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 Post subject: Methadone vs suboxone?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:34 pm 
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I have been on methadone for a year now. Thankfully, the clinic takes medi cal and I dont have to pay anything for my methadone. To think I was making major money as an RN and then have to rely on welfare and medi cal is difficult. Anyways, my insurance with Kaiser through medi cal does not cover psychiatry or chemical dependency. Two things I need more than anything, but whatever. So my insurance company gave me the number to the methadone clinic. When you are on methadone it is a commitment, especially the first 6 months. You have to go daily to drink your dose, with random drug tests. After 3months if you have clean drug tests, you get to take 1 bottle of methadone home, and come 6 days a week. From my hard work and clean drug tests, I now go to the clinic weekly and pick up 6 days of methdone to have at home, still with random drug testing. Since I have been there a year, I need to start paperwork so I can get 2 weeks supply and go to clinic 2x month only now. So, how does the suboxone process work? I moved over the summer and am 45 mins away from the clinic, so its a drive and much nicer now that I go less often and looking for work.

My struggles I faced that gave me many reasons to give up and relapse, but didnt.
Pror to the clinic, I was driving to SF to get methadone pills. So I took a 5mg pill the day before I started the clinic. The first day, you need to arrive at 5am to do an intake, meet with a doctor, and talk to a counselor. A lot of time is wasted and staff make you wait awhile and everythng could be done within 2 hours. However, you are there from 5am and you dont get to take your first dose (30MG) until 11am. Very difficult to wait 6 hours when majority of ppl are exp withdrawls. The clinic is open from 5am-1pm m-f and 8-10am on weekends. You have to come every single day to drink your dose there. I had a hellish 2 months when my husbands truck broke down and I was newly pregnant. We had no money at the time and my parents would give me some money if I begged them, but I didnt tell them I was going to the clinic caue they didnt know much about my pill problem till later. Anyways, each morning you kinda feel crappy until you take your dose. So with minor withdrawls and morning sickness, I got up around 9am which is early for me when I dont feel good. I would get up and walk 10 mins to bus station then take the bus to the subway then walk 10 mins from the subway to the clinic, which took about an hour from my house to the clinic. I finally felt better 30 mins after taking my dose. I went from walking like my shoes weighed 20 lbs and miserable to talkative and able to walk a mile if need be after dosing. My mothers daughter ( not my sister anymore, will explain why) lived with us or 3 months and occasionally used her car to drive a couple times, which helped. Until March of 2015 when I woke up to go pee at 3am and caught they having sex. I went crazy, destroyed all her stuff, only gave her the right shoes to all 15 shoes of hers and threw away the left shoe, tore up her art project she drew in college, etc. I literraly kicked her out that morning and havent seen her since besides when she came to get her destroyed stuff. After a lot of thinking it over and being pregnant, I deided to try to work out my marriage with my husband. They were high on alcohol and xanax at the time. He appologized and said he was sorry. That whore never said sorry and is telling everyone he took adv of her because she was all messed up and he practically raped her. Well she is lying about that cause when I walked in the room, she was bug eyed, able to talk and move around and walk outside. If she was messed up and taken advantage of, she would have been passed out or lying there confused like what is going on. She is 18, im 34 and she smokes week all day, yet she is telling everyone Im a dope fiend. Yet, I was on methadone the entire time she lived here until now and have the clean drug tests to prove it. She is telling ppl that I was snorting stuff, etc but Im mad at her cause its not true and she is not remoresful at all. My mom, who has always been with losers including her husband sho died recently was a child molester even to his own daughter, my sister. Yet my mom hates the guys I date and my husband. SHe said if I didnt leave my husband, I wouldnt have a mom anymore, so almost a year later, I have not spoken to her. My counselor thinks that all the struggles I have encountered and coming to the clinic daily, shows how serious I am about getting clean and chaingine my life. That my sobriety will mean a lot more, since it took me to hell and back and gave me a million reasons to relapse but I didnt.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:36 pm 
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Hi Jessie and welcome to the forum!

You have done a wonderful job being in recovery with the help of methadone! You've been in over a year now? Awesome track record! I agree with your counselor that you are proving how dedicated you are to recovery through your actions. I am sorry that there has been so much turmoil and upset within your family. Sometimes you have to choose your family members from the people that always support you, instead of what you're born with. I think you have a pretty good idea at this point regarding who you can really count on. Even if it's only yourself and your husband that's a start.

So you're about to be able to have 2 weeks worth of take homes. You have a new baby? And you're interested in finding a job. Good for you! I assume that you lost your nursing license? Are you looking in a specific field? Could you find something in home health or assisted living?

It might make sense for you to switch to suboxone. It makes no sense to me that Kaiser doesn't cover chemical dependency! The affordable care act mandates that all health insurance offers drug treatment, so maybe their policies have changed since you last checked.

In any case, to be on suboxone you have to find a doctor who prescribes it. There is a link at the top of our page called Find Suboxone Doctors. Some doctors take insurance, but many only accept cash. There are some sub doctors whose fees are moderate and they care about their patients, and there are some who are only in it for the money. The ones who don't care typically charge high fees and will kick you out for the smallest of infractions. If you want to try the suboxone route it can be difficult to find a good doctor. However, it can be done.

The upside of suboxone is that you only have to visit the office once a month and you get a prescription for 30 days worth of medication that you pick up in a pharmacy. The transition from methadone can be difficult. You will need to wean your daily methadone dose to 30mg, then you need to wait for several days to a week off the methadone before you can start on the sub. Otherwise you're looking at precipitating withdrawals, which suck. Some sub doctors will prescribe short term opiates like hydrocodone or oxycodone to take while your body is ridding itself of the methadone. In that case you will have to then go off the opiates for 18 to 48 hours and be in withdrawal before starting the suboxone.

Many of the folks who have switched from methadone to suboxone are happy with the switch, but not everyone is. We will give you as much information as we can about switching and support you through it if that is what you choose. Feel free to ask more questions!

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:58 pm 
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Thank you Amy for your reply. Sorry I took awhile to respond, been kinda busy. In regards to my insurance and Kaiser not providing psych and chem dependency is a problem. My understanding is we have medi-cal which gives us Alameda Alliance for insurance. Since I had Kaiser less than a years before, I qualify to keep Kaiser as a medi-cal patient. which is a subsitue for alameda alliance I think. What I believe is that I need to seek psych and chem dependency outside of Kaiser that my insurance covers. The medi-cal insurance agent was the one that pointed me to this methadone clinic. It would be much easier If I receiived all my care at Kaiser. Becaue of this, I have not gone to see a psychiatrist, which I really need. My husband saw one that our medi-cal pointed us to and I was not happy with them at all. This therapist had english as her second language, which caused problems for my husband to understand everything she was saying. The other therapsist at that office were similar. A psychiatrist my husband saw was clueless. I wantd to be there with him to speak to her because he desperatly needed a proper diagnosis and treatment. He was suicidal and I believe he is bipolar. My husband doesnt ike to talk much and forgetful (due to seizure history) so he is not a good source for an accurate diagnosis. I wanted to talk to her because I see it, hear it and deal with him everyday. She just said he was depreseed. I demanded to come in towards the last 5 mins. I gave her the list of his behaviors that are classic signs of bipolar, but she didnt change anything. So he received an anti-depressant and that caused him to become aggitated, angry like benzo's and other meds make him as well. So my husband gave up and does not want to see anothner
therapist because he tried a ew times and felt like it was a joke and didnt help him. I agree, but he needs the proper meds. Very hard to deal with his mood swings and anger. Sorry about venting and going off topic, AGAIN lol. My point was how Kaiser not providing all services has had a negative impact on us.

You mentioned that I can locate sub doctor at top of page. There is no way I can financially afford to pay cash, even if it is very cheap at this time. My medi-cal would need to cover it 100% like it does for my methadone. Im confused on my you need to be exp withdrawls when changing from narcotics or methadone to suboxone. Why cant I wean my methadone down to like 5-10mg then change to suboxone? Its like to start suboxone, they dont want any opiotes or methadone in your system. This will not work for me. When it comes to withdrawls, I can deal wit the physical symtoms, but not mental\emotional symptoms such as the depression and anxiety. I become suicidal everytime I have withdrawls.

For people that have had methadone and suboxone im wondering what they liked better and why. Do you have to submit drug testing while on suboxone? It seems it is much easier to be on suboxone, going once a month. Methadone is quite a commitemnt if you read my story. In the beginning, you go to the clinic daily , have random drug tests and see a drug counselor twice a month. I feel I need this structure to help me stay sober/off narcotics. I have had to work hard, been through hell and back to get there daily. With suboxone, it seems there is room to mess around and do other drugs than opiates. So how do the suboxone doctors know that the patients are behaving, drug free, etc At the clinic with my take homes, I need to return with all my take home bottles that need to be locked in a box with a lock. Also, they call you randomly to come in with your take home doses to show that the bottles you have not dosed yet are still there and not tampered with. They want to make sure people dont sell them. I do not know if methadone has a forum similar to suboxone, so I hope Im welcome here as a methadone user. I think I will remain on methadone, since the process has been a battle and have fought hard to get to where I am with my take homes. If you test dirty, you get your take homes taken away and need to come back daily. I will call my insurane again and look into a sub doc at kaiser. Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:10 pm 
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Hi Jesse,

If you want to join a good group that discusses methadone and suboxone try the methadone discussion group on facebook. It's a closed group but once you join they can answer a lot of your questions too. This is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MethadoneTreatment/

I am on methadone right now but it's been so hard to find a doctor under my insurance to prescribe it so I am going to ween off of the done and start on suboxone. I have been on methadone clinics before and they are ok but my insurance does not pay for it so I need to find a doctor to help me. I would prefer to stay on methadone but I can't find a single doctor that will prescribe it. There are plenty around San Diego that will precscribe suboxone so that is what I have to do. At any rate, check out the facebook group and see if you can learn a thing or two. all the best, megster


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