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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:13 am 
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I brought my concerns to the administrator of the treatment center first. As part of the suboxone program they ask that people attend meetings and since there were only 12 step meetings in my area that presented a problem for the patients there. What's the good of requiring meetings if people are going to be shamed or have to lie about their recovery to be accepted? It makes the requirement harmful to the clients in that case. Then I wrote up a mission statement, rules, and some readings for the support group and presented them to her and she gave me a room to use weekly. The readings cover the questions Am I clean, am I trading one addiction for another, as such. I also have a weekly educational topic so people are more informed about suboxone so everyone can work at educating the community which will lead to less stigma. I'm also organizing a presentation on the rights of individuals using medication assisted treatment because many people don't realize they're protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act when they're diagnosed with a substance use disorder. It's common in my area for sober living homes to deny people residence because they're on suboxone or methadone. This is in direct violation of federal law. I'm also planning a town hall meeting with local politicians, law enforcement, chemical dependency professionals, and drug court officials to address the stigma of medication assisted treatment. One thing I've noticed with the support group is we've had a steady but pretty small group. I think the group isn't bigger because most people on medication aren't struggling as hard as those who are trying abstinence only so they don't have to rely as heavily on outside support like going to meetings and calling people every time they have an issue. I've noticed the group is all Medicaid paying persons. In Washington state medicaid requires people on suboxone go to IOP and they require meetings. We do you have any private pay members in the group!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:06 am 
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Great information Java. Thanks for telling us how you have done it.
There are people all over this country that need and/or feel alone in all of this. Many many sub drs and clinics require this meeting attending rule to even get there medicine. Mine sure does, even after years of clean Enough " time. ..

Im Razor, for the last three years Ive been involved with a hospital sponsored group . A staffer named Jane, and I founded this group mostly because as said earlier going into 12/NA meeting for the most part can do more harm than good.
I know, I "faked it" for almost 4 years there. ..all the while feeling guiltly as thoses around me suffered and white knuckled" it until relapse. .. Last August I was found out . My recovery "friends"?, well...it doesn't matter now.

What does matter is what Java is saying. We need more education to the masses, we need to Stop the mis and disinformation that surrounds this life saving med. But folks, as you know we are all up against a judgmental world of abstinence only. This can only begin with each of us.

Our group has 500 or more patients who could come to this support meeting. As Java said, many just do not. We have had as many as 20 people there. As little as 2.

If you are going to do this, hang in there. Give it time. And most importantly have something to talk about regarding Buprenorphine Ed.

Meeting groups take people. I hope you find support in your efforts qom..but start with your Dr and go from there...

Oh, and the 12 step community? , there more than happy you have your own meetings for "those people". ..



Good Luck....Razor....


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:03 pm 
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My clinic holds suboxone meetings four days a week. If u go weekly, u attend meetings weekly. If u go every two weeks, u attend meetings every two weeks. If u go monthly, then ur only required one meeting a month. It's absolutely been one of the best tools in my recovery. The meeting is led by our counselor. I think these meetings are great, plus it gives ppl who's just started taking sub, a chance to ask ppl plenty of questions who have been on sub for awhile.

I think that anyone on sub should attend sub meetings and if ur not offered meetings, then if at all possible, u should try to start one. Having person to person support from ur peers is wonderful.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:45 pm 
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Tell me jenn, just what do you guys talk about in these meetings. Our staffer is a 12 step based group with Buprenorphine. ..Im there to talk as much about bupe as Possible. ..When the staff member is not there it is wide open ..

Thanks...razor


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:56 pm 
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One, what does IOP stand for? And thanks Jiva for the posting.

My 2¢ is to say attend N.A., not A.A. Those in AA meetings are very judgemental as is those in NA. But if you quote the Big Book it does say "science may one day accomplish this but it hasn't done so yet". Well, it has for opiate abuse recovery. Plus, Buprenorphine also helps with alcohol cravings as well. From what I've read on this forum people state that alcohol just doesn't taste right when taking Suboxone. Am I right? I don't know and can't find out because I'm an alcoholic.

My hope is that in time things will change for the better. Meetings for those on Suboxone would be perfect. Just like JennJenn said. I no more feel like an opiate addict than I do being a drunk. Life is just....normal.

And I HATE those words saying we've traded one addiction for another. There is no addictive behavior in the way I take my Sub. Some days I forget to even take it with me. Luckily for the long half life I don't worry about it. Am I also an addict because I take Effexor? That causes terrible w/d's if I try to stop taking it. I've tried and given up for now. Maybe one day I can wean it down over a years period and not have the "effects" of Effexor.

Good subject and don't concern yourself with others idea of sobriety. You and I are clean and sober. Period.

rule

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:00 pm 
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All of this is so timely! Razor and I were just talking about the fact that there is no written material available for those who want to start their own suboxone group. I think I'll start researching the process that, for example, Smart Recovery went through to get their group model off the ground.

Jiva, thank you for telling us about your group and how it got started. If there were a clear alternative to 12 steps for sub doctors to send their patients, it would definitely serve a community that, right now, is being shunted off to groups that tell them that they aren't clean. What a blessing that would be for them!

I want to provide the link for a brochure by SAMSHA on the rights of MAT patients:

http://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/fil ... e_0110.pdf

This pamphlet reminds us that we, as addicts, have protected status under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is actually illegal to fire us, deny us housing, etc. Did you know that? Check out this link!

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:15 pm 
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Wow Amy! Talk about a helpful link! Thank you so much for posting that. I suggest every member (and lurker) to bookmark that link and save it for a rainy day. One never knows when you'll need it.

I've often wondered how to answer a police officer who pulled you over for a regular traffic violation and then asks if you've been drinking or do you take any prescription medication? IMO, it is none of their business what my doctor prescribes, but if you don't answer they will take it as a yes do the field sobriety test on you. Drinking? That's a no brainer, they can smell it. I am talking strictly about medication prescribed by my doctor. We have HIPPA laws but do they protect us from the police?

Sorry guys, I am just thinking out loud.


rule

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:54 pm 
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Hey razor :)

Our meetings are ran by our counselor. It's not a 12 step at all and NA isn't ever mentioned. We talk with the newcomers on what to expect from the suboxone and the clinic, and open floor for any issues or things ppl need to share. We also do just the typical recovery talk. We sit in the meeting room and sometimes our counselor has printouts of recovery type issues and suggestions that we all answer with our own individual opinions and share with the rest of the ppl in the meeting.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:25 am 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
All of this is so timely! Razor and I were just talking about the fact that there is no written material available for those who want to start their own suboxone group. I think I'll start researching the process that, for example, Smart Recovery went through to get their group model off the ground.

Amy


You could start up a SMART recovery group especially for people on Suboxone. I don't see why there'd be any problem with that. And the nature of SMART is such that you have a fair degree of autonomy over your group. It's all CBT based, which I find incredibly helpful as well. By making it a SMART group you could also feature your meeting on all the SMART websites and directories.

I think to be a SMART facilitator you just need to do a course for a few hours online (free) where you go over how to run a meeting, which is quite straightforward anyway.

Some questions would be whether you would include people on methadone as well, or whether you'd make it open to members not on Suboxone too.

http://www.smartrecovery.org/facldtrain/JointheFacilitatorTeam.htm


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