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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:17 pm 
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First of all, up to this point, I've been taking my medication exactly as prescribed. I take 8 mg in the morning and 8 at night. But I've read several posts here where people have encountered some kind of crazy circumstance where they were forced to use less or simply go without... for whatever reason. This really angers and frustrates me. I can't imagine anybody thinks about stockpiling their blood pressure or diabetes medication... why should we?

But I want to be prepared. I admit, I've read quite a few negative stories and I'm feeling very anxious about this right now. I know I should just chill. But there have been too many posts regarding this for me to just let it go. It very well could be the addict in me that is worried about my next dose... I so desperately want those days to be behind me. But I still have 'trust' issues and don't want to experience WD symptoms again if I can help it.

My experience in detox was traumatic... they made me wait over 48 hours since my last dose before they would start the buprenorphine treatment. Partly because it was after the doctors had left for the day when I got admitted. The other factor is something I'm struggling with. There was a nurse there responsible for dosing the patients, and shortly after I got there, I was already hearing about her having some kind of power trip or ego with other patients. I was as polite as possible just in case, but I still feel like she made me wait of much longer than necessary. My COWS score was very high the first night, but she insisted I wait. The doctor got very upset about it the next day and made sure they dosed me right away.

I haven't talked about this with anyone because I didn't want to make waves. I'm sure several other patients felt the same way. I do know of some that planned on contacting the proper authorities after they were discharged.

Anyway, I know all of this is feeding into my anxiety. Having to trust and rely on a doctor for medication that I'm physically dependent on doesn't sit well with me. But I promised to go along with the program and do my part. How do you guys deal with this aspect of treatment? And should I try to put aside some medicine... just to feel safe? Thank you.

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:37 pm 
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yes, a stockpile is a good idea. you could even take 1/4 strip less every other day. save them and take the 4 1/4s as one your doses so then you can put a sealed strip aside.

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 9:37 pm 
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Hey Openminded,
Until I started holding back alittle each script I had the same fear as you. This was over 5 years ago. I wanted to know in case anything went wroug Id have some time to "fix" the problem without going into WD.
Like I tell our support group at clinic, rules are in place for a reason. There are times that life can get in the way of our treatment. However this can have seemly unfair results. Such as ins problems. Missed app. Not telling the truth. All these and many more can put ourselves out in the street or on another waiting list.
The thing is if we do as we are told there "shouldn't " be a problem. Clean UA s, and being truthful.
We all want to do the next right as they say and I think stocking a little is fine. But there is one negitive. I have seen people do it and turn around and resell. This is on them of course but diversion effects us all.
The other positive was I learned that taking less made me feel better. Now this was after a year or more on 16mgs/12mgs. ..so..

This is my experience and knowledge of it. I started feeling better shortly afterwards when I had a few held back..

Razor


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 10:34 pm 
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Thank you for the responses. I am having intense feelings about this issue. I know in my own heart that I'm ready to follow the rules. Knowing now just how difficult it is to get into treatment, there isn't anything I would do to jeopardize it... period.

All of my UA's have been clean and will continue to be. Even while in active addiction, I never sold or traded any of my medicine, it was just too precious to me. I am beginning to understand that diversion is just a sad fact and a cold hard reality. I didn't want to know where my friend got their pills from, but obviously they weren't all his. I feel bad for contributing to this activity which I can now see as harmful to patients that really need it.

I guess what I'm feeling is that this isn't fair to any of us and yet it's the real world. A friend at outpatient was the first one that told me I should break my buprenorphine tablets in half and then save that as many times as I could get away with. But it feels wrong to me and I'm just now beginning to feel stable on the dosage I'm at. It's taken almost 2 months to figure it out and I want to get the coverage I need and deserve.

Well, I just took half of my evening dose and will save that other part into an 'emergency supply'. Fortunately, this stuff has a long half life and hopefully I won't feel any adverse effects if I do this once in a while. Again, I don't feel right doing this, but I feel like I need to prepare myself for anything that might come up. This goes back to having to trust another person, the doctor in this case, to do their part of the treatment plan and prescribe refills on time every time.

Hey razor55, do you mean that you felt better once you were taking a lower dose? And this was something you found out by putting some of your meds aside for a rainy day? Thanks.

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 10:46 pm 
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Razor makes good points. I also have some ambivalence. Honesty in recovery is obviously important. It's hard to feel good about yourself while you're not telling the truth. And if you're not feeling good about yourself you're creating potentially dangerous cracks in your foundation. You might think, well hell, I'm never
going to turn around and sell them, but then one day you find yourself strapped for cash and think, well, just this one time. It's suboxone. I'm not really hurting anyone. If it's someone using it to deal with WD symptoms, then you can go ahead and rationalize that your really are helping someone. And who among us
is wise enough to figure that one out? I'm sure not.

I'm just echoing what I think razor is saying, that it's important to be on guard and to not take this stuff lightly. But the truth is things can and do go wrong sometimes. I mention in another thread that my pharmacy made a mistake in dates and wouldn't fill my prescription for nearly two weeks. That wasn't my fault. We read stories on this forum all the time....or frequently anyway...from people who suddenly find themselves without a clinic through no fault of their own. Or no doctor. Or no insurance.

My bottom line is you have to take care of yourself. There's no bigger risk to sobriety I don't think, then suddenly finding yourself without medication


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:56 am 
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We all want to start doing the right thing in our new recovery. I get that for sure. I like what
Godfrey says about taking care of your self. We must..

Opened,
Have you gone over to Dr J s Talkzone blog and read about dosing ? Or watched his vidios on ceiling effects and dosage s? I believe it isca must read and see. You will learn so much there about your medicine and how it will work for you.

To answer you question, After 14 months I found this forum and Talkzone blog. I started taking less because Id come to understand that for ME less felt like more. Not that I was looking to "feel" something but it brought down side effects I was having and I felt a larger sence of wellness and lighfulness. Not as heavy so to speak.

I was ready for this. Id been clean for 14 months on 16/12mgs, did IOP,was a member of NA , step work meetings the whole bit. So my recovery was and is,a buge part of my life. This made it easier to step back from my medicine. Hope that made sence.

Go slowly, stock slowly and keep moving forward and you ll do fine. Ill say this though, I did jump from 16 mgs to 8mgs and felt better than before. Did it in one day. Of course Im still well over the ceiling effect.


Razor.


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 12:06 pm 
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Hey openmind,

I think you've got some great answers so far. I'll just add that in my situation I'm forever thankful that I was able to stockpile for so long. Like you I had/have some trust issues with having to rely on a dr/insurance to make sure my recovery and treatment remain sound. My worst fear was that a situation would arise where I was suddenly, without any warning not have access to the very thing that keeping my addiction in remission.

I did feel bad most of the time I was setting aside some of my medication. Every dr visit he would ask how I'm doing on my current dosage. I had built such a rapport with this guy, i knew his daughters names and we always talked about many subjects that have nothing to do with suboxone. Now I am terrible at lying so I just had to keep my answer short and sweet and just say "I'm doing fine". It felt so wrong but, I knew I had to look out for myself.

After I had some saved and, I felt like I would be in a good place should the unthinkable happen I did tell him I was ready to taper down a bit so, that way he would be prescribing me for what I was taking. I had enough where it would give me time to tapper off properly or, hold me over until the situation got worked out. That piece of mind is invaluable. But like the others said use caution because honesty and a good relationship with your dr. Is of upmost importance. I however also think that having a plan b or something to fall back on is important as well.

It sounds like your just trying to do the right thing and, I hope everything works out for you!


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:45 pm 
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I think it's smart to have a supply, at least enough to do a taper over a month or two in case of emergency. Who knows what the future holds?

If you do create a little stockpile, don't forget to rotate your supply so whatever you have on hand doesn't pass its expiry date.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Man, I've been getting some really great advise from all of you. I want you to know how much I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I don't have anyone with experience to talk to about this stuff. I do have a therapist, but we mostly talk about emotions and behaviors. We don't touch on the kinds of things I can talk about here.

I've tried going to NA but had a couple of bad experiences. They absolutely grilled one of their own members for using Suboxone. So as a newcomer, I certainly didn't feel comfortable being open. And if I can't be honest about what I'm going through, I don't want to waste my time there. It also seemed like all they did was trade horror stories, interlaced with F-bomb after F-bomb. It just made me very anxious and I felt triggered to use... at an NA meeting, seriously?

There are only a couple of my friends that know about my addiction, and for now I'd like to keep it that way. I'm still dealing with a lot of shame and remorse. Yeah, and there's probably some self-pity in there too LOL!! Anyway, everybody's been really kind to me and I just want you to know it makes a difference in my life right now.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:16 pm 
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I wish I could develop a stockpile. I take 8mg daily and I feel like I need every little bit of it. Run a pill short every month even. But my doctor says that Suboxone has no effect past 8mg and the only reason people get more than that is to sell it. I've had problems with my doctor all along. I feel like I would be better on 12-16 mg right now, but, I'm okay. Anyway, I'll have to wait until I can taper a little until I could put any away. For now I use them all!
Best!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:39 pm 
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LOL Openmind . Really interesting to hear that NA meetings are NO different in the USA as they are here in Australia. Except down here there's a lot of C-bombs dropped among the F-bombs.

I never understood why I couldn't drink the occasional beer, when I'd often leave meetings wanting to use, while I rarely wanted to use after leaving a bar???

And yes, unfortunately NA will never change in their attitudes towards "drug replacement". NA will never change at all. Too many "fundamentalists". If you ever attend an area-service committee meeting, you'll notice how difficult it is to instate even the tiniest change to a fellowship without people causing a big fuss and arguing about it for hours. If you think meetings are bad as a trigger to use, go to an area service committee meeting. I'd rather have all my teeth pulled with no anaesthetic.

There are other support groups that are much more understanding of people taking medication to assist their recovery. SMART recovery is one that stands out, though different countries have their own unique support groups as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:26 am 
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I'm sure it would be nice for you to stock pile some for a rainy day. But you seem to be doing so well on your current dose I would hate to see you change at this point. I also felt huge anxiety over these types of things at first. In fact, there was a lot of anxiety over the smallest issues. Luckily, that has subsided some what. Anxiety has been an issue with me for a long time so I wasn't surprised on that one.

Sorry that creepy nurse made you wait so long to be dosed. That was just mean, but we're going to run into those types of folks in our lives. I'm trying to learn ways to mentally deal with this so it doesn't present a trigger to use my doc. I was started on a very high dose and I figured that out after a month or so. Now that I've tapered down I am starting to get a small stock pile and it's nice to have, but when you're doing so well on your current dose I would stay there. Just my 2 cents. Best of luck!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:11 pm 
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Open mind. You are doing well, congrats. I wish that I had stockpiled a few when I was on a higher dose. I am on 2 mg a day so not much room for holding some back. I have had a few issues with the pharmacy resulting in missing my dose for one day a couple of times. Once my doctor wrote for suboxone tablets instead of generic so pharmacy could not fill the RX until the doctor got back to the pharmacist. All these issues made me very anxious. My RX is for 30 2 mg a month, so iffy on the months with 31 days. I started on 16 mg a day then 12 then 8. I know that everyone is different, but I felt better after dropping from 16mg to 12 mg and even better dropping to 8 mg. Eight mg a day was by at the best dose for me.
Do what is best for you. Just letting you know that lowering your dose a bit to stockpile a few for emergencies might be easy for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Hi Openmind,

It's grandma Queenie. It sounds like you're doing just fine. I just went back and realized I have been in this forum since 2010 or 2011. Listen, When I started Suboxone, I thought I had to pop one under my tongue every 2 or 3 hours. I was so afraid of withdrawal. I mean terrified of withdrawal. It took me a bit to realize that I would be fine on the dosage the Dr. gave me. Mind you, I was on 32mgs. daily and still had the nerve to think I might go in to withdrawal. I think you know what I mean. Suboxone is so different from the other drugs. Anyway, my Dr. tapered me down to 8mgs a day. I feel fine on 8 mgs.

Just last month I had a problem with the pharmacy. I posted about it. They weren't delivering Suboxone. The manufacturer was backlogged in production. I almost had a heart attck. How can the drug company not produce enough Suboxone?? Seriously??? That goes to show you, anything c an happen.

I am taking one & one half and stockpiling. I don't want to feel so afraid ever again. You will feel fine even if you don't take the full dose. I am not on the strips, I am on the orange pill.

You will be just fine. Don't be afraid. Also, you will feel good when you see that you have your stash just in case something happens. Hurricanes, snowstorms, yes, even a backlog in production.

Keep up the good work and remember Grandma Queenie is always here for you.

Hugs :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Thank you for the replies everybody, it does help. I am a compulsive worrier by nature so my life is usually filled with quite a bit of anxiety. It's something I've been working on really hard and I'm starting to get a handle on it. The reason this particular subject struck a nerve is because I so desperately want to put that drug seeking (and hoarding) behavior behind me. All of the countless nights worried about where my next pill was going to come from has affected my psychology overall. I want to feel like I'm out of that jungle, you know?

I know I should feel pretty lucky that I'm still getting 16mg a day of Subutex. I haven't been switched to Suboxone yet, but I assume I will be when I see my new provider later this week. There are some of you just not getting enough medicine to be able to put some aside like I am. I know it won't last, so I'll make the most of it while trying to be as honest as I can with my doctor. I feel that I owe it to him. If I have to trust him, then he's going to have to trust me. It swings both ways.

It's hard for me to NOT think about situations like yours Queenie. I never even thought of the possibility that they wouldn't produce enough of this stuff to keep up with the demand. They are pharmaceutical companies for goodness sake! People rely on medicine for health and quality of life. I hope to at one point be at a place where I could eventually get off of medications. But until then, they are very important to my survival.

I'll do my best to chill a bit and try to relax, because I know I could worry myself sick. I'll still do what I can to prepare for the unseen, but I have to trust in the system to take care of me as long as I continue to follow the plan and provide clean UA's.

Queenie, when they were out of Suboxone, would they not allow you to just get generic buprenorphine without the naloxone?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Open mind,

I have been getting generic Bupenophrine 8/2mg Naloxone for years. My local pharmacy had 15 to hold me over until they could find a pharmacy that had some. My doctor and pharmacy found a Walgreens that had some. My daughter had to drive to get them for me. After the 30 day supply from Walgreens was almost up, my local pharmacy called my doctor and said the manufacturer was delivering again and my doctor, bless him, transferred the RX back to them. I hope I don't have any problems next month. I am a double amputee and I go to my local pharmacy & stores in my motorchair.

Openmind, can I just say something? Don't give up. Please. I'm 74 and I wish I had done this before. Don't let those chemicals take up your life. You can do it!!!

Love, Queenie


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:50 pm 
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queenie1959 wrote:
Openmind, can I just say something? Don't give up. Please. I'm 74 and I wish I had done this before. Don't let those chemicals take up your life. You can do it!!!


Thank you Grandma Queenie!! I'm one heck of a fighter. I want my sobriety so bad I can taste it. I'll do whatever is in my power to stay on the straight and narrow... I just can't go back to that life... ever. It's not who I am anymore.

This coming weekend will be the 2 month mark. That's the longest I've been clean in 10 years and I'm not giving up that progress for anything. Even if there should be some kind of situation in which I don't have access to the buprenorphine, I'm not turning back. And yes, I know it's easy to say that now, but I mean it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:35 am 
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In my opinion, stockpiling your own prescription suboxone is absolutely 100% the right thing to do.

The never-ending war on drugs and the never-ending war on health care create shake-ups with quite a bit of regularity. At any point in time, the rhetoric about opioid addiction could change, new laws could be created, and overnight your prescription to suboxone or your insurance coverage of it could vanish.

Society doesn't really view opioid addicts as diseased humans. Instead we are thought to be moral failures. We even go to "support groups" that reinforce that belief in us. I would love to be able to divorce myself from "addict behavior", and "put my faith in the baby Jesus" or whatever but I will be damned if I put my faith in our government or our health care system.

I just got back on suboxone, and I take such a low dose that already I have three years worth saved up. I don't worry about whether or not it is addict behavior ; I know it is, because I am an addict and I am addicted to it. I don't worry about what will happen if I relapse, because if I do decide to start snorting grams of heroin again, I will sell worse things than my old subs.

I don't go to support groups anymore, but back when I did, I found that I could not be open about my maintenance drug. I could only tell a few trusted friends. I think in the beginning, I might have mentioned it at a meeting or two, but it got a lot of people pretty worked up. They could not handle the gray area that is and will always be suboxone.

My feeling is that if you wrote an internet post asking for help on deciding whether or not to privately squirrel your suboxone away, then you are probably on the right track, but you find yourself living in a guilty limbo. You are ready to leave behind a life of irresponsiblity and recklessness and you are trying on personal responsibility for size. You are going to meetings with a new group of friends who is very supportive and they don't drink and they can relate to you in ways "normal" people cannot ever, and you find some amazing wisdom in unexpected places. But because people are people, they will tell you definitively what you should and shouldn't be doing, what is and what isn't healthy for you. They say silly things sometimes like, "if you take a medicine any other way than how the doctor prescribed it, then you are abusing that medicine." That sounds catchy, but if we think for two seconds, we can see that it isn't infallible since doctors both under prescribe and overprescribe quite often, and they are humans who can be manipulated by other humans.

Please consider this: you may meet some lifelong friends in that group, and some amazing people, and have an amazing life, and your amazing friends may know NOTHING about suboxone maintenance or even opioid addiction. Perhaps you will find that you need not tell your amazing friends every thing as it relates to suboxone. Maybe you will eventually kick the subs or maybe you will stay on them forever. But if you need someone to NOT shame you for the logical act of saving a potentially limited almost vital resource, then I can sing in that chorus for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:45 am 
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Robotfish wrote:
Please consider this: you may meet some lifelong friends in that group, and some amazing people, and have an amazing life, and your amazing friends may know NOTHING about suboxone maintenance or even opioid addiction. Perhaps you will find that you need not tell your amazing friends every thing as it relates to suboxone. Maybe you will eventually kick the subs or maybe you will stay on them forever. But if you need someone to NOT shame you for the logical act of saving a potentially limited almost vital resource, then I can sing in that chorus for you.


Robotfish - There are several statements in your reply that I would like to thank you for. But this paragraph really takes the cake. You've hit on several topics that I've been secretly struggling with and I appreciate your support. Being fairly early in treatment, I've been 'politely' given advice to quickly get off the subs or I'll develop a habit that I'll regret down the road. Basically the whole "one addiction for another" story by some well-meaning steppers. That's why I enjoy going to SMART Recovery meetings because I can just be me. They don't care about what medication my doctor and I decide to use to put the pieces of my life back together. In fact, they are of the mindset that if it's backed by real science, then it's real medicine.

You were also able to target in on my desperate need to leave certain behaviors from active addiction in the past... namely "squirreling my subs away". That literally made me laugh out loud. It also made me think. You're right, I am trying to be responsible and I'm trying to be as honest as I can while also protecting my own self interests in terms of a backup supply. If it was so that I could take larger doses on special occasions then that would indeed be signs of a problem.

But I just don't want to be the victim of a prior authorization gone sideways, or an insurance matter that takes more days to fix than I have tablets to take. I'm really beginning to think of my medicine in the same way I do my thyroid or blood pressure pills. And now that I have a decent backup supply, I can continue to not make taking subs a big deal everyday. Because I don't want to be thinking about my next pill for hours throughout the day. I admit that I still do at this point but it's something I'm trying to let go of.

Now I can relax and I don't have to worry if something should come up, I'm covered. And I'll continue to put a half away for safe keeping here and there to keep my use to a minimum. There is no threat of diversion with me. I have broken ties with all of those people and I wouldn't know how to get a hold of them even if I wanted to. It makes it much easier on me because I don't have friends calling me while in dire withdrawal begging for "just one sub". I had to tell them that my life depended on a new start, a sober one without any connections to the game, including the people I once called "friends".

- OM

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:33 am 
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Open,
I was going to discuss and encourage SMART but I see you already are attending. Good move, they support whatever you and your provider decide. Whether it is MAT for opiates, Vivitrol or Campral for alcohol, etc. I have attending two different meetings, respectful groups, rarely any f bombs and when somebody goes off on a tangent about their use they are brought back. Less of a trigger that way. I really like the CBT foundation.
My other thought about saving meds for 'contingencies'. What other substance could you do that with? That is the problem with active addiction and full agonists. Running out. Imagine being on 300 mg oxycodone a day, staying at the dose, and knowing there were 20 oxy 80's sitting in a safe space for future management. Never happen. Suboxone is unique that way.
Life happens, transmissions break, blizzards, prior authorizations, the list goes on. After the first month I discuss this topic and encourage people to have a least a weeks worth saved by month 4.
I was deployed to Biloxi for Katrina relief. 95% of what I was doing was to figure out ways to get people their chronic meds to them. Never saw so much SSRI withdrawal in my life. The medical side of the tent had it much tougher, having to deal with diabetes, kidney failure etc. I was amazed to find there are mobile dialysis units available to FEMA.
Bottom line, save some, don't fret about it. If your provider is not on board with it then just keep it here and know you have the forum's support.


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