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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:57 am 
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So, after a lot of careful consideration&exploring all my options.. I have made the decision to go to New Leaf, a rehab facility in my city.. Once a bed is open (I have to call them everyday or at least 3x a week to stay high on the wait list) they will give me a day or a few hours to prepare. From there, I will be put into detox. The detox center is actually a block away from my place so I can even walk if I dont have a ride. They'll keep me there for 2-5 days, and start me on a suboxone taper plan.. I have no idea how this works, or if I will be on suboxone at the rehab or not.. Its 60$ for this detox/sub taper with my medical card. But they will bill me for it if I dont have it at the time of admitting. Once I get to New Leaf I will get to use my cell phone again, which is cool.. Doesn't feel as "prison-like".. Hopefully I can get the suboxone the whole time, but I have a feeling it is only for the detox days, which gives me anxiety just thinking about it.. Will be reqired to do 25hrs/week of intensive group&one on one counseling at New Leaf. No cigarettes or coffee, which is a bit of an issue for me lol ;-)
I have never had any type of treatment for addiction, so I don't know what to expect.. I am not neccessarily a religious person, not that I am against it.. Just not my cup of tea. I am worried about the 12 step program.. As I have been trying to find SMART Recovery meetings, ect, that don't focus as much on religion.. I was wondering how many of you have been to inpatient treatment, &how did it work for you? Also was wondering if anyone has any experience with inpatient suboxone taper, and if they do it just in detox or all throughout your 30 days? As always, much love!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:12 am 
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I went through residential treatment 14 years ago, and then a few years ago I was med director of a residential treatment program. I'll describe the first place first...

This was in 2000, so Suboxone was not an option. I went to detox first, in an adjacent hospital, in a locked psych ward. I came off large amounts of IV fentanyl (no shortage of that for anesthesiologists!). They put me in a room and left me there... there was a camera in the ceiling, but I really didn't care about it, I was so sick.... I had sheets wrapped around my legs to try to keep them still, and luckily the bathroom was within a short crawl. I was order to get clonidine, but the order was to 'hold if systolic BP below 100'-- and I never got above 90, I was so dehydrated, so I never got a dose. I remember hearing the nurses footsteps coming, and trying to tense up to get my BP higher... but it never worked. At day 4, my goal was to walk half the length of the hall to take a shower, and I remember thinking that I'd never make it all the way there (about 50 feet).

After about 5 days I was sent across the parking lot to the residential treatment center-- 29 patients, some in singles and some in doubles, in an older house. There was a person on site all night, who I spent the first week talking to every night--- since I wasn't even close to a position where I could sleep. Those were very lonely nights, and I never knew time could move so slowly.

We started the day with a short meeting, then breakfast, then group meeting, then art therapy, music therapy, activity therapy (the ropes course and other exercises where we worked as teams to solve certain challenges). Then lunch, then group again, and individual counseling... we had homework assignments that took about 1-2 hours each day (writing our stories, writing first steps, doing 4th steps, etc). We had to hit a twelve step meeting once per day, on site or in the nearby town. You didn't get driving privileges for several weeks, so you would find someone to get to a meeting... nobody could leave the treatment center alone, and to leave you had to first get permission, make up a plan and schedule, and then sign out. If you were late coming back (like 10 minutes late after going to Target for essentials) you lost privileges-- such as the privilege to see family on the weekend, or to leave the facility for a couple weeks.

Privileges were also taken away for taking food to your room, not taking your turn to do the chores of the house, talking too much to patients of the opposite sex (any 'romance' meant immediate discharge). There were no cell phone privileges the first month (I was there for three months). You couldn't go to your home for the first month either. UA's were done a few times per week, randomly; positives were kicked out.

It was very regimented, and centered on the steps. The steps really don't have to have religion in them; they include a 'higher power', which could be anything-- such as the strength and wisdom of the group, or the beauty of nature. Yes-- some AA clubs close with the Lords Prayer, but I usually chose to step out before that-- as did many people who felt that 'religion' shouldn't mix with medical care. To each his own...

I think that it is a mistake to write off all programs that are step programs; I've never felt like God was pushed on me, and I've been to meetings all across the US. I can see how a person could choose to be offended, if they really were intent on being offended (lots of that out there these days)... but if a person chooses to NOT be offended, there was no offense given out that I noticed. Most of the people I met there were far more open-minded about religion-- keeping it private, and not pushing their agenda--- than the people I've met who HATE religion, who seem to constantly tell others what NOT to believe.... but I digress...

I did well in treatment, but that is just the start. After treatment I had group and individual recovery for 6 years-- weekly-- and weekly urine tests (twice per week the first 2 years). I had to keep up meetings, at least 2 per week.

Over the next 13 years, many of the people I went to treatment with relapsed-- pretty much all of the people who were not monitored with weekly UA's by a licensing board or court-- and some of them relapsed as well. But a few of us are still going strong. (or going, anyway).

When I was med director of a 50-bed residential treatment program, fewer people did well. I blame that on the fact that it was only 4 weeks- 6 weeks for opioid addicts-- and there were more people to keep under control. It was step based too, again without any 'religion' (I never learned, over 3 years, if any of the counselors went to a church or belonged to a certain denomination, for example).

Anyone who knows treatment will say that the whole think is about ongoing recovery. People who continue to attend groups and meetings tend to stay clean. People who think they can go in, get treated, then stop going almost always relapse. That is why I don't see the big issue people have with buprenorphine. SOMETHING must change, and that change must be MAINTAINED by either a medication or meetings. Which is more 'artificial'-- a med you take once per day, or a meeting you drive two twice per week? To me, they are both 'artificial'-- which is great, since most of us learned to mess things up pretty well in our old lives!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:55 am 
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Wow, thank you do much for your reply. I sincerely appreciate it. &I want to make VERY clear I am in no way, shape or form AGAINST religion or anyone who has faith in organized religion, nor do I hate it. That being said, I have never attended or been a part of any type of treatment, including AA/NA meetings. That is why I was concerned. And I guess I actually misused concern because I more meant I was curious about how much involvement there was. Your reply had relived quite a lot of my nervous feelings. I guess I was more concerned that I would be judged for not being religious.
That is crazy about the treatment you went through.. I am sorry you had to deal with all that.. But it obviously made you a much stronger person with the desire to help others. I am actually planning to start going to meetings as of tomorrow morning, both AA&NA near where I live. I attended a group today, Start Now, which told me about a few really safe, good meetings so that I have some sort of support system.. Thank you again so much.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:48 am 
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Hey girlie,

I'm glad that you found something to get started with!

I just wanted to reiterate what Dr. J told you. I live in an area very frequently described as "The Bible Belt". Even here, when I attended AA meetings I did not feel that any religion was pushed. IMO the meetings were very vague as to what the "Higher Power" was. It could be ANYTHING really. As a Christian, I didn't feel that anyone was pressuring me to NOT believe what I believe, but I also felt that those who had their own version of a HP were very comfortable as well, and definitely not looked down on. My experience was more of being a united front against our addiction. Although the HP is discussed, it's not done in a way that makes you share your views about what that is, or hear anyone else's views about it.

I really believe that you will enjoy the group meetings. If you go into it with an open mind, my experience with it is that they will greet you with open arms and can become a GREAT support to you. Keep in mind that these people have been where you are, and their only goal is to help you and support you.

Good luck KM! I hope you get the treatment with suboxone as long as you need it. Will you have access to a doctor after you are finished if you want to continue in treatment?

Q

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:53 am 
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Thank you so much Q! :-)
This forum is always so wonderfully positive!! Honestly, when I began my research on suboxone&trying to figure out a treatment program to fit my personal needs, I was ALWAYS stumbling across this&Dr. J's suboxone talk zone, ect. This forum&Dr. J's advice, knowledge, articles.. These things saved my life.. Maybe that sounds cliche but I sincerely mean it. Some of us addicts don't HAVE a solid "support system" to help us when we are going through this. I know that for me, I have pretty much no one aside from way less than a handful that are in my corner&WANT me to get better. But honestly, as much as I love them the fact of the matter is: addiction or not, (I have been addicted for 10 months.. Give or take a week or so.) , I have pretty much been "on my own" so to speak for MOST of my life. Including childhood. And when you don't HAVE that very important support system, it makes an already seemingly "impossible" recovery that much harder. So I just wanted to take a moment to thank Dr. J&you and everyone I have spoken with here.. This forum and researching the web have honestly been the main things keeping me heading in the right direction.. It IS hard not having people to back me up and encourage me sometimes, but when I am recovered one day looking back, I wil be that much more proud of myself for making these decisions ALL on my own and pushing myself to go to meetings&rehab and I think it will make me stronger. I am no longer worried about the whole religion thing, thank you both for your replies they definitely helped me in a huge way. And about the after care, I am on a wait list for the Freedom Program, which is a suboxone out-patient program. At this point, it is a 4-6 month wait list to start that.. But the lady who did my assessment told me that they tend to get people who go to rehab in a lot faster, so yes I will be seeing a dr. after, but maybe not right away. Could still possibly be 4-6 months down the road in which case I will start looking for a dr. that is a bit farther away. Thank you again for your reply! As always, much love!

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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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