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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:34 pm 
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This isn't really a legal issue concerning me, but I didn't know where else to put it on the forum.

As most of you know, I take a smaller dose than what I'm prescribed, and I only do that to protect my sobriety. I’ve always had a list of "what if's" in the back of my mind. What if my husband loses his job and in turn we lose our health insurance? What if they start making suboxone treatment like methadone treatment and I have to go to a clinic every day? What if my dr. loses his license?

The last one was the biggest concern for me because my dr. is an addict and was on a 5 year probationary period with the medical licensing board because he got caught several years ago taking several prescriptions that were called in for him by his brother who is a dentist. He was on probation as well as undergoing mandatory treatment with the state for the life of his career. This was actually his second 5 year probation period, he completed the first one with no issues, then relapsed again. He's the only sub prescriber in town, so what do ya do?

On my last visit when I checked in, they said they were only charging me $50 because my dr. got called out of town and he wasn’t there, so they gave me my prescription and I left. I had a bad feeling about that….

Today it made the paper. I logged onto the licensing litigation section on our government website and read all the paper work. Apparently last summer he had some dental work done and was prescribed a low dose of hydrocodone. The medical board asked him for a hair sample because he of course was on probation. It came back positive for hydrocodone and oxycodone. He denied taking the oxy’s, said that he unknowingly must have ingested oxy. On December 3rd, he emailed someone on the board and confessed to taking the oxy. His license has been suspended for 90 days, and during that time he will get a hearing to determine if he gets it back or they take it for life.

If I hadn’t been taking a lower dosage, and preparing myself for the “what if’s”, I’d be in a hell of a position right now. I’d be panicking, trying my hardest to find a new dr., and the closest one is 45 minutes away. I still have to find a new doc, but right now I’m not in “panic mode”.

I had someone, a member of the forum pm me and tell me that what I was doing was dishonest. That I really needed to tell my dr. that I wasn’t taking my medication as prescribed, because I was only taking 4-6mg a day instead of 16mg, and holding onto the rest of my prescription. I was told that this is addictive behavior and I needed to be honest about taking less. I ignored that comment, but I think it’s only smart that as addicts in treatment, we all need to have some kind of plan in place. These things happen and they happen every day. I’m no better than anyone else on here, I’m just an addict in recovery, but I chose to try to take the smallest amount of suboxone as I could to take care of my cravings and my pain. Because I did this, my sobriety isn’t in jeopardy right now, because I have some time to get things in order… I do understand however that sometimes that isn’t possible and some people need higher doses for pain or whatever, but if at all possible, planning ahead for things like this makes everything much easier.

I just wanted to tell everyone to be prepared for things that can go wrong, if you can. Don’t feel badly about holding onto your extra medication, as long as you’re not selling it or diverting it in any manner, it is your medication and you have the right to protect your treatment and sobriety. I’ve seen a lot of posts on this forum from people who stock pile their medication and they feel guilty about it. People can and do try to make you feel badly. I don’t, I’m actually thankful now that I did.

I harbor no hard feelings for my dr. at all. I hate it so badly that because of this disease he may very well lose his license for good, lose his practice, his lively hood. I hate it for his patients too, he’s also a pain specialists and a lot of people are now in need of a new Dr. I’m sure they’re confused and scared, just like I am, only I’m not panicking right now. I’m sure there’s a lot who are today. I just hate it that I have to start all over, and I really don't even know where to go from here. I'm going to do a search, but I have an appt. set for January, so I guess I wait til his office calls me and tells me what to do, or call them. I'm going to wait a few days to call though because I'm fairly certain that the phones are ringing off the hook...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:12 pm 
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Wow! What a scary situation for that doctor AND his patients! I'm sorry that you got a PM from one of our members calling you out for stockpiling. I think that most of us recognize that we are in a somewhat precarious situation, and that we'd be screwed if our doctors were suddenly unavailable. Obviously, you made a smart decision and are now reaping the benefit of your foresight.

I hope you are successful in finding a new doctor that is not too far away.

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:01 pm 
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This is a perfect example of why we encourage folks to stockpile their meds, if they can. In my opinion, keeping extra Suboxone back is PROTECTING your sobriety, it's the exact opposite of addict behavior. You wanna see addict behavior, run out of your meds early.....then you'll see addict behavior. I can't believe someone PM'd you and told you that keeping extra Suboxone for an emergency was addict behavior. I bet if they ever run out, they'd be singing a different tune pretty darn quickly.

I'm sorry about what happened to your doctor and in turn, what's happening to you. I hope he gets things back together and that you can either remain his patient or find a new doctor fairly quickly.

It might not hurt to go ahead and start making calls to other doctors in your area just to get a feel for who's out there and what kinda waiting period they have.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:59 am 
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Wow, I'm actually surprised they let a doc on probation for opiate addiction prescribe Suboxone in the first place. I truly hope you can get in with someone who isn't 45 min. away. Maybe someone will step in and take over his practice? Anyway, I totally agree with you keeping extra Suboxone. Ive had a doc who couldn't be reached for weeks at a time, and I've also been in storm situations where I couldn't get out, or where pharmacies were closed down for a couple of days. Being dependent on Sub, if we run out at a time like that we can be shit out of luck. I think you are smart for being proactive.
I hope you find a new doc soon,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:19 am 
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Thank you everyone for your support. I am still a little upset... of course. I just hate thinking about starting over, not to mention the amount of money I've already paid this Dr.... that kind of sucks. The only thing I have keeping me calm right now, is the fact that I have plenty to get me thru.

Thanks Amy, Romeo, and Lily for understanding why exactly why I held onto what I have... and thanks for helping me point it out to other members. That was the reason for this post, to reassure others that it is ok if you have extra to hold onto it. Like I said, as long as you're not selling your meds or diverting them in ANY WAY, that is your prescription and you have the RIGHT to hold onto it to protect yourself! I've just seen a lot of members asking about stockpiling and I've seen some guilt and I've had those same guilty thoughts... but, things happen and I just think it's the smart thing to do if you can do it. When I got that pm, I ignored it, I didn't take it to heart, but if someone else were to get a pm like that, it may have upset them very much and I don't think that's what any of us want here on the forum is a bunch of people afraid to talk and be honest with others, especially on here.

Lily, I know, I am a bit surprised myself to know that a DR who has been treated for opiate addiction can prescribe suboxone myself. When I was reffered to this doc, I did some research and found out about his addiction and the fact that he was on his second probationary period with the state so I knew this going into treatment with him. I guess after his first offense, he did everything right and went on to be an addictionoligist and got his approval to prescribe sub. Like I said, he is the only DR in my town who can prescribe, so that's why I went to him.

There is another DR 45 minutes away, which isn't too bad and I've heard stories and seen members here who have to travel even further to see their Dr., so I guess that's not too bad. I am going to wait, because like you also said Lily, someone may step in for him while he's out. I'm assuming that if I needed to find another Dr quickly, they'd call? Who knows though, so I'm still going to call them in a few days and see if I should keep my next appt.

If anyone wants to check out their Drs., and see if they've ever had any formal complaints with the medical board, I'm sure you can do that just like I did on our government website. You should have a link that say's something like "Find an Agency", and then an alphabetical listing and if you click on "P" for Professional Licensing Agency, You can go into the "PLA", Professional Licensing Agency, and then click on the License Litigation page. You can do a search for any Dr. or medical professional and it will tell you. You may even just be able to do a google search for Professional Licensing Agency in your state.

I'm NOT trying to scare anyone, but it did help me to know when I first started with my Dr. that he did have some issues before and I needed to make sure I was doing what ever I could do make sure I had enough meds to last me awhile should something happen... My Dr. is a great man, he counsels me, tries to make sure I'm getting some other treatment such as NA/AA, he talks to me and doesn't judge, because lets face it, he's an addict too. I felt very comfortable with him, it's just a shame that he got caught up in this again and put himself and his patients in jeopardy. He went in for oral surgery, and was prescribed one opiate, but messed up and took something on top of that, and is now in serious trouble. It's just sad what this disease can and will do to people. It makes me realize that I'm in no less danger of a relapse than a Dr. or a lawyer, or an professional out there who has a lot to lose... this disease does not discriminate.

Again, thank you for your concern and encouragement, I'll keep you all posted as to what is going on and if I have to find another Dr. I'm hoping he gets his license back, but more than anything I hope he gets the help he really needs, something that will actually help him. Maybe this will scare him enough that he takes his own recovery seriously from here on out...

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 Post subject: Back up Stock
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Hi I_S, and I agree with everyone else here about it being okay to stock up for a rainy day. What surprises me is that you didn't get a PM from someone asking you to sell them some of your stock, not the other way around. In defense of the person who PM'd you about it being dishonest, they are just working a good honest program themselves and saw the behavior in a little different light. With me too, honesty is first and foremost.

What's funny is that when I first met my 2nd Sub Dr. in Vegas after we moved here, I told him I was only taking 1-2mg's and he prescribed me 4mg's daily and said to save them just in case something happened! Like you, something did happen and I ended up using all my stock up for post surgical pain. Wow, great advice I'd say.

Hope you find a good Dr. that is not too far away, or if he is, he'll do a refill or two for ya. I was willing to drive back down to my old Dr. 5½ hours away if I didn't find one here. We do what we need to do.

Rule

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:43 pm 
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I am in full agreement that there is nothing wrong with having a back up stash. I used to do it too because my doctor was unreliable and I never knew if I'd be stuck up creek without a paddle. Also, natural disasters are a real concern too. Anything can happen and it's always smart to plan ahead.

Glad you are ok, hope you can find a more reliable doctor fairly easily.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Turns out, my Dr. (ex Dr.) is a real piece of work... Now that I have more details, I have no sympathy or empathy for him, at all.

I called the office today and told the nurse who I was and asked if I should keep my appt for Jan. or start looking for a new Dr? She told me to look for a new doc, ASAP and gave me a couple of referrals. I said “I am so sorry, and if there’s anything I can do, let me know”. She just said “find us all new jobs!” She said, do NOT feel bad for him, he did this to himself, we had no idea what he was doing and all the sudden we’re without jobs and his patients are without care. She told me to call around and look for a new doc right away so that they could fax all my records to them because they’re only going to be open for one more week. I really felt badly for her… she was a mess.

I asked her about my script and she told me to take it to Kroger and see if they’d fill it. I did, and the pharmacist took me into the back. He actually hugged me and told me that he could have filled it for me had it been dated for the 5th, but he actually lost his license on the 6th and that’s what my script is dated for. Now keep in mind, he doesn’t know that I’m taking less, so he said “Amanda, you need to find a new Dr. ASAP because honey, you’re going to be so very sick stopping at 16mg so suddenly”. He cares, but my Dr. sure didn’t! He also told me that it hasn’t come out yet, but they just found out that he was writing pain pill scripts for another Dr. here in town who just recently lost his license. Calling in pain pills illegally for another doctor! How pathetic?

I still understand that this is a disease, but the more I think about it…. Seriously, he had TWO chances with the medical board to get his shit straight and he put himself, his patients, his family, his staff…. In a hell of a position. He told me numerous times how stupid my Drs before him were, prescribing me massive amounts of pain medication and they just do that to get people hooked, meanwhile, he’s doing the SAME things, only WORSE!

Thank God, I have enough to get me thru, BUT I just paid them $50 on the 6th to write me a prescription that can’t even be filled. I’m calling them back to see if I can at least get that money refunded to me, since the script wasn’t any good and they actually did nothing for me…. So, now it’s time to start making phone calls. I only hope that I can find a new Dr who will take my insurance because I sure don’t want to pay another Dr. $400 for the induction appt I paid him. He makes me sick to my stomach thinking about the things he said. Yeah, my Drs before him wrote me pain meds because I NEEDED them after my car accident, BUT I’m the one who abused them, BUT again, he is worse and has no right to speak so poorly about any other Dr.

Please everyone, just make sure if you can that you have some kind of plan in place… I had to learn this the hard way, but I sure don’t want any of you to have to go thru this….

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