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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:38 am 
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Hello - first time posting...

My son is a heroin addict and it has put him in prison all to no avail - after 2.5 yrs comes right out and here we go again... Well he decided he wanted to try suboxone for the second time in 5 years... Which sounded like a plan to me - however he can not afford the $500 or so a month that is cost... thus this is where mom ( me) comes in.

I agreed to pay until he got insurance which should be shortly as he is working now... However he has been on these now for over 2 months... but he still uses at least one a week, well this last time he made it 2 weeks... Sorry but at $500 a month I find this to be a waste....

Now my question is - is this normal??? Am I expecting too much? He says he wants to do an IOP but there is no money for that - I am tapped out now... He barely goes to a meeting here and there - nothing to impress me with... So I am I just being a idiot or what????

He says it is not about getting high - cause he says he can't - He says it's the ritual - well that really makes me angry.....

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated..........I might add he is 24 - and was an extremely smart kid before all this....

Zana


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Well, Mom, it probably is the ritual if he is still hanging out with all of the people that he used with. If he is still with people who use then all of the Suboxone in the world isn't going to help. I would say that using once a week isn't "normal". You have to do what you have to do.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Well, Mom. I am an addict and a parent of two children. I am trying to put myself in your position. Is he still using Heroin? Or Suboxone? If Heroin, time to draw the line in the sand. If you continue to use, I am cutting myself off from you-no contact, money...if he is still using, going back to jail might be what he needs to save him from himself. He may not have hit his bottom.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:51 am 
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Hello Zana. I would like to say welcome to this site/forum. I am fairly new to here as well, but not to addiction of opioids. I have a "wasted" back and was seeing a specialist since I was in college (never finished, because of my addiction(s)...). A quick summary of drug usage:

Started drinking/smoking pot at 14....and it progressed from there. Throughout school I was an active athlete/person and me and doctor figured my back injuries started with highschool football/highschool work (hard labor, always). I have many herniated disks and other back problems. Before I seen an actual dr., I self medicated with the alcohol/pot, but then found pain killers (not heroin, not yet anyway).

I then went to a few doctors but they ALWAYS undermedicated and were afraid to write scripts for pain meds. Finally found "decent doctor" (I thought) and he started me on full opioid agoinists. I was always carefull to take my perscribed amount but tolerance built up very quickly. He raised the dosage several times but to a point, then he refused to raise any more for "fear of addiction" and stated that the only way I can manage my pain is with invasive surgury and not medications....(I have had many epidurals and other steriod injections as well, MRI's, and many tests and resuslts confirming my diagnosis).

At this point, he leveled off my oxy's and by this time I was WAY outta control. When I last seen the doctor for pain I was taking GRAMS of oxycodone in a month, many grams. I had gotten to the point where I was taking EASILY a gram of oxycodone every few days or less. I also have taken most of the other powerful pain killers available (morphine, fentynal, diludid, ETC, ETC.....

Legal scripts went to finding pain meds black market, but that got way too expensive way too quick. One day when I went to get my "meds", the guy (my "drug dealer") said he had another pain killer that was as strong or stronger then oxy and WAY cheaper (looking back my reasoning was a joke!) . Heroin. My life was already piss poor because of pain, what did I have to loose? I lost a lot before and after the dope. I ended up "loosing" a child with one girl because of drugs (not talking about loosing to child protective services). I then found a wonderful women/girl(3-4 years older) that I fell in love with and she did too, but I lost her because of dope as well (she left me, but looking back, I left her per se). My best friends are either dead from OD or in jail or wanted and running somewhere in the country doing who knows what.... My father died almost 4 years ago now, in the middle of my addiction, which is my biggest guilt on my shoulders as well as the other thing, which I hate talking about.... I can go on and on and on.......

Sorry to get off point.

I heard of suboxone, methadone, and every other way to kick the habit. (I used many drugs, but agionists were the things that made my life unmanageable...I used every drug you can think of, I used cocaine for years with binges that went on for months and months, but was able to walk away from that no problem, not opioids tho). I used methadone at the end of my active addiction to "fix" inbetween fixes. I thought suboxone was the same thing. I did LOTS AND LOTS of research and found that I was wrong (boy that was hard to do, admit I was wrong, its a bit easier now tho :( ......). Suboxone has been a complete life saver and turned my life around in the short time I have been on it, even though I have A LONG way to go...

I don't know your sons history or how much he used, how pure the dope was etc. I do know I was doing as much as I can afford of the most potent dope in my area. (don't know how pure, but it was strong). Every day, at the end of active addiction, I was using in excess of .5 grams to 1 gram of dope, sometimes more.....every single day for as long as my money lasted. All the sudden I realized what I had done and will continue to do if I didnt stop then. I never been in jail, never been in an institution, but knew I didnt want to. Suboxone when used properly can prevent many of these hardships and situations. The last time I purchased any agoinist was 6/19/2009, 2 bundles of dope (20 bags) about 2 grams. I used the last of that and have been off of full agoinists since 6/20/2009.

I started suboxone 6/22/2009. These are the only script that I can take as I am directed, I have never abused them, nor felt high from them...just normal. I haven't used since then, this 12/20/2009 will be 6 months free, clean, however you want to call it. This does not mean that I don't think about dope/oxy's. I do everyday when I am in agonizing pain. I think the subs help a bit, but that is it and may be an overstatement.....I don't want to be able to compare with other stuff (dope etc) so I have learend to manage my pain. I have my own business, and even tho with the economy and my addiction it is suffereing, I still am here and so is my business. I have a lot of repairing to do but that will take time.

I know you prob by now are like, ok and what does this have to do with me / my son? I am only 26 years old but have seen many different sides of this disease of addiction. I may not be 56 or have all the answers but I know what I lived through and would like to help anyone who is in a simialr situation, anyway I can...even with my own experiences.

Suboxone is an expensive drug. But for me, way less expensive then active addiction (for many others as well). I don't know what you are paying for what, but I am on 12mg per day suboxone. I think I am paying a lot compared to other pharmacies, but I pay just under $300 for a script of 45 for the month. Dr. visit is $100 (after the initial $250 for induction that he charges) per month. I drive almost 3 hours there, 3 hours back in a heavy duty truck which averages 6-10mpg highway. BUT that is only one day per month I sacrafice to "be normal again", BUT I was paying $250 at least, every day before suboxone if not more!

If your son wants to get better, than he will. Everybody's "rock bottom" is different. He may not have hit it and may need to in order to really get better. I think that a reallity check may be needed but I don't know your situations.

I do not think you are being an "idiot". You are trying to save your sons life! He needs to see that there may not be a next time and that he needs to do something now to change. Taking suboxone does not fix everything. By no means! BUT it makes it possible for addicts like my self and countless others to take control for once. One needs to really want help/want to change, before suboxone will be effective. It cannot be used to simply help withdrawals when no dope or it cannot be used once in a while "to keep someone in check". From what I have learned (I am by no means medical professional, but do always research the chemicals I put into my body), the addict needs to completely be away from temptation and others using drugs. I do not know how I would react if I seen someone preparing some dope. I also dont know if this is what you son is doing.

The "ritual" of using......hmmmmm, thats a tough one! Obviously from being on suboxone your son's tolerance for any opioid will be greatly increased. He would need (depending on dosage of bupe) a lot more dope to get even a little high, which usually ends up with the user using way more to try to get high and many have OD this way. Your son may not, and may be addicted to the needle as well (or how he took the dope), but that seems it would be a whole different issue besides phyiscal dependance. I think (completely opinonated) that he needs some more help whether in the form of actually NA committment, or other counseling to combat his addiction besides suboxone. Maybe that will help the situation, maybe not.

He may still be a smart person, but making poor decisions because of being an addict (as the case with me and many others).

This was so off the point and you may not even find it useful. I hope that if you do have any questions you ask. I am hoping to help anyone I can with this horrible condition any way I can. I know this was more of a personal experience reply rather than simply answering your questions. I just wanted to share what I have learned. PLEASE ask me anything that may help, I hope I can help!! Also, as Dr. Junig and other experts say, an addict is EXTREMELY self centered (active addict or not, just look at this post, me me me, I I I...) and usually whether they want to or not, "its all about him/her" as in my case. That is one of the main things we all need to fix in order to get better, I think anyways. Maybe this will prove to be helpful insight, I don't know. I just hope that I can help in any way possible, to anyone who needs help.

If ANYTHING seemed offensive, please dont take it that way. I am horrible at loosing translation through text. Everything in this post is ment to be of use not to abuse or single out/pick on ....by any means! I wish you all the luck and your son and hope you's can work together to get better. Good luck with everything, and don't be afraid to contact me if you have anything to say/ask........thanks for listening too, that always helps, for all of us it seems!

_________________
"The past is finished. There is nothing to be gained by going over it. Whatever it gave us in the experiences it brought us was something we had to know."----Rebecca Beard

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." ---Salvador Dali


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 Post subject: Insurance
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:17 pm 
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I too am very sorry for all you are having to go through with your son. There is obviously no way that we can really give you the right advice just from reading here. There is really no way for us to be inside of your son's head and know what he may be thinking or doing.

What I did want to bring up for you is if your son is already on Subxone, he now has a documented pre-existing condition. It doesn't matter that you paid for it. The fact that he has filled a prescription for this drug means he will legally have to disclose that when starting his own insurance. Insurance companies are already very bad about paying for this drug. Many will not pay at all and some only a small fraction of the monthly cost. I am pretty certain that just about any insurance company is going to deny future payment for your son's Suboxone based on the fact that he already is on it prior to starting the new insurance.

I know that really sucks, and I'm not even going to start about the whole health care system debate. However, pre-existing conditions are a reality. I'm not at all sure how Medicaid might treat this in your state. That may be an option. Unfortunately, typical health insurance, likely is not. Which means you may still end up having to find a way to pay for it.

This might be one of those situations where Suboxone is not the answer, but Methadone may be. Given the fact that Suboxone doesn't seem to be controlling his craving and using anyhow, it certainly is not worth all of the expense. At least with Methadone, the cost will be substantially lower than with Suboxone.

The best of luck to you and your son.


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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