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 Post subject: Hello suboxforum!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 5:47 pm 
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Hi everyone, my name is Vanessa. I'm a 28 years old and, I began using opiates as just a recreational thing between the ages of 16-19. From 19 -23 I began using opiates daily. I wanted to stop however, as we all know that's almost impossible on your own. At 23 I accidentally discovered suboxone. I was blown away by how well it stopped my cravings and for how long. I did a bunch of research on suboxone (alot on this forum, I used to be a member years ago) and decided that it's what I need to stay clean.

I obtained my suboxone through illicit channels for 2 years because of several factors. I had thought that a dr. would be too expensive, and at the time I thought I would be "branded" so to speak, with the word addict across my forehead. Finally in the spring of 2014 I became tired of dealing with and relying on people that didn't care about me or recovery to obtain this lifesaving medication. I put on my big girl panties and made some phone calls. I enrolled in outpatient treatment for counseling and group meeting. The suboxone program at the clinic was maxed out so my counselor helped me find a dr in the area. He was very expensive and didn't accept insurance but it was worth it too me. It was between 225-250 for the induction and, after that he requires that you come in once a week for the first 4 weeks at 120 per visit. After that it was a visit once every 2 weeks and then if your doing well he will allow you to go once a month on your 1 year mark.

Besides my Dr I went to a suboxone group once a week, every week for a year. I started off seeing my counselor once a week for a month or 2 and, and then once every 2 weeks. At first with the frequent Dr visits and outpatient it seemed like recovery was ruling my life! Between that and a full time job I barely had any time for myself. Looking back I wouldn't change a thing because, my life today is so much better! I got a way better job that has great benefits, and the opportunity to keep furthering myself in my career. I met my (now) husband. And we're in the process of buying a house! Everything is such a contrast to how I used to live my life.

Shortly after my first year in recovery is when I started my new job. The hours were drastically different so I couldn't keep going to my groups and counselor. About a year after I started the new job I found out I make too much money to stay on my current insurance, which didn't surprise me. I got on a new insurance that is a fairly low cost and it still covered my prescription however, they had my dr. Doing pre-Auths for my meds left and right. I've even received a few notices in the mail that say "this is not a bill" basically telling me that my urine screens were not being paid for. I always knew I wanted to try and taper off but I never had a actual plan of when I would start. Well last December, 2.5 years into my treatment I went to the pharmacy to pick up my script and the pharmacist tried running it and told me it required a pre-auth. They said they would fax over the necessary paperwork to my dr. I found it strange because previously the whole "pre-auth" thing was never something I had to be involved with. Other than an occasional notice in the mail telling me it was coming due. My dr. Always took care of it and it was something I never had to worry about.

The pharmacist recommended that I come back in a few days and it will probably be ready. So I waited but it was still a no-go. I called my insurance and expressed my annoyance because we had just done a pre-auth a few months prior and my old insurance only requested on maybe once a year. She just gave me the same Schpeel blah, blah "pre-auth" blah. For most of the time I was prescribed suboxone I was given 12mgs daily however, I only took 6-8 daily and stockpiled the rest because I didn't feel like I needed 12 a day and, also I never wanted something like that exact situation to happen and be up shit creek without a paddle.

Since December I've slowly tapered down to 3.5 daily and I'm doing OK so far. I plan to keep tapering and jump off at the lowest dose possible. Ist been a personal goal to taper at some point but, if I get off suboxone and start to have cravings that are too much to bear I will most certainly find another dr. and get back on because I refuse to let my life go down the crapper.

Sorry that was so long winded. I just wanted to explain a bit about where I'm currently at with my suboxone treatment and also say "hey" and introduce myself to the forum.

I hope that wasn't too unreadable. I feel like I just published my first novel lol.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello suboxforum!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 6:39 pm 
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Welcome Vanessa, thanks for the introduction. I'm still new here myself and I enjoy reading people's posts, including the long ones. That's why I appreciate you using punctuation and spacing out your paragraphs, etc. It can be very exhausting on the eyes when trying to read a post without some basic formatting.

I was very concerned about being "branded" as you say, after coming forward with an addiction problem. As someone that worries a lot and cares about what people think, it's difficult for me feeling so vulnerable and at the mercy of a doctor that I don't know very well. Trust is a big issue with me. But I too was in over my head, and I'm glad I made the right choice to get help.

I feel kind of disgusted at how expensive and how difficult it can be for people to get into much needed treatment. In my case, I honestly felt like my life was in immediate danger. I've been finding out just how lucky I've been with all of the doors that have opened up for me.

If you do decide to taper off of Suboxone, you'll find a lot of support here by people that have been through it all before. Again, thanks for the introduction and I look forward to seeing you around here!!

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 Post subject: Re: Hello suboxforum!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:06 pm 
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Quote:
Since December I've slowly tapered down to 3.5 daily and I'm doing OK so far. I plan to keep tapering and jump off at the lowest dose possible. Ist been a personal goal to taper at some point but, if I get off suboxone and start to have cravings that are too much to bear I will most certainly find another dr. and get back on because I refuse to let my life go down the crapper
.

Welcome Vanessa!

Not too long winded at all. You even used easy on the eyes paragraphs which make things much easier to read. Many don't. :D

You were so smart to stockpile. Many of us do the same thing. One of my only suboxone regrets is that I decided to be honest about how much I was taking a few months ago, and my doctor of course adjusted accordingly. Sure enough the pharmacy screwed things up the bottom line result being I had to wait
Almost two weeks to get my next script filled. The whole time I was so grateful I had several months worth saved up. Now I wish I'd stockpile another month or two.

I don't like being dishonest with my doctor, but we have to be prepared for every eventuality. There are so many ways things can go wrong. Doctors get sick or retire. Clinics suddenly close. Insurance stops paying. Whatever. When that time comes we'd better be ready. The world can often be a cold cruel place when it comes to us addicts.

I started last November at 24 and am now down to about 5. Hard to know exactly. I have to get that cutting guide you can download. My only issue has been waking up an night unable to go back to sleep. When that happens I just take a bit more which usually does the trick. But it slows the process. The thing I've had to accept is you just can't hurry it.

As OpenMind pointed out, there's plenty of support here no matter what you decide to do. Lots of knowledge and experience here that people are eager to share. Very glad you've joined us..

Best wishes,
Godfrey


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 Post subject: Re: Hello suboxforum!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:48 pm 
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godfrey wrote:
Quote:
I started last November at 24 and am now down to about 5. Hard to know exactly. I have to get that cutting guide you can download. My only issue has been waking up an night unable to go back to sleep. When that happens I just take a bit more which usually does the trick. But it slows the process. The thing I've had to accept is you just can't hurry it.

godfrey,
i was cutting my 8mg strips into 16 pieces! I found that as long as i was cutting them into even amounts, it was easy to cut them. I made a template when i was cutting them into 10 pieces. it took a few tries but i was able to draw 5 lines pretty evenly. for the 16 pieces, i cut the strip long ways then cut the 1/2 in 1/2 and so on. i use cuticle scissors.
i switched to 2mg about a month ago and i'm cutting those into 4-6 pieces.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello suboxforum!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:54 pm 
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Hi Openmind, thanks for replying! I try to use proper Grammer and Punctuation as often as I can but, as long as it's readable for people is all that really matters to me. I try to not take that stuff so seriously because honestly it's not like it's a letter to the president or something lol.

I didn't like feeling like I was mercy either, especially in the beginning when I had to sign that contract saying I could be terminated for a laundry list of reasons. And trust issues are exactly why I kept letting my dr write for 12mgs most of that time.

Glad you were lucky and seem like you had an easy time getting on suboxone. And yes the cost for many is so damn expensive. I get that in many cases it's cheaper than active addiction but, I feel like half the point of maintenence is getting our lives in order and, getting to a better place emotionally, physically and financially.

Hope your having a good night! I'll see ya around :D


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 Post subject: Re: Hello suboxforum!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 9:26 pm 
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Hey Godfrey

I am so glad I stockpiled! At one point I had many so, months worth saved up that at one of my dr appointments I told him I wanted to start tapering, so that he would gradually get to prescribing me what I had actually been taking. I think I just felt guilty in a way. My dr was very good about lowering doses too. He had suggested that he prescribe the same 12 that way I could "lower myself" to 10 but I'd be covered if something went wrong. I know part of it is that when the dosage gets changed a new pre-auth is required and, maybe he just didn't want to change it yet.

I remember when I did tell him a few months later that I was ready to try 8, I got to the pharmacy and they tried to give me my usual 12 so, I told them (figuring I would get in trouble somehow if I just accepted it) that the dosage was wrong and that I was now only on one 8 a day, rather than an 8 and a 4. They just gave me the 8's, looking confused, and sent me on my way.

Man that really stinks you had to wait those 2 weeks for your refill. And for being honest to boot. I would recommend to anyone who's been on maintenence for a while to try and stockpile even just a few weeks worth. You never know what can happen. I live in a northern part of the country and, in the winter we get alot of snow, I was always afraid it would be a state of emergency right at refil time.

So you started your treatment last november and, your already down to 5? That's awesome but, dont ever feel rushed. Your absolutely right. You just cant hurry it

Thanks for saying hi Godfrey, I'll be seeing you around I'm sure.

Take care!


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 Post subject: Re: Hello suboxforum!
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 10:19 pm 
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My only issue has been waking up an night unable to go back to sleep. When that happens I just take a bit more which usually does the trick.]


Hey again Godfrey I just remembered I wanted to share a trick I've learned for not disturbing your sleep too bad while your tapering. What has worked for me is simply changing the time I take my doses a little. Typically while I'm stable on a dose I will take my first piece shortly after waking up in the morning and, then my second piece in the afternoon.

If I were to continue that routine my sleep is almost guaranteed to be disrupted so what I do is wait it out before dosing in the morning. I will put up with the mild wds in the morning and, then take my first dose of the day later in the afternoon. Second dose I would then take in the early evening. That way by the time I go to sleep wds are not affecting me. For some reason I can better tolerate the mild wds in the morning than I can at night. And if I'm able to get a good night's sleep I know I'll be in good shape to fight in the morning.

So that's what has helped me. Obviously if you have alot going on in the morning this might not be the best approach. I just discovered this on my last taper from 4.5 to 3.5 and, I was on vacation from work. Also, I only mentioned this because you had said something about tapering and, working it out so it doesn't affect your sleep.

Have a good night.


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