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 Post subject: Forced Withdrawal
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:06 pm 
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Hello all...my name is Jim and I have a story to tell.

I was addicted to prescription pain killers for over 7 years. At my peak I was taking 20, 10/650's Hydrocodones a day...10 mg Hydrocodone. After spending all my money and destroying my life I checked in to an "Out-Patient" M.A.T. Program (Medically Assisted Therapy). I did this voluntarily. I was sent to a Doctor once a month where he had me give a urine sample to make sure that I had no traces of Hydro in my system and made sure the Suboxone was. He prescribed me 8 mg Bupe/2mg nax strips (one in the morning and one at night) I did this religiously for right at a year. My life turned around...got a car, job and an outstanding GF...job and GF both knew of my treatment program as I took it very serious. 3 weeks ago my Dr says that he's quitting the program that it's too much hassle and he's going to move away. I said "soooo what about my Suboxone Program?"...he said. "Well you need to start tapering off now and you will have time to see me once more before I leave " Ok, at this point, I become a little nervous as he seemed distant and short with his story...AND I call my MAT Program Counselor and she/they had no word of this?! So I get a little frantic as I have only a weeks worth left. The program facilitator said she would do some checking and get back with me "not to worry" I must also tell you that in my area...only 2 Doctors are available to prescribe the Sub and both were/are full with waiting lists that are full. 3 days go buy and I get a call from my MAT program but it's a lady I've never heard of...and this was her response "Hi James, we are calling to tell you that the government has run out of money for your program." Long pause..."...so we was wondering how you felt about that and did I have any questions?" I was aghast! She said " we have made arrangements for you to see the Dr once more to get information on how to taper back slowly and to get one more mos supply to do so"
I call to make the appointment with my Dr that prescribes my Suboxone. When the nurse answered she was very quiet and clearly upset...I went on to tell her that I was calling to see Dr XXXX once more and why. She then went on to say "...he's gone...we don't know where he's at? He left the week prior and has not come back and is/has not returned our calls ?" I was mortified. She said "..we found a Dr in the STL area but we are not sure if he's full?" After seeing these people for a year...you become friends. They have seen me go from near death to a well dressed, clean (got my sh@t together) person...only to be dropped with nothing they could do to help.
The system failed me...not ONE person , counselor...not even my personal nurse I knew for a year called to check on me . I was dropped and swept under the rug. So...I am in the middle of the most terrible withdrawal I have ever experienced...I have spent a solid week in bed...I can't think clearly, VERY moody, withdrawn, angry, missing work...and wondering when/if this living Hell I am going through will ever stop. I had no time to taper...I did everything I was directed to do do a year. And this is how it ends...I am so upset...I want to crawl in bed into a fetal position and sleep until I'm not tired. I'm not hungry...food tastes like sand...diarrhea. I've read it all and I am going through it all. Last Sunday morning...I started shivering and convulsing so bad my girlfriend literally wrapped me up with blanket from the dryer and she laid with me as I wept like a baby for 45 mins.
THIS IS MY SUBOXONE STORY and I wish that I NEVER seen a pain pill or the "cure."
I pray that I come out on the other side alive.
*Please respond with anything...I know your forum to be true to heart and I ask you for any help...
Thank you for your time...Jim or (James if it's bad news)


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 Post subject: Re: Forced Withdrawal
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 2:15 pm
Posts: 188
Jim.....im so so sorry this has happened to you. This makes me so sad. And very angery. Very.
How and why people with this disease are treated is beyond me!. So here we are,doing well, getting our lives backand then some one or thing pulls the fn rug out. I just dont get it. ..im really upset to be reading your story. Im at work shaking mad.

It is as if they dont understand a thing about WD.

SHEEH....i could ask you if you have called every dr in your area, but im sure you have.if not do so.
I myself cant help you with your wd,but there many people here that Should be aloug soon. Only thing i can say is i can pray for ya Jim. Try to see that its bn a week and it will get better. There are many people here who have stop sub.....im just dumbfounded when i rwad these type of posts...hang in there Jim.

raz...


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 Post subject: Re: Forced Withdrawal
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:42 pm
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I'm not quite following 100%

I am SO sorry this is happening to you. Is the Dr. still within that practice and just making up a BS excuse to not see you because your funding ran out or has he actually left everyone in the lurch, his staff included? Sounds like it could be patient abandonment to me if he has not consulted with and helped you set up alternate care (for a new Suboxone prescribing Physician) when he is no longer able to see you. The link at the end is a really rudimentarily explains patient abandonment but the law itself is a BIG DEAL and Dr's can get in tons of trouble for operating that way; they can loose their ability to practice for periods of time plus pay fines. In your situation, I know you have a lot on your plate, but I'd encourage you to look into it.

Dr. J would have better insight than I would if he happens to see this, but if you're in any position to do so, you may want to have a cursory consult with an attorney and find out if this is, indeed, patient abandonment and if so how to proceed. At the very LEAST if it is, I would call your states medical board and file a report.

GOOD luck, you deserve it!

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-patient-abandonment.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Forced Withdrawal
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:04 pm 
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This is an awful horror story. I can't even imagine.

Did you check out for all doctors within like a 100 mile radius? In my area there are a ton of doctors; I can't imagine living in an area with a shortage. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Forced Withdrawal
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:51 am 
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hey there Jim, I'm so very sorry this is happening to you. this actually happened at my very first sub clinic. the doctor just walked out on a hundred patients, leaving us all twisting, I panicked a little bit, but asked around the city, of which I wasnt even familiar because I have to drive far from home for treatment because the waiting lists at home are so long. I found a new doctor the same day, luckily. Travis,( twin cities) also advised me about patient abandonment, and that's exactly what happened to us man, we were abandoned by our doctors that we count on for treatment of our illness and medication, that if not taken regularly, causes brutal physical withdrawal symptoms. mine left without even leaving prescriptions for any of his patients or referrals to other doctors. this has to be illegal!?I never pursued the patient abandonment thing because I was lucky enough to find another Dr. fast, but I've no idea what happened to the rest of those patients. perhaps,i should've pursued the issue to help prevent such a thing from happening to others. do you know if there are other providers in your area or even farther away if necessary? if so, please get an appointment with another sub Dr. soon. it doesn't sound like you're at all ready to stop treatment, and no one should be forced out of sub treatment, especially in the way that you have. One thing I'm not quite understanding though, is was your medication paid for by some special assistance program, and is that why finding another Dr. Will be difficult? if so, there's other programs and ways to save money on buprenorphine treatment when cost is an issue. the here to help program by Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Suboxone, will provide free of charge the Suboxone for a year for three patients per sub Dr. also there are generics of Suboxone now, which can save money. there are websites like goodrx.com that will allow you to print coupons that provide significant savings on rx meds, by entering the name of the medication, and quantity. also to save money some patients are prescribed a med that used to be called subutex, but is now available only as generic buprenorphine, without the naloxone that is contained in brand name Suboxone. some docs will rx this med and some won't. the naloxone is added to Suboxone to deter iv abuse, therefore has a higher abuse potential, according to some. this medication is only a f raction of the cost of Suboxone which makes treatment possible for some who otherwise couldn't afford treatment, if that's the case for you. So it's so important that somehow you find another provider quickly. Since you've been in stable recovery for so long now, you may have a good chance of being prescribed plain buprenorphine, especially if you present the case to him/ her, as you have to us here. again, not sure if the financial aspect is why you can no longer get treated, or if it's because of not being able to find a provider but just
in case it's the latter there's several things you may already know about, but just in case you don't, you could visit the Suboxone website, input your zipcode and search area, and you'll be given a list of sub providers in that area. if you visit naabt.org, you can use their treatment match program, by entering your zipcode, distance willing to travel, and what you want in a Dr./ provider, like long term treatment, counseling etc, and participating doctors will receive an e-mail that there's someone seeking treatment. If the Dr has opening, and is willing to take you as a patient, you'll receive an email from the Dr, to make an appt.
As I sit here thinking about your plight, I find myself getting really angry! I simply cannot understand how such actions on the part of this doctor seem to be treated as if it were the norm, or something to be expected. Even the staff's reactions dont seem quite right to me here. it seems as if they've been left in the lurch as well by this doctor, and aren't sure what to say or do for these patients that have been abandoned. do you happen to know this clinic/ office will be looking for another doctor to take over the care of these abandoned patients, and if so, how long it may be until they find one? you may be able to temporarily get treated somewhere else, perhaps a farther drive, just until this place procures another doc? Other than these things, I'm not really sure what more help I can be to you, except to be here for you should you need support during this difficult and scary time. I hope you're able to find some treatment soon. you'll be in my thoughts. please let us know what happens.


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 Post subject: Re: Forced Withdrawal
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Thanks to everyone...I will add what I can to clear up my story. Please forgive me as I'm not thinking well and if I'm repetitive I apologize.
*Yes...my MAT program was a government funded entity for those that could not afford treatment. At the time...I was unemployed and qualified. The Dr. was a regular family physician working out of a completely different office and city. He had an agreement with my program to see the patient then they would reimburse him. When it came to filling the script...that was a regular pharmacy that would take your script...fax it to the main office...then wait for a faxed approval to satisfy their needs. This would take as long as 4 hours. Every 30 days I got to be apart of this great process. It was paid for so I was thankful.
I'm guessing here but usually neither departments knew what the other where doing...scheduling was a nightmare...getting the Dr to see me around work and on or around that magical 30 day period...appt could only be authorized by the nurse in charge. Many times I didn't know when my appt was with just a day or two notification. Every visit was a cluster...and my Dr spoke his distaste of the program OFTEN.
So he was a family physician that seen Suboxone patients on the side. MANY times they would ask me "has your Dr talked to you about getting off Suboxone?" I would tell the Dr there concerns and he would smile, not answer and fill the script. The most he ever said was "we let the patient decide" I was doing well in life and didn't feel like it was time. Here is where I think the conflict occurred. When I started this program...maybe 30-40 in classes that quickly dwindled down to half that...that ultimately became me being the only one left that either didn't pass their urinalysis or was put back in jail. I was offered more pain pills in my counseling classes than I ever was on the street...I quickly seen that these people went through the motions whereas I was their go all of it...I wanted to be there and looked forward to going. So I have come full circle. I've seen it all...beginning to end. I miss what it feels like to feel good...naturally. So that is just another small chapter...I'll continue to read all responses and reply as I can...
Jim


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