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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:26 am 
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I am amazed I never noticed or found a community dealing with buprenorphine on the net before this past month, this is long overdue.

I won't go into my complete history, as I began to and found myself typing away three hours later still six years from the present in my narrative!
I shall cut to the point. *edit* Okay, after another two hours I keep on typing my story, I shall cut to the questions and post my experiences tomorrow perhaps.

Okay!!!! So. I was once a slave to opiate addiction. I was addicted and constantly using oxycontin for over 3 years.
I managed to go sober for nearly a year cold turkey, but one thing leads to another.
I discovered Suboxone by complete accident, but have since found it is in many ways miraculous for me, yes I know it's not supposed to be a miracle pill, but for me it was and is.

After nearly two years of using it at increasingly regular rates, I am at a sort of problem.
I have been buying it off the blackmarket, funding the prescriptions of others.

I have been told it costs $600-$900 just to see the initial Doctor, and then additional fees as well as the monthly fee for the actual suboxone.

I was laid off recently and live on the meager $150 a week I am given by the state unemployment agency. I know of no way to raise such a large amount without seriously messing with my current situation and "comfort" levels.
I am sick of the excuses however, sick of the fear of running out and finding more, and sick of funding these greedy SOBs. Now with the release of generic Buprenorphine, the person I am going through admitted he is getting his pills now for only around $3.50, yet he is still charging me $15 a pill because "he needs the money", his mother pays for his prescription, he just uses my money to get high on with illegal substances and I'm sick of having to involve myself with that sort of thing.




Is there a way for me to see a Doctor without an inital fee of over $600-$900?




I can cover the cost of the pills otherwise I think, but I am desperate to find a doctor who will assist me and don't know where to turn.

I have finally gotten my life and sense of self back with buprenorphine, and have actually gotten to the point of preferring it over true opiates if given the choice.
It just makes me feel normal and ready to face what ever life brings.

I am tired of being taken advantage of, I've seen the suboxone . com doctor location service, but I want to find out if I can do this without the huge initial fees the people who "sell" to me say I'll encounter. I also want to find the generic form as it's finally down to a reasonable price for me to survive on.

Thank you all so much for coming together here and assisting others, and thanks for reading this.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:06 am 
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Hey Oklahoman, welcome to the forum. Not sure where you got that figure about the initial doctor visit and all I can do is tell you about my experience, but it was no where near that much money. My first visit to my current doctor cost me around 100.00 and the initial urinalysis tests were billed and am making payments to a testing company. I am self pay on all of this and the Suboxone gets expensive but it's all relative. I was spending around 2K a month buying crap on the streets so I don't complain much about having to buy 600.00 worth of Subs every 30 days. Money, while certainly a reality we must all deal with, was the least of my problems. I am no longer dealing with the nasty people you describe, I'm no longer breaking the law, and I'm putting my life back together thanks to a wonderful doctor and Suboxone. Good luck man, and check around on doctors before you give up. Let us know what's going on with you.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:04 pm 
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Hey there Virtual,
Unfortunately I don't have a simple answer for you but rather just a few things that you might look into as options. First off I'm not sure if you'd qualify for medicaid but it's defintately worth checking out I know people who have been able to have medicaid pay for at least 1 year of Suboxone maintenance but as medicaid is mostly funded by individual states they all have different rules about if they'll pay for Suboxone treatment and if so how long they'll assist the patient financially.

Second I'm fairly certain that my first Dr.'s appointment for Suboxone induction was only about 120.00 but I had been going to see him for several months before starting and I was already being drug tested regularly so I can't remember if I had to pay for drug tests that day. I have insurance (for now at least) but my coverage will expire when I turn 25 which is less than a year away now so I've been paying attention to how much the actual office visits are without insurance and I think most have only cost 60.00 and after passing all drug tests and not causing any problems for 1 year he said I didn't have to come every month anymore and now I've changed to only seeing him every other month. The medication itself is obviously expensive and I've seen the brand sell for 6-7.00 at nearby pharmacies (per 8mg pill). If you find a doctor willing to prescribe the generic Subutex however I think the cost is closer to 2.50 per pill. So all and all it does cost money obviously but I'm spending (and will be spending after my insurance runs out) a hell of alot less than I did for getting high. Also I'm no longer breaking into people's houses to steal meds or money now so I don't have to worry about being able to post bail or pay for an attorney :)

Lastly there are several websites that can help you locate a nearby doctor who prescribes Suboxone and you can at least find out how much they charge. I really don't think it's going to be anywhere near 500.00 but I could be wrong. One site is www.naabt.org and you could also just google "find Suboxone Dr." or something of the sort. Whatever happens though you're more than likely going to be alot better off seeing Dr. and getting used to taking only the dose of Suboxone he/she would prescribe and I'm really fairly certain it's going to cost you alot less. I hope you're able to figure something out and I hope you can experience the freedom Suboxone maintenance has given me :wink:

Take care and hope to hear from you again, also don't hesitate to PM (private message) me if you need help with anything.
Matt

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:18 pm 
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Thanks a lot for the info.

I heard these sums from several people, one of them having no reason to profit off of me.
I am hoping that they just ended up finding the most expensive addiction specialist without shopping around, following the advice of their single care givers and perhaps not going after a second opinion. Because that would mean perhaps I have cheaper options.

All in all, even though I have to buy my subs through a greedy doosh, it has still been a god send.
I usually take about 16 mgs of sub a day, on a good day I can keep it down to sometimes an 8mg tab and a half later in the day or evening, so 12mgs a day sometimes gets me by.

I've been buying them at a supposed "deal", 3 eight mg tabs for $40, so that's $13.33 for my dose. But I'm sick and tired of it, literally all my money goes to this except for my groceries. But hey, it's what gets me out of bed in the morning in many ways. I finally have the monkey off my back, and I am able to pursue my career and education in ways I never thought possible again.

And it's so much better than trying to find $50-$100 a day to get high on.

As i said before, I would rather buy subs than chase after the opiate high, and that was an amazing transition for me.
I had grown dependent upon that sensation for everything I did, everything in the world was gray without it.
Even after I kicked it cold turkey and traveled Asia, Siberia, Russia and Western Europe, there was still this hollow ache I could do nothing but try to ignore.

This past,..almost two years now, have been invaluable for my psychology. My mind has healed in ways I never thought it would.

It was like regaining my childhood in ways, as i tried to describe it at first when i originally used Suboxone, my mind was content to stop searching for the next moment, it was like my mind was at ease and I was just ready to live and see the next day.

Even though I have relapsed since my initial kicking cold turkey, I am still glad to say I never again reached the depths I'd reached when I was out of control spending a thousand dollars a week, if only I had learned about Buprenorphine when I still had $90,000.oo of life insurance to live on.
In a way that was the price I paid to not lose my mind after my mother died, I suppose.

Ironic now, that I am more happy broke living on a week's check trying to stretch it out, than I was with tens of thousands of dollars burning through my pocket.




All thoughts aside, back to the matter at hand.


Should I explain that I've been using subs for over a year now to the doctor, or just act as if I am kicking opiates and need assistance?

You mention drug tests. I am fully aware of the many opinions, but I have found through nearly three years of fighting opiate addiction what works best for me. I do from time to time enjoy a bit of cannibis, not on a daily basis or constantly but enough to show up on a monthly test, I wonder at the attitude of the addiction specialist, will I be denied subs for continued usage?

I know the doosh I buy my own subs from partakes of it, so his doctor must not be holding that against him.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:46 am 
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Don't have alot of time to respond right now but one quick thing I wanted to mention to you was how getting good absorbtion of the medication has allowed me to take less. I've been at 8mgs now for going on three years which I originally thought would be too little for me. The key I've found (that works for me at least) is to allow the tablet to dissolve under my tongue without swallowing then after about 20 minutes or more and allowing the dissolved tablet time to absorb under my tongue I then spread the dissolved gunk to all other areas of my mouth: top, sides, under and above tongue for another 20 minutes or so (still having not swallowed the whole time) while it could probably be done a little quicker that's the way I dose. Also I know this sounds nasty but if I remember correctly Dr. Junig once mentioned something about how one of his patients was even saving the orange spit in one of his blog posts and then re using it later as a means of saving more money which does kind of make sense as I suppose there is a fair amount of medication left in the spit. If you're really trying to save money though you might give it a shot. Anywho too hardcore for me lol :)
Now gotta finish up a couple more chapters.....

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:03 am 
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Funny you mention this, I am always thinking about things like this.

Since I started buying the generic, I have been letting it sit in my mouth a lot longer, I place it directly against the dark purple vein on the the bottom of my tongue, sometimes I break it in half and place a half on each vein, (as there are two on each half of your tongue down there), I will usually sit and read a book then, and let it dissolve without swallowing for around 30 minutes, and then I will swish it around and let it sit another few minutes before swishing it around a bit and letting it sit and I end up repeating this every few minutes for a while. The past week I've been actually doing this without swallowing for over 45-50 minutes.

It seems when the medicine "hits" you, the areas of your mouth it absorbed through have a sensation/flavor, almost a slight metallic feeling, akin to a very subtle battery on your tongue or something, it's hard to describe.
With suboxone, the orange medicine flavor would suddenly in about 30 minutes come back with a subtle feeling of coating my mouth, while the slight quickening I think some people call a high sets in and I feel a slight rejuvenation and feeling of motivation.

It's odd, the buprenorphine experience seems very prone to psychosomatic stimulus.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:34 am 
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You asked about whether or not you should tell a potential new doctor about buying Subs on the street. Again, I can only relate my experience, but when I first saw my doctor, I spilled everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It felt amazing to actually tell the truth for once in a loooong time about my drug use. The doctor didn't blink an eye. I am so very fortunate to have found this man. He "gets it" and is very supportive. Ironically, my doctor's main work is running a pain clinic, so he sees both sides of the issue.. I asked him about Subtex vs Suboxone and he explained that the Subtex doesn't have the antagonist in it like the Suboxone. This prevents people from snorting or injecting the med. I broke down the cost of my Suboxone the other day. I get mine from Walgreens and buy 30 at a time. It costs 196.50 for the 30 or 6.55 per 8 mg tablet.
I am in the upper Midwest and don't know if this is high, low, or about right for the medication. Just a few factoids about my situation. Hope you can hook up with a doctor soon. Once we place our feet on the path of recovery, strange and unforseen
things happen all the time. Hang in there and keep fighting the good fight.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:56 pm 
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Reckitt, the manufacturer of Sub, has a patient assistance program for people who are low income and don't have health insurance. My friend got her pills for free from them for 2 years. She only had to pay for her doctor visits and she found a guy willing to let her pay only $50 per visit. She did this by calling around (she got a list of sub docs from NAABT.org) and explaining her situation.

I got free treatment through a clinical trial for a while. If you live near a univeristy hospital that might be worth looking into. I know there are trials going on for new delievery methods of buperenorphine - like a transdermal patch or something.

Some methadone clinics have Suboxone. Call whatever one is in your area and find out. They might also be able to point you toward a doctor who charges fair fees. Check with your local DHS office as well. Some states have money for drug treatment for low-income people. Medicaid pays for sub treatment in some areas.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Regarding the cannabis thing....I think it depends on the doc. My friends' doc tests for EVERYTHING (pot, opiates, stimulants) including Suboxone. Mine and my husbands' docs ONLY tests for Suboxone (to make sure is being taken as opposed to sold). And so on. Even though my man's doc only tests for Suboxone, he stays on the right side of things by only smoking the first couple of days after his test then drinks a shit ton of water to clean out his system just in case his doc decides to test for everything.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:43 pm 
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I see. Thank you all so much for the helpful info.
I shall start calling around tomorrow it seems.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:52 am 
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I would like to let you know my experience with the costs of suboxone treatment. My first doctor (joke, got rid of him but not soon enough, ugh) charged $150 for induction, which was a piss test, brief consultation of what drugs I been taking, he then wrote me script for 24mg per day for a week, came back then $100 per visit here on out, 20mg per day for about a month, 2 weeks inbetween appoints, 16mg for the duration of treatment with him which was for about 3-4 total months. That is in North East PA, price per pill without insurance was about $6-$6.25 each. He and I did not see eye to eye and I found another doctor, excellent in every aspect, but about 120 miles each trip.

His induction, (neither doctor induction included doses in office, both were at home) was $250, also $100 per visit after that and only once per month, not weekly or anything. We decided on a dose of 12mg which works great for me, per day and that is a script of 45 for $292.XX. Right out side of Phila, in NJ..... So for month script and reg visit minus fuel to get there, tolls cause outta state etc, is $100+approx $300=$400 per month. Include travel expenses and flirting with $500/month total. That is CHEAP for my life back in control and to not break the law, in my eyes and my case anyway!!

It makes me upset knowing that people are selling this drug on the streets for money, 3 for $40 is not much maybe compared to active addiction prices, but these people may be the ones who mess up suboxone like so many other drugs being diverted and I would HATE to see that happen.......since it has saved so many countless lives like my own. I am not judging you in any way for buying black market. Believe me! Been there done that with everything else besides suboxone.....but I think the main reasons why the people are telling you that the doc's visit is like $600 (well, the people selling the subs anyway....) is because they want your money. They dont want to tell you that you can spend a few hundred bucks and have your own monthly script. Unless they simply meant that including everything all expenses since I know I am near $500.

As for the pot.....hmmmm....depends on the doctor I think. Some simply piss test for bupe, some for bupe/opiates, some for the classic 5 or 7 panel and some do not piss test at all. I know for me that I would not want to risk that because the suboxone are way more important than smoke to me.....I smoked religiously for over 12 years (pot and cigs actually :( ) and was able to walk away from that for suboxone. I knew what I really needed and I needed to live. Suboxone lets me live while smoking pot was "good", but it is a no brainer for me and I had no problems to this day, thankfully!

Good luck and I do suggest trying to research your doc and options for suboxone/subutex treatment. Some of the sites the others had mentioned are good. Any questions or anyway I can help please let me know. I have been on sub for nearly 6 months without relapse or misuse and I am very thankful for it. Take care!

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 Post subject: Here is your solution
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:37 pm 
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Hey since you're from Oklahoma have you tried applying for the O-Epic insurance? It's cost is based on your income. If you hardley make anything its free. My husband and I do pretty good and for both of us its $119 a month. It covers the suboxone treatment and my pills cost me $10. You should check it out! Also there is an amazing Doctor in Lindsey.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:32 am 
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I'm confused, I thought O-epic is a program that provides employers with
premium subsidies to help purchase health insurance for lower income employees.

I am living on unemployment at the moment, you believe this is still a viable option?

I am getting sick of buying through this unreliable flake. Now he's buying xanax over the internet and is hardly able to speak he takes so many, it's embarrassing, and he has his family thinking I buy xanax to explain where all his extra pills go. :evil:

More and more though I seem on the cusp of getting a Dr, I've gotten some good leads to look into, I just have to manage to conserve enough of my limited weekly allotment to build up the amount I'll need for the initial appointments.


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