your message correctly, you are taking three 8mgs films? Two will do, believe me. I started on three and stayed there for only a month and went down on my own. Just felt it was too much. Never felt a thing. Then later I went down to one and half and still didn't feel it. So have some faith that the Sub will be less and less as you go along. I'm not a doctor so don't take my advice about dosing, it's just my 2¢

Congrats on your recovery. Keep posting.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:39 pm 
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I agree that you can probably reduce your dose. Although I will say it's normal to start out higher and reduce one's dose as you stabilize over time. But in your case if your stabilized already you might want to drop your dose sooner rather than later. Obviously you can discuss this with your doctor. Just don't reduce it so much that you get any cravings back. That would defeat the purpose of taking suboxone.

Another option is to ask your doctor if he'll prescribe the generic subutex. He may not as this form doesn't have the naloxone in it and it is supposedly more prone to diversion. My doctor wouldn't do it for me. But it's worth asking.

If these things don't help enough, check with your benefits person at work and find out about other plans you can choose from if you decide to check into switching insurance plans. You should be able to check to see if they cover certain meds BEFORE switching to a new plan. Then you can perhaps switch insurance plans at the next open enrollment at your job.

Oh and like rule said, I would also call your insurance company and question why this medication is not covered. At the very least the doctor's visit should be covered. What kind of doctor is he? Is he a psychiatrist who might be covered under mental health instead of medical? Just another thought I had.

Finally, congrats on starting suboxone. It sounds like you're doing really well on it. I remember how quickly everyone saw a positive change in me as well. It was certainly amazing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:44 pm 
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Thank you for your replies.

My first four or five days I was on 16 mgs per day but I experienced w/d symptoms after a few hours of dosing and went in to see my Dr and he upped my dose to 24 mgs. My Dr works in a family health practice and DOES accept my insurance but does not for the suboxone treatment. Although I really like him I may have to switch doctors if I cannot find a way to lower my prescription costs.

I have called the insurance company once but I will take your advice and write a letter (and try calling again!). It baffles me how they cover addictive drugs, but do not cover a drug to get clean. It just doesn't make sense. I still have a few months before I have to renew my employers insurance so if they can't help me I have plenty of time to find a company who is willing to. What insurance companies do yall use? I am obviously looking for an independent insurance company... other than my addiction I am in relatively good health. My ONLY serious medical problem WAS high blood pressure which suboxone lowered to a normal level for my age. When I went to my induction I had a VERY high blood pressure reading. At my last two check ups it was almost normal. I was stunned.

And I will also bring up subutex to my Dr next month but I believe he is only treats with suboxone. In that case, if it is cheaper, I may again have to find a new Dr..

Thanks again for your suggestions, I am determined to stay sober and I know these first few months are going to be rough- I can't do it alone!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:08 am 
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I think you just said the magic words....Your doctor won't take your insurance for the suboxone program right? BUT, insurance usually covers him, also right? So why not just submit your receipts from payments made to him to your insurance company for reimbursement. Don't you think? I don't see why not. If I were you I wouldn't even call to ask. I'd just find out the procedure for submitting payments made for reimbursement and just do it.

Go for it!

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


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 Post subject: Welcome!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:39 am 
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Hello and welcome,you are in the right place.It has been a huge help for me.I second the previous replies,especially regarding your dosage ,not a doctor ,but many times 8mg's is no different then 16mg's for many,so why take it.Others here will direct you and give a solid explanation why...I'm not comfortable as of yet to do so.yes...subutex...ask doc.about it and definitely call your insurance...make a fuss!I would hate to hear someone going off of it due to the expense of it!

It's great they let you fill partial rx's there....they would never do that here(NY)..thats so helpful to you right now!Please be in touch with some of the people here about your dose and let us know how the insurance company replied.All the best to you!


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 Post subject: Same old Problem
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:22 am 
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Yep, we're right back to "My doctor doesn't accept insurance for Suboxone treatment". This is a very common theme. Most insurance companies have a code to cover it, but the doctors state that the time spent with the patient far exceeds the payment from the insurance company.

My old doctor accepted my Blue Cross/Blue Shield as payment in full w/ my co-pay. BC/BS also covered the films and the company who makes it has a coupon for $45.00 off so my cost is zero for now.

I'm seeing a new Sub doc in a different state today and hopefully he'll bill it the same way. If not, I'm screwed. I cannot afford hundreds of dollars on a retirement pension. So if that is the case I will get my script and taper down and jump from this one visit. But my guess is he will be okay and keep me on my 4mg's of maintenance.

It took dozens of phone calls to different doctors before I found another one to take insurance. What I did was find all the Suboxone doctors in my city and cross referenced them with my PPO doctors and began the phone calls. Only found one in a city of 2 million people to take my insurance. But then I really didn't call every one of them. There were maybe three left on the list but they are at least an hour away.

Keep it up and don't stop trying. We sometimes have to fight for our own recovery.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:39 pm 
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Good idea Hatmaker, I'm going to get copies of my receipts at work tomorrow and find out where to send them. The worst they can say is no, right? What about my pharmacy receipts? I've saved all but one partial from my last fill.

As far as lowering my dose, I have been trying. I think I'm just still so unstable as I've only been clean off opiates for a few weeks. I want to stick to dosing at the same time each day, but I feel as if I need a dose mid afternoon.. is this normal? My doctor instructed me to take my doses 8 hours apart but I feel like every 6 hours suits me better. I still experience a lot of irritability and I'm not sure that is physical withdrawal so much as it is mental. I'm still trying to find what works for me. I am aware of the ceiling effect - my doctor explained that once all your receptors are full, you can't really fill what's already full. Makes sense.

As far as partial fills only certain pharmacies will do it. Do not go to Walmart.. I did at first only because they have the cheapest prices in my area on the film strips. They gave me SO much trouble including accusing me of forging my script because it wasn't on tamper proof paper. Geez.. thanks. I would much rather pay a couple dollars more for not only better service, but the pharmacist reps understand how much suboxone costs and a few of them have agreed it's BS a lot of insurance companies don't help pay for it.

As far as the subutex I don't know that much about it. Are there a lot of differences between it and suboxone.

Thanks for all your help and support guys.. I really appreciate it. It's hard to find a group of people who understand what this difficult journey is all about.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:19 am 
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With the long half life of suboxone, there shouldn't be any difference between dosing every 8 hours or every 6 hours. Normal dosing is once per day anyway due to its long half life. What makes you feel that you need to dose every 6 hours? I mean literally - what do you feel?

If your normal insurance would pay for your doctor's visits, then they should reimburse you for the $$ spent on appts with him/her, but if the insurance won't cover the sub, then sending in receipts probably won't change that, unfortunately.

If you feel you're not stable yet and are still having cravings, then don't try to lower your dose - that's my opinion. Don't risk relapse for a few bucks. It's not worth it. Having cravings while on sub simply defeats the purpose of even being on it.

Hang in there.

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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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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:59 am 
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I take my first dose after I wake up. I feel fine, but after six hours (sometimes less), I feel mild withdrawal symptoms. These include tremors, sweating or chills, nausea or upset stomach, irritibility/moodnies, runny nose, body aches or pains - not always all of those at once, but those are the most common for me. Once I start feeling w/ds I start craving. I think perhaps this may be happening because I am still somewhat new to suboxone. What is the longest time it takes to stabilize?

Sometimes if I don't go to sleep on a normal schedule (because my second dose should be take no later than 8-9pm), I have problems sleeping.. either falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. But.. I have suffered from insomnia on and off for the past several years.

I started my induction at 2 pm on a Thurs. and I started to feel this "mid-afternoon" w/ds and cravings by Saturday. I obviously couldn't call my Dr then so I stuck it out and even went to work without calling him Monday. Three hours into work I started to shake so badly it was noticiable and I called his nurse and she had me to come in the next day, which is when he upped my dose from 16 to 24 mgs. Although I still feel these "mid-afternoon" symptoms they are mild and I hope with time they will just disapear. I don't go back to see the Dr until next month so I feel that maybe by then I can go back to 16 mgs/day. He asks at every visit whether I feel I need to go up or down so until then I going to keep on being strong and staying sober!

I do need to find a new counselor though.. I would like to find one with more knowledge of addiction.. but of course my insurance has left me with only one or two other options unless I want to drive an hour.. blah.

I found the address for claims today and although they said over the phone they only approve claims sent from the provider, it can't hurt to try. Wish me luck!

& Thanks again!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:36 am 
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If you and your doctor feel that you still need to dose in the afternoon as well as the morning, then do it! Many people new to sub do dose twice daily in the beginning. It's pretty common in fact. So if you need to, stick with that and don't feel bad about it. You may still just need more time to stabilize - everyone is different. It's possible that for whatever reason - high tolerance or high metabolism, etc - your opiate receptors are just not STAYING saturated and you still need that afternoon dose. Do what you need to do for you!

I hope the insurance company will reimburse you for your costs. Let us know. And sorry for not responding sooner. I've been gone for the last few days.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:07 am 
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Hi sunkissedjus,

I just read through your thread and I'm sorry to hear about all the trouble you're having with your insurance not covering the cost of your meds. Unfortunately, that's an all too common theme that we've been hearing more and more lately. I'm not sure if you said it or if it was someone else, but they said how it's interesting that our insurance will usually cover all the narcotic drugs that got us all messed up in the first place, but they won't cover the drug that we need to get clean.

Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about your Suboxone not lasting as long as it should too. I wonder if you're getting proper absorption?? Do you hold the film under your tongue for a good while?? If you don't mind, if you could describe your dosing routine, it might help us to help you a little more with your Suboxone not lasting like it should.

BTW, the entire time I was on Suboxone, I took it twice daily. I took it in the morning and around 4pm. I know if I didn't get my 4pm dose that I could start to "feel" that I needed it. There have been a few people on this site who seem to "metabolize" their Suboxone quicker than most, that may be the case with you, but only getting 6 hours of relief from your Suboxone sounds more like your not getting enough in your system.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:13 am 
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wow what a rough week! i appreciate your responses again, and i felt i was stabalized on my dose and was beginning to only need 8 mg for my evening dose but i ended up relapsing. luckily it wasn't on opiates, but nonetheless it still made me feel horrible. i know relapse is inevitable, but i'm slowly getting back on track. my roomate is monitering my suboxone use so that i am taking it appropriately (i am sometimes forgetful) and i start meetings this week with a family friend who is going to help me find a sponser. i am hopeful for the future, and although my relapse wasn't the worst part of this past week, i am just focusing on my recovery... everything else HAS to fall into place.

romeo (i think it was you.. sorry it's late) how long do you let the strip sit under your tongue? i usually allow at least five to ten minutes and have started using a mirror to make sure i get it right around the base of my tongue. i find if i try to stick the whole strip under my tongue i have problems so i have been cutting it in half and putting one half on each side of my tongue.

thanks again for all your advice, i will get on when its not so late and get involved again. it's crazy how we let drugs take over our lives. best wishes ya'll :)

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