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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:13 pm 
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I've been thinking the same things that don just articulated. When it comes to making decisions we weigh the pros and cons...other than it being a job in this economy - which is a big pro - what other pros are there?
You've illustrated the many, many cons. Basically he's taking a job that may put his life at risk. That's what relapse does, it puts out lives at great risk.

Maybe now that you're in the midst of it, it would be a good time to go over the situation again, looking at it with the perspective you have now, that you lacked when he decided to take the job. Is it really worth it? We all know jobs can be hard to come by right now, and I'm not minimizing that.

Whatever you both decide we'll be here with support. Good luck and keep keeping us posted.

Take care,

Melissa

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:43 pm 
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Well, in reality, I think his coming off of suboxone is for several reasons. Just picture it like a bunch of wood, and the flame being the job offer. He has told me SOOO many times that he's tired of relying on something to make him okay. He's tired of getting up every morning, taking a pill, just to make it through the day. He says he's really to be "normal". When the job offer came about, and his boss told him to get off, it just kind of pushed him to take that next step. I just don't think he was ready to make the commitment to quit that quickly (if that makes any sense). Although he was thinking about it for sooo long, the job offer and the stipulations that came along with it just snuck up on him. But he's making it so far. Yeah, we're both struggling through it. He has told me that a xanax would make him feel better, but knowing his past, I do not know if I can back him on getting some of those. I mean, I want to be as supportive as I can, but at the same time, I'm ready for this just to be over with, for his sake, mine and our sons. He's quit in the past, only to get back in to it. I just hope his mindset is a little more stable now, with a family, and job, and the amazing opportunities that job is going to provide in the future. He can't look at it like getting off suboxone may cause relapse, he has to force himself to look at it like, getting off suboxone is the next step in his life. He's got a much bigger support system now than he did back then, and I will do everything in my power to prevent him from getting back in that lifestyle.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:15 pm 
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OK...Ihave to say something now and I am only trying to be helpful so I hope you don't take this wrong. I TOTALLY understand him being tired of relying on something to make him okay. BUT, this is an ego issue and a denial issue in my opinion. I was not immune to either of them and in fact fell perfectly into ego and denial when I went off of the suboxone for my multiple reasons. A diabetic may be tired of being reliant on a machine to measure blood sugar and their insulin, but if a diabetic said to you "I am going off of my insulin and will stop taking my blood sugar because I am tired of being dependent on these things just to feel good every day", what would you think about that diabetic? What would you say?

Most of us might say "Well...we don't always get to pick what we get in life but it is what it is", OR, "What are you? Nuts? You could die doing that". You would think the diabetic didn't understand the seriousness of the disease and you would certainly think there was an ego issue getting in the way if they just said they didn't like being dependent on it as their reasoning for going off of it.

The addict and the diabetic alike both DO want to be normal. But neither are. It isn't like a type 2 diabetic can't go into remission because if they lose weight and change their diet then they can. But neither is really "normal" because both have a disease that will always require constant monitoring and management.

Would you encourage a diabetic to throw out the blood sugar machine and stop the insulin before they lost the weight and changed the diet? If your husband doesn't think he is ready then it is kind of like being overweight, having high blood surgars every day, and throwing out the insulin and the machine. It doesn't make sense.

To say "he is making it so far" is to be supportive and to believe in him which I think is awesome. At the same time, a diabetic would probably make it for several weeks or months too but it would be that high sugar coma down the road that would get them or the neuropathy or the multiple other things that occur long term.

It was really the last part of your post that made me the most concerned because I have been there. You say you are ready for this to be over with and you hope his mindset is more stable now with a family and a job and opportunities the job will provide in the future. You say he can't look at getting off suboxone as it may cause a relapse and instead he has to look at it as the next step in his life. You then go on to mention that you will do everything you can to help prevent him from getting back in the lifestyle.

The support system is invaluable and all he has done to change his life while on the suboxone is awesome. As much as this job could create positive opportunities in the future, it is also pulling him off suboxone which opens him up to a lot of negative possibilities as a result of the job as well. He could relapse and he could die. If both or neither of you really acknowledge this, it gives it so much more power and is so much more dangerous. Is all of this being "over with" stopping suboxone and taking this job, OR is all of this being "over with" accepting the disease, the seriousness of the disease, possible consequences, and then making VERY sound choices ALL of which are based on his health instead of ego, denial, internal/external pressures, etc.

It isn't that I think everyone must stay on suboxone forever. But the decision to go off of it should be first and foremost based on what is best for him and his overall and long term health. Not a job or other pressures. I know this isn't what you want to hear and it is ok if you disagree with me. I am ok with that. I have been wrong before so I will live through it :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:06 am 
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Dang i'm with everyone here, i hardly know what to think. Like i said before, i really wish he could've taken time for a longer taper because his attitude isn't too positive, it's more like "well i'm gonna tough this out because i'm tired of being stuck to a pill, but don't talk to me about it because I'm not toughing it so good". He's sick and stressed, you're terrified and stressed, and this whole thing has a negative edge to it that makes me nervous. I've said a thousand times that i hate being stuck to a pill, but i know i ain't quitting unless it's something i really want to do for myself, not to prove a point or because someone else said i had to do. That'd be a quick way to get myself back to my DOC or something worse.

Now that he's toughed it out, (probably), for four days, i want to see him to have the shot. On the other hand i don't at all think it'd be the end of the world if he decided it was too much too soon, and opted for a taper or even maintenance until he really feels ready. We're talking about his life, (and yours), and a job is just insignificant in comparison. Plus i ain't so sure about a guy running a counseling center who would demand an employee to do something like this, without regard for what it does to him or his family.... jmho.

I guess i'm mostly with the folks who just wonder if this way is the right way, for this guy, at this time. But i'm sending positive energy and prayers to the both of you, for what they're worth.

- joe

PS i don't think a few Xanax are gonna hook him, and a body and mind really needs some rest in order to heal.


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 Post subject: Is this Legal??
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:49 am 
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First off I don't believe this job offer is one that should be considered or accepted with these conditions. I know the economy is bad and jobs are scarce but any prospective employer that requires a change like this BEFORE you can come to work, is not worth taking. This manager sounds like a control freak to me. Who knows what change he will require next?? Also, will it be worth it to have a boss always looking over your shoulder to see if you are in compliance with his wishes. I just don't think I could work well under that kind of a situation. There would always be some resentment and thoughts that I wasn't good enough until I made this change. It would be different if that is what I wanted and planned to do anyway and this just expedited it.

Secondly, I'm not sure it is legal to discriminate against somone because they are on a prescription drug. There may be some recourse thru the Americans With Disabilities Act. I would call and speak with a good attorney and find out if this is legal and above board. I personally don't like the comparison of an addict and diabetic but if you accept that logic, then [everything else being equal] this employer must hire the recovering addict as well as the diabetic. The man has already qualified for the job... so why is it legal to make him quit taking a prescribed medication? One final thought... lets say the man quits subs and takes the job... then goes back on the prescribed subs. Can he now fire him? Can any employer fire a worker because they are on prescription meds?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:09 am 
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Here is a synopsis of the ADA:

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-ada.html

I was in the workers compensation insurance business for years and it always amazed me how an atty could stretch this act and relate it to their clients. Basically, If there was any question... we leaned toward the worker. We even had a standing directive from our home office to advise all our insured companies to accept an employee back to work after a temporary disability claim... regardless of whether it was mental or physical.

In other words, as long as the dr released the employee back to work... the company had to give them their job back and if necessary, accomodate them. If they didn't, they voided their liability and wc coverages. There was a rider on all policies stating this condition for coverage.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:42 pm 
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Well, he has wanted to get off of them for a while. This job offer was just kind of a push in his desire to get off. I don't want to start a huge debate on whether he should get off or not. I mean, I understand exactly what you all are saying. And I'll pass on to him what you have said about the Disabilities Act, and how his boss shouldn't force him to get off. He was wanting to get off of them anyway (although at times he totally resented the fact). With the exception of the job, noone really forced him off of them, you know? I mean, I am not going to lie, I really wasn't too keen on him being on suboxones until he's 80, but if that's what he wanted, I'd support him on it. He's made the choice to get off, and he says he's ready for it to be over with. Yeah, it's HARD, alot harder than I thought it was gonna be. While he's not vomiting or doing any of the stuff you see in movies, these 5 days have been really hard on him, and really dampering his spirits. He keeps telling me, hes about to snap. He knew it was going to be hard, and he's accepted it. He has accepted the fact that it's time to get off. Over 10 years of using, I guess he's done. Yeah, it's a good job opportunity, but he realizes there's more out there. The boss is a counselor who does alot of stuff with substance addicts, including a suboxone clinic. While he doesn't write prescriptions for them, he is the person the clients have to talk to. That may be a prime concern for him, and his request for my hubby to quit. While, I don't think my hubby will ever work in the clinic, he will be dealing with people who are using suboxone (more than likely), as well as people who are not. I dunno, it's just a shot in the dark in guessing the guys reasons for my hubby to quit. He told him, he could stay in the program a little longer, but my hubby chose not to. I don't know if I mentioned that in my earlier posts, but I don't think I did, so that may be a little more helpful. Oh, and when I said I'm ready for the nightmare to be over, I am not really sure if I had a definite definition for "the nightmare". I don't know if I'm just ready for the withdrawals and miserableness to end, or if I'm ready for the lies and excuses to end...I'm just not sure. I do know that I'm completely exhausted. Five days of being in his shoes couldn't have been easy, but trust me, 5 days in my shoes hasn't been the best either, ha. I am going to stick beside him through it all though. If it comes to a point when he truly and honestly doesn't think he can make it, then he can get back into the program, explain it to his boss, that he just isn't meant to be off of it. If he can troop it out a little while longer, he will, and he'll probably have a new prospective on life (or maybe that's just in my dreams!) But I really and truly do thank you guys for the awesome feedback and helpful answers! Checking this website a few times a day is kinda making my day a little easier!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:26 pm 
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Well I guess it's a good thing we all have free will :)

You state that after 10 years of "using" he is probably done and that you are tired of the excuses. I just can't help but sense the mindset that being on suboxone is "using" and it is NOT. Even the substance abuse counselor I saw AND my doctor state that my 2 1/2 years on suboxone is considered SOBRIETY. The person is no longer engaging in the damaging addictive behaviors. It seems like this boss or this substance abuse professional or whatever he is really has a misinformed perspective about the suboxone which is really annoying to me because he is in this field. When you are the one on suboxone, you already feel horribly guilty for your addiction and having harmed those you love and feel maybe you are weak and just not strong enough like other people. I feel for your husband because I am sure from what you have said that he feels like the suboxone is a "bad" thing when from what I have read, it really hasn't caused him or you or his boss any problems at all. But everyone seems to view the suboxone as a part of active addiction which is incorrect.

I understand you are tired and I don't blame you one bit. I am sure you are tired of the withdrawal, tired of worrying about it, tired of the expense, tired of the resentments you may hold and I am sure you are totally supportive of what he "wants". You SOUND ready for this whole addiction thing to just be over with. You are tired of the excuses. Excuses for what I wonder? Excuses for staying on suboxone that you have heard previously? Has he continued to engage in addict behaviors despite the suboxone? (Note: I think my husband is a HERO for putting up with all of this addiction crap and I realize my addiction has taken a toll on him as I am sure it has you).

I am not trying to debate whether he should be on or off it either as that is a personal decision and I don't know him or you. I am feeling a connection to some of the things you have written though and it just reminds me a lot of my situation before I stopped suboxone. I really had to re-think things, put them into proper perspective, and educate myself a little more. I always felt that while I loved the suboxone for helping me get through my addiction to opiates, that I needed to stop needing it and the fact that I did need it or was dependent on it made me feel like I was "still an addict". So I told myself I needed to just get through it and get done with it and be done with this "addiction" once and for all.

Where I went wrong was in my thinking. The suboxone wasn't part of my addiction, it was part of my recovery. The only thing negative about it was that I was keeping a secret from my family and in reality, that was my choice not the suboxone making a choice for me (like active addiction does). It was causing my husband stress because he didn't understand why I was still on it, but then we researched together and decided it wasn't such a bad thing. All of the negatives were actually perceived negatives and were the result of my lack of knowledge and understanding about addiction and the drug or the negative feelings I had for myself for being an addict to begin with. My perceived reality was very different from the actualities of the situation.

Again, he has to make his own choice. I do support both of you and wish you both the best.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:32 pm 
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The fact that your husband is being forced off of Suboxone makes me furious.... Anyone else know of any proffessions that require their employees to stop take antidepressants if they're depressed? Insulin if they're diabetic? Blood pressure meds for hypertension? of course no one has heard about anyone having to stop taking prescribed medication that has undoubtedly prolonged and increases the quality of both you and your husband's life. It's just so ridiculous it's just like an employer saying you can't work for them if you take flinstone vitamins..... and I'm not making lite of the situation. I'm by no means telling you guys what to do but I've learned for me personally opiate addiction can and usually will kill people who discontinue the treatment that has been working for them. I guess I've decided that the most important thing for me is to stay alive and avoid hurting those closest to me and after having overdosed a couple of times in the past it's such a terrible experience not really for me personally but I can't help but cry for those I would have left hurting if I did manage to let the disease kill me. If it were me staying alive is number one and finding a job is number two of course I know things can get really rough financially and unfortunately money is really important but it really seems that people who think Suboxone or methadone maintenance are bad are seriously living in an alternate universe....... I guarantee they would feel differently if they had lost a family member to the disease. My parents were very, very skeptical about me starting suboxone my mom and dad basically told me they couldn't support the decision but a little over three years later of staying clean and making huge accomplishments because I'm not using my parents really think Suboxone was the best thing to ever happen to me. I just don't believe that if someone knows someone that Suboxone works well for that they'd think discontinuing the medication and risking death is a good idea.

Good luck and hang in there I will be thinking about you and your husband and at least you can know we all feel and care for you guys here:)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:00 am 
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Wewillsurvive, just wondering if y'all survived, how you two holding up?

- joe


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