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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:50 am 
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Hey everyone. I'm Stephanie and I am obviously very new to this site, as well as Suboxone itself. I have been on opiates for 3 years now. It started small as in lortabs, then oxy, then heroin. I have been on heroin for over 2 of the 3 years, and I am sick and tired of it. I have been buying sub strips off the streets for one week now, but I am looking into a suboxone Dr tomorrow. (I'm in Shelbyville, KY) I want to know what to expect at the doctor's office and I have a ton of questions to ask of you guys.
*Will Passport cover the visit or will it be a huge fee for me?
*Do I have to be detoxing to get any Subs? I haven't used "H" In over 4 days now so the detox is over due to the subs I've been buying. Should I use just to see the doctor? (That sounds crazy, I know!)
*Do I have to go every single day, or will I get a prescription? I don't know the difference between a Suboxone clinic and a Suboxone Dr.
*If for some reason I can't afford the Dr, or can't be seen, how much Suboxone should I start out using? I have been using just 1/2 a strip a day.
*What is the difference between using dope versus Subs? Isn't it replacing one problem for another?
Please add in anything else you think I should know about starting this road to recovery! :-) Thanks all


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:32 am 
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Hey Stephanie, first of all Welcome! You will find a lot of helpful people here. I'd start by reading through some of the threads that pertain to your situation. It's less overwhelming when you see others have been where you are! Each sub doctor does things differently so you won't know for sure what your doctor's procedure is, until you find one and set up your appointment. Try not to worry though! You are making the right choice in getting help for your addiction. Just be honest with your doctor on what you've been using, and go from there. The cost of the appointment will again depend on the doctor you find. If you go to the suboxone website you can find sub doctors in your area and start making calls, first to see if they are taking new patients, then if so you can ask if they take your insurance or if the visits are cash only. Cash only seems to be the norm around me. I pay $150 a month, in the beginning I saw him twice a month, now just once a month. It wouldn't hurt to call a few though to get a feel for which doc would be the best fit. Unless you're in an area that has few openings and you just are glad to get in somewhere.
The sub dose varies by what you were using. I started at 12mg, moved down to 8mg, and recently tapered to 6mg. You'll figure out the right dose for yourself once you get stable taking the same amount every day. (The opposite of the drugs that created the problem) good luck, you are making a good decision in seeking help. Sorry I don't have all the answers for you, but just take the first step with finding a doctor and making an appt. and the rest will be figured out from there.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:40 am 
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Ok, I'm going to try to answer some of your questions. You can either get suboxone through a private doctor's office, via prescription that you take to the pharmacy to get filled, and if you've gota good doctor he will bar the size of your rx on the progress you're making, and your compliance with his/her program. The longer you see this doctor, usually you can be prescribed a thirty day supply with or without refills depending on the doctor.
I've been in treatment for a year now and just received my 1st rx with a refill, but have been getting 30 day prescriptions for several months now. This is a great option for people who have a fairly stable home life and relationships, and is convenient and private because you don't have to make daily trips to dose.

however you can also get suboxone through an OTP, which is an opioid treatment program, formerly known as the methadone clinic. In the OTP setting, you'll need to go take your actual dose daily at the clinic, until you have enough clean urine screens, and have met certain other requirements, then you'll qualify for take home doses of your medication. The schedule for earning take homes isn't nearly as strict as it is for methadone take homes, so if you do well, you can earn up to 28 take homes per month fairly quickly. Buprenorphine at an OTP can cost roughly anywhere from 8-21 dollars per day depending on what dose you take, and all counseling/gruop sessions, and urine screens are included in the cost. An OTP had some distinct advantages over office settings for people who need alot of structure and supervision in early recovery,who aren't really in stable home environment, or are unemployed or currently unemployable due to their drug use to insure that you take your sub properly, and to give your daily routine some purpose and structure. Just having to get up, get dressed, and be somewhere everyday can help prepare someone who is a bit unstable in early recovery for becoming an employable and responsible member of society again. Only you can decide which treatment option is right for you based on your current circumstances, and history of addiction. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.


I also wanted to answer your question about whether you would be just trading one addiction for another. This is a common misconception about medication assisted recovery. Addiction is a disease of the mind and body which is chronic and relapsing. The hallmark symptoms of addiction are constant obsession with a drug, always thinking of your drug of choice, planning your days and life events around when any how much of the drug you will have. Obsessing over how to get money to pay for the drugs, constantly counting and recounting pills etc., Panicking at the thought of running out and going through withdrawal, basically going to just about any lengths to stay out of withdrawal. It takes over your whole life and becomes a very demanding job that requires your constant attention, and even when you try to stop, you can't. .. ok that's addiction. You won't have that experience taking buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine is a medication that is only dosed once per day usually when used for addiction treatment, which takes away the obsessive thoughts and behaviors associated with active addiction, so that your other interests can return, and you won't be in withdrawal, so you can be well enough to work on the damage to your life that your addiction has caused. Yes, you'll be physically dependent on a medication, but it's not any different than a person with high blood pressure or diabetes or high cholesterol depending on their medication to maintain a healthy and normal lifestyle, and improve their quality of life. Addiction is an illness that can and has been successfully treated with medication. In fact, treatment for addiction with medication is one of the most studied and evidence based treatments in medicine! So it's certainly not trading one addiction for another at all, but trading in the miserable cycle of addiction that we all know. .. buy drug, take drug, need more drug, scramble to afford it, run out, get dopesick, rinse and repeat... you get the idea, for a treatment that allows you to not have to endure the agony of detoxing over and over again, just to wind up using again, and takes away your cravings/obsession for your opiate of choice, thereby allowing you to return to a normal functioning and healthier lifestyle.
Many people are able to taper off suboxone with far less discomfort than full agonist opiates, when they feel they've made significant changes in their lives and behaviors and have worked hard on their recovery, and have detached themselves from all aspects of the drug using culture and have a good support system in place. It has proven to be a miraculous medication for some people.

Ok, now I'll let someone else jump in here and answer your other questions. I gore you find the answers and help here that you're looking for. This has been a wonderful, helpful group of people to me, and a very big part of my recovery. Welcome!:)


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