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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:28 pm 
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Hello Everyone,

My name is Ron and I am a partner to an opiate dependent friend Jason. I do not use opiates myself but have other dependency issues that seem to run my life in many ways. I have joined this forum seeking advise and help to navigate this complicated world with opiate dependence management issues in a manner that my friend Jason has a clear and proper direction to proceed. With his permission, I will identify the public case of his and my involvement. I hope that I can summarize most of the important background information that might enable some real discussion with others who have gone through such difficulties or might be familiar with a path to help provide better recovery for my buddy Jason.

Jason is 40 and I have know him and he has lived under my wing for more than seven years now. He has been in methadone daily treatment for a period of more then 10 years. Only a portion of that time, less than two years has been covered by any sort of public assistance affordable care. Much of the length of time and daily treatment with methadone has been paid out of pocket at a rate of $95.00 a week. Four years ago, I helped Jason fill out a Federal disability application and he eventually got the attention of a legal firm whom helped him get into a year long evaluation process in application for his SSDI due from his working life prior to his fully favorable decision for disability. Jason has PTSD and a life long problem that he needs help with. He now has a monthly income due from his work life. His physical health and condition has been deteriorating now seemingly rapidly and his access to proper medical care and the application of best medical practices is in question. I will be posting to this forum and searching for contacts with those who might help, aid and assist in suggestions as to a proper course of action for the survival and better health of Jason in search of some recovery.

To begin with I recognize this as perhaps an international forum or at the very least this message may have a nation wide reach across America. I will disclose that we both are living in the State of Maine. The Maine Legislature has placed public Laws limiting any methadone assistance care, and Jason seems trapped in a paradox of lawmakers practicing medicine. When he became Federal Medicaid eligible last December, his Maine Medicaid status was terminated so that all of his costs for care remain out of pocket. I have been in petition to the State of Maine through the Legislature for better recognition of care for everyone in a similar situation as Jason but the results of the legal maneuvering and plea for help has been less than requested or expected.

The reality is that Jason would like to move from methadone to subutex in some form. However, the history of all Maine programs is that unless a client has private insurance paying the higher costs of subutex, his out of pocket fee has kept Jason in the lower cost methadone treatment. He has take homes now for a year and his methadone dose is under 90mg and been at that level for a long period. The clinic that he goes to will neither raise his dose and seems to have some problem at reducing his dose on request either. He had been treated with larazapam (benzos) in small quantities to help him deal with anxiety and symbalta for depression and once had productive counseling sessions with a trusted psychologist until being kicked off any State medicaid funding. At one point the larazpam rapid withdrawal caused blackout seizure which he was hospitalized for thee days of ICU care. He often vomits prior to his methadone dose and can loose his cookies after taking it. Eventually he usually seems to be stable and alert and talking and performing normal activity for only a few hours every day and the rest of the time is spent in some horrible semi comatose state trying to get rest and sleep that never seems to come.

Please, if there is anyone out that that can help advise what might be the bast way to work through these medical irregularities, I would be grateful for any advise. Jason does have medical authorization in the Maine medical marijuana program and does have access to an available supply. His request that needs authorization that continues to be fought and denied is to have affordable access to subutex which would now be available to him as Maine changes it's opiate dependence treatment protocols available to those eligible for public assistance except that Jason has been continually denied the request as to the expansion of medicaid by Maine's dirty politics.

Thank you for reading this. I am hoping that some might take the time to respond. All responses answered.

RonJason


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:00 am 
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Hi Ron,

I'm sorry to hear about your problems with Jason's healthcare. It's sad to me that government officials don't think enough of this disease to consider covering it with state funded healthcare. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to watch someone you care about suffering because of our government's bias toward addiction therapy.

I don't have any advice about how to proceed, but I wanted to offer you my support and welcome you to the forum. It's entirely possible that someone will have some good advice for you here. At the very least, there is a wealth of information that can help you to understand his disease and treatment with suboxone/subutex and even methadone, available here.

I hope you are able to affect some kind of change in the way this issue is treated in your area. It seems to me, if he has been approved for disability and this medication is helping with his treatment, it should be covered without question.

Again, welcome!

Q


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:58 am 
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qhorsegal2 wrote:
Hi Ron,

I'm sorry to hear about your problems with Jason's healthcare. It's sad to me that government officials don't think enough of this disease to consider covering it with state funded healthcare. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to watch someone you care about suffering because of our government's bias toward addiction therapy.

I don't have any advice about how to proceed, but I wanted to offer you my support and welcome you to the forum. It's entirely possible that someone will have some good advice for you here. At the very least, there is a wealth of information that can help you to understand his disease and treatment with suboxone/subutex and even methadone, available here.

I hope you are able to affect some kind of change in the way this issue is treated in your area. It seems to me, if he has been approved for disability and this medication is helping with his treatment, it should be covered without question.

Again, welcome!

Q
Thank you for the reply to my/our introduction. Medhadone while perhaps keeping his urge for oxycontin well stabilized over the past ten years, it is certainly no answer well to his physical health oe mental health. The petition is to allow him available access to subutex when he is able to taper to a point to get onto it. Problem is that we keep hearing that it is not allowed and I am trying to change this response.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:49 am 
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im wondering if your asking the powers that be for subutex vs suboxone maybe hurting your chances.
Most drs will not give subutex.
I understand there are other issuses at stake here,but its just a thought.
Best of luck to you and welcome....


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:31 pm 
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razor53 wrote:
im wondering if your asking the powers that be for subutex vs suboxone maybe hurting your chances.
Most drs will not give subutex.
I understand there are other issuses at stake here,but its just a thought.
Best of luck to you and welcome....


Thank you for that response and I'm sure that I don't know all of the particulars or details of the interactions or differences of the two similar opiate dependence medications. The director of his methadone program coordinator had suggested that Jason would be better suited for subutex and I am under the impression that the real difference in the medication is that Suboxone includes a narcan medicine to prevent overdose? Jason has never taken heroin and had developed his addiction which started through Oxycontin prescribed to treat an on the job injury that got out of control. His dependence has been satiated with methadone but the reality is that the methodone just seems to be killing him in a manner that he remains so dysfunctional, basically being kept down and not allowed any access to bring him back to life in a manner that will support any chance of recovery.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:13 pm 
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It sounds like suboxone could be very beneficial for Jason. I had two years of methadone treatment before switching to suboxone and during that time, I still felt like I was in active addiction. I definitely felt my methadone dose in the morning and by night I'd feel sick, which was pretty similar to using actually. I never had an even, normal feeling. The fact that Jason is throwing up before/ after his dosing is quite telling. As is the non-sleep sleeping. His quality of life seems to be suffering quite a bit. Suboxone is different from methadone and doesn't have those effects for most people. It just makes you feel "normal." I'd be willing to bet you'd see big improvements with Jason if he was able to make the switch.

I can't offer advise on medicaid or programs but it's worth the switch even if he has to figure out how to pay for it out of pocket. It's his life we're talking about and right now, he's not really living it, from what it sounds. I'm hoping you get the answers you need.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:02 pm 
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tinydancer wrote:
It sounds like suboxone could be very beneficial for Jason. I had two years of methadone treatment before switching to suboxone and during that time, I still felt like I was in active addiction. I definitely felt my methadone dose in the morning and by night I'd feel sick, which was pretty similar to using actually. I never had an even, normal feeling. The fact that Jason is throwing up before/ after his dosing is quite telling. As is the non-sleep sleeping. His quality of life seems to be suffering quite a bit. Suboxone is different from methadone and doesn't have those effects for most people. It just makes you feel "normal." I'd be willing to bet you'd see big improvements with Jason if he was able to make the switch.

I can't offer advise on medicaid or programs but it's worth the switch even if he has to figure out how to pay for it out of pocket. It's his life we're talking about and right now, he's not really living it, from what it sounds. I'm hoping you get the answers you need.


This is extremely helpful advise from someone that has progressed through a comparatively shorter period of methadone use with similar sick feeling results that Jason experiences every day for at least the past ten years. I can not help but think that the long term methadone care for opiate addiction is some form of medically sponsored torture. It would be helpful to our attorney's understanding of this from the affidavits of others who may have already been through something similar. The quality of life is definitely suffering and both he and I see these circumstances and medical difficulties as an end of life situation. Human rights abuses and legal maneuvering to correct them are costly to legal firms and it remains difficult to get case attention to Civil Liberties Law Practices. I am myself in court represented by counsel in a Maine mortgage diversion program with a simple HAMP loan modification request to lower my payments to 31% of my income. The banking fraud and corruption against my accounts have already included the deaths of two individuals who suffered from addiction and lack of any access to affordable preventative medicine or available medical care. When an individual goes through something like this, they loose everything and the banks seem to profit regardless of any out come.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:23 pm 
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qhorsegal2 wrote:
Hi Ron,

I'm sorry to hear about your problems with Jason's healthcare. It's sad to me that government officials don't think enough of this disease to consider covering it with state funded healthcare. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to watch someone you care about suffering because of our government's bias toward addiction therapy.

I don't have any advice about how to proceed, but I wanted to offer you my support and welcome you to the forum. It's entirely possible that someone will have some good advice for you here. At the very least, there is a wealth of information that can help you to understand his disease and treatment with suboxone/subutex and even methadone, available here.

I hope you are able to affect some kind of change in the way this issue is treated in your area. It seems to me, if he has been approved for disability and this medication is helping with his treatment, it should be covered without question.

Again, welcome!



Q
With regard to what action I have been taking was to first meet with my Maine State Representative who happens to live just a few houses away and we have known coincidentally for more than ten years. I had written a letter to the legislature that was delivered through my representative. I wrote to Congress woman Olypmia Snowe prior to her departure from her office and she responded that her office would take no position and advised me to get a lawyer which I have done. I wrote a letter of explanation and sent if off to 25 key Maine State Legislators. I wrote to our illustrious clown Gov. Paul LePage, I spoke before the Maine Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee as a member of the public on the question to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. The measure has again been defeated once again this year to bring the question to the people but the efforts in the City of Portland, ME will pass a citizens petitioned ordinance that will effectively end the prohibition of marijuana this fall. Any suggestions that will more clatter the Bell of Wall Street will be greatly anticipated.


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