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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:25 pm 
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I have been on suboxone for 5 years this Halloween, with the same doctor. In that time I have not relapsed on opiates once. I haven't done (nor would I ever do) anything to violate my treatment, and being that I've been going to the same doctor's office for 5 years, I figured they would've known this about me.

I am currently prescribed 12mg/day. I take the tablets because I have no insurance and these are half the price of film. My office visits are every 2 weeks.

Two weeks ago, during my last visit, I was given a saliva swab test, which was the first time I had been given this test. Today, during my visit, I didn't see my actual doctor. Just the girl who usually comes back to take blood pressure, etc. She told me that while I was clean for illicit drugs, the levels of buprenorphine and naxalone in my saliva test were extremely low. My buprenorphine level was 10 and my naxalone level was 3. She said the buprenorphine level is usually in hundreds and thousands for most people.

Now, I have no reason to lie to strangers online. I honestly have been taking exactly what I've been prescribed - and for the last few months that has been 12mg a day. I can't figure out why these numbers came back so low. I didn't eat or drink at all for at least 20 minutes before the test.

But now, according to the girl who showed me this test result, I may be facing expulsion from the program because, according to her, the conclusion my doctor will draw from this is that I have been selling my prescription. I have disassociated myself with the opiate world so much that I don't even know a single person who I could sell these things to, even if I wanted to. And considering I don't have insurance and have to pay for all of this out of pocket, I seriously doubt I'd even make a profit.

It's VERY disconcerting to be accused (and maybe even punished) for something that I am innocent of. I can't just be cut off like this. I have been weaning myself down from 24mg over the course of years. I was planning on making the drop from 12mg to 0mg over the next year or two. Thinking about it is giving me pretty bad anxiety.

I know the tablets don't absorb as well as the films, but what could possibly be the reason my buprenorphine level would show 10 when she says for most people it's in the "hundreds and thousands"? She didn't specify what dose these people receive (I assume it's more than my 12mg).

I have spent hours researching this online but have come up with nothing. My next appointment is in two weeks and I need to have some new information to walk in with. Some way to back up my claim, not just "uhh, I don't know". Because I really don't know. I take exactly what I am prescribed. Though I will say that I usually don't experience suboxone to last as long as people say it does. I usually feel sort of crappy by the evening if I had taken some in the morning. Perhaps my body isn't absorbing it the way it should be. I don't drink grapefruit juice or anything.

Thank you for your time.


Last edited by Seaworth on Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Hi Seaworth and welcome to the forum!

Sorry no one got back to you on this. Sometimes members just don't know what to say so they say nothing.

My guess is you have a very fast metabolism. Most don't, some do. I would suggest a retest and take your dose a few hours before going in. When do you take it? Most of us were told to take it in the morning and that's all. Some divide it into two or three doses taken during the day.

There is another possibility that the testing swab or whatever was defective. Nothing is foolproof. Ask for a re-test.

Let me know what happens, okay?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:13 pm 
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I actually had a UA come up negative for buprenorphine and at the time I was taking 24 mgs a day! My dr at the time was quick to accuse me as well, her words were "if you're selling your suboxone, stop it! I won't warn you again! "Pretty harsh! After an outside lab confirmed that her in office test was wrong, I got no apology, and found another doctor asap! You should absolutely ask for another test. No one should be falsely accused and forced off their meds. I know it really feels like shit when you're trying to do the right things, to be looked at like you're lying and could face punishment for something you haven't done. Sorry it's happened to you. Please let us know what happens.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:42 am 
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I thought I've read somewhere, either on this board or another, that those tests tend to be off. I really wish I could remember what was said about it. I will go look and see if I can find it again. But maybe you should try searching something along the lines of "suboxone level testing accuracy". If you are taking the subs as you should be, which like you said..why would you lie to strangers, obviously there is a problem with the test. You would think if they have these tests available and are using them, the doc should have be warned of all reasons a test could come back inaccurate. Things like fast metabolism, certain types of food/drink, not properly administering the test, leaving the test out too long etc. There HAS to be factors to this. Try to find out what those are as well.

I know if I was in your shoes I would be FREAKING the freak out. Not to scare you more, but damn....this is a big deal! That being said...I would suggest looking for another doctor. I wouldn't trust this one after this.

Good luck to you! Keep us updated and I will go look for that info.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:44 am 
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testing-suboxone-levels-please-help-t2048.html

I don't know if that^ link will help much, but they discuss testing levels.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:16 pm 
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Thank you guys a lot for your replies. It means a lot to me. I was feeling really down the last week or so. Sorry I haven't got on to check replies again until now. I checked a couple nights after I posted the thread but it was still empty so I guess I assumed nobody was going to chime in. I'm glad you did! I feel a little bit less alone. I have really just been trying to summon positive energy into my life, because in my experience, your reality is often based on not only your outlook but also your expectations.

As long as I can see my actual doctor at my next appointment, I think I can show her that I am telling the truth. She is a very kind and intelligent woman and it seems out of character for her to not even give me the time of day. My only fear is that they will tell me she's not available, though I have never been to her office during one of my afternoon appointments when I didn't see her there. Still, I'm worried they're already done with me so they won't even waste the doctor's time on me. That was sort of the vibe I got last time. And it was weird because it was the first time in a very long while that I didn't see my doctor.

If it comes down to it I will request a new test. I don't trust these saliva tests though. I have read that they are notoriously inaccurate. I do have an EXTREMELY fast metabolism. It really is freakishly high. I'm not capable of putting on fat.

Is anyone familiar with the numbers they use to quantify the results of the saliva test? She showed me the result sheet. Next to buprenorphine, there was the number 10. And next to naloxone there was the number 3. I'm not claiming that the girl who showed me the result was giving me incorrect information, but it would be nice to actually hear or see first hand what the test result of someone on 12mg/day should read.

I think sometime this week I need to call my doctor's office and ask if there is a way I can be guaranteed to meet with my doctor at my next visit, not just the nurse practitioner. Can they deny me this? I actually do consider this a medical emergency. I have finally started on the right path in the last year or so. I am growing emotionally, mentally and spiritually for the first time in almost a decade. Finally have a steady job, and while I give it 100%, I make a lot of mistakes at it. If I have to attempt to go to work in withdrawal, there's no way I'll keep the job. Then I will have lost the only two things in my life keeping my sanity intact. And each depends on the other. I just need a chance to shine.

Thank you all again very much for your concern and your help. I can't believe I never found this board before. I think I could've got a lot out of it over the last few years and maybe shed some light into someone else's life, which is even better.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:22 am 
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The other thing you can do is offer to do pill/film counts whenever you are asked. Challenge them to try to prove you've been non-compliant (not in an antagonistic way, but with the urgency of someone who is innocent). I believe that talking to your doctor one on one will help. The MAs in your doctor's office may have heard of the problems with diversion and feel protective of their doctor. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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