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 Post subject: U A test & Marijuana
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:32 pm 
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I had a cousin visiting this weekend from Oregon where Medical pot is legal and he has a prescription. I have been dealing with some pretty intense pain all winter and spring in my shoulder that my Suboxone Dr. knows about. We even tried going off Suboxone and trying some oxcycodone for a week with no results. Went back on Suboxone.
Long story short, I tried a few hits of his pot, 3 nights in a row, and WOW!! Pain gone and the best I had slept in months. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna come up with THC in my UA tomorrow when I see my Doc.
How do most Suboxone Dr. view pot. Reason to be booted out of program? Are they even looking for THC in the UA's? I'm in ND and cousin is gone so I don't and most likely won't be smoking again for a long, long time, if ever.
Believe me, if medical pot was legal here, I would be looking to get some. I now know for a fact that there is a complete truth that the stuff works great for pain. I wasn't so sure till I tried it.
So, do I tell my suboxone Dr. the truth, or simply hope I don't come up dirty.
My inclination is to tell him the truth, but I don't want to have to find a new sub Doc either.


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:39 am 
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Hi There:

I have pretty severe insomnia. I used to be a real pot-head years ago, but have mostly quit using it. But still, every once in a while, maybe twice per month, I partake with my wife and it helps me get a good night's sleep.

I have been on Suboxone for almost 18 months and have had urine tests twice, both times showed the presence of Marijuana. I decided to be honest with my doctor about it and just told him the truth. He didn't care. He told me I should try to avoid it, but he then wrote my next prescription.....

Now, with that said, I am sure that EVERY doctor is different.


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:18 am 
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Thanks for the reply. I think my Dr. will be OK with it. I have never had a dirty UA. I'll be seeing him this morning and will report what happens. I have decided I'm not gonna try and hide anything and simply be honest.
When I got on the program they had me sign a suboxone contract, that I actually have never read. Does anyone know if the typical sub contract deals with the subject of pot as far as grounds for removal from program.
Anyone ever heard of someone being booted out for pot? I wonder how they address this issue in pot legal states?


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:26 am 
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Found the answer to one of my questions after doing a suboxone contract search. Here it is. It is grounds for removal from the program. So there is a chance I could be booted today.

13. I agree to abstain from alcohol, opioids, marijuana, cocaine, and other addictive substances (excepting nicotine).


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:52 am 
If you had to sign a contract with your Sub doctor, the pot issue is probably there. If so......you have screwed up. No two ways about it. I know when we first go in to start Sub, we are so friggin desparate we'd sign away our first-born child, but it really is important to know what we're signing up for. I was lucky, I guess, I didn't have to sign anything like that and I haven't been asked to do a UDS either. Not that it would show anything anyway because I don't do anything other than opiates.
That aside, what should you do? If you've been in the program and passed your drug screens and had no problems for several months, you've got a good base to work with. Your doctor likely has some confidence in you and probably doesn't think you're a lying, scheming, drug-seeking loser. (lol). That being the case.....tell him the truth. Something like, "Geez, my drug screen is probably going to come up positive for marijuana. My cousin was in town and smoked some last weekend. I didn't even think about my contract with you. I was just trying to relax and enjoy myself and you know my shoulder has just been killing me. I'm really sorry. I hope I haven't blown it with you. My recovery is so important to me. I would not want to jeopardize it in any way and I take it very seriously. After my cousin left and I realized what I had done, I've just been sick about it. I hope you'll give me another chance."
Having worked alongside doctors for so many years, I can almost promise you this type of approach will work much better than taking a casual attitude about it or being defensive or ......lying about it. Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.


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 Post subject: IMHO.....
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:05 am 
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Hi there 08ultrarider,,
If I where in your position I would tell my Dr.! That being said, I have a great relationship with my Suboxone Dr.. He is also my Shrink which helps!!! The reason I would come clean is not so much the POT as it is everything else on the list..... If the Dr. finds the pot on the UA he might start thinking What else is this guy trying to keep from me??? I think if he is understanding at all he should just tell you to knock it off??
I came clean with my Dr. after 4 months on Suboxone and told him that I was an Active Alcoholic (Very Active...). In the Dr.s Eyes in can be Very dangerous to mix the medication with Alcohol (He's right as usual) But he gave me a chance and let me stay on Suboxone and I have been clean & SOBER now for 11 months... Sorry just Gloating a little.. Anyways I don't think the Pot is going to be a big deal BUT you know your doctor better than anyone so go with your gut feeling.... Please be sure to come back and let us know what you decided and how you made out with the Dr.....Best of Luck and continued success on your Recovery.....

God Bless
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:57 am 
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Ideally you would be honest about it, and your doc would discuss the issue with you, and then you would move forward with the plan to either stop marijuana or not, depending on what is in your best interest (which should include YOUR opinion, don't you think?!) But docs have a very wide range of opinions about marijuana. My own perspective is that while marijuana is SOMETIMES a big problem in a person's life, USUALLY the risks from marijuana pale in comparison to the risks from opiates. I find it ridiculous that a treatment program would discharge a person for being positive for marijuana; I compare it to a cardiologist kicking a patient out of his practice for eating potato chips. If a treatment program kicks a person out for pot, and that person goes out and overdoses on heroin, who was served? Who feels good about that process?

At worst, if a doc has a big problem with your smoking marijuana, the doc should talk to you about it and work with you on stopping. The correct approach would be 'motivational enhancement therapy', where the doc would help you see the negative impact of pot on your life and try to motivate you to quit.

If your doc is someone who you cannot be open with, it would be best if you could find a different doc. Admittedly that is difficult in areas with a shortage of docs who can prescribe buprenorphine.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 1:51 pm 
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Hey Doc. Thanks for weighing in on the issue. I just got home from my Dr. visit, with my script filled and remaining in the program. We actually had about a 20 minute talk about pot. His biggest issue is not so much that somebody shows positive as it is that folks try to lie about it, which makes all sorts of other red flags pop up. I came right out and told him what happened, that I felt bad about it, how important recovery is to me and that the Suboxone has changed my life and I didn't want to get booted. He immediately said "you won't be booted from our program", putting me at ease. I was pretty up tight and remorseful and he knew it. It just happens that he has been my family physician for 23 years, and he has seen me struggle with pain, addiction and a couple times in treatment, so he knows me pretty well. He never did tell me if I would have been booted had I tried to hide it. Guess I should have asked, but I have a feeling he doesn't tolerate liars in his program very well. I do know a few guys that got the letter from his office stating that they were out, but I don't know what those circumstances were.
He also did tell me the UA did in fact show pot, and that even a couple hits will show up for a month, sometimes longer. His view on medicinal pot is neither pro or con. He thinks some of the claims made are legit, but over emphasized as to how great it is as a pain reliever, nausea reliever etc. He simply thinks there are other better pharmaceuticals available with less dangerous side affects, such as all the carcinogens injested in the lungs through smoking pot every day for long periods. He believes even if it is legalized, the FDA will never approve it for medicinal knowing the amount of problems that smoke can cause like cancer, emphazima, lung cancer, heart disease etc. Lawsuits would be astronomical in his view if the FDA approved a drug that can, will and does contribute to cancer.
Well basic lesson, like several suggested, be totally honest with the doc, despite what you might think the outcome is gonna be. Lie and eventually the program will no longer be available. Thanks for all the replies folks, and thanks Doc for popping in on this topic. Do you mind if I ask you what constitutes someone being booted in your clinic. I'm guessing liars and/or testing positive for opiates? Do you give folks a second chance, or are they done first screw up?
BTW, no more medicinal pot for this addict. I can't even remember the last time I had smoked, so it isn't my drug of choice anyway, lol...


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 2:30 pm 
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That actually is a pretty good question for Dr. J. Perhaps he may want to consider a Talk Zone post dealing with removing patients from treatment for violations, etc. It would be good to hear this views (beyond those he has already stated here and there in posts) about when it makes good sense to remove a patient together with the downsides of having to make such a move.

Just a thought/suggestion. (I didn't check to see if such a post already exists. Now watch, I'll find out that it does and I've just never seen it.)


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:14 pm 
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I've written it here before and I will now write it again, because I think it's worth repeating:

Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy!

I never have and I never will lie to or otherwise try to deceive my suboxone prescriber. It's not worth it. That's what I call "dope fiend behavior" and any good sub doctor should recognize it instantly.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:45 pm 
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This thread is a couple of years old but IMO is worth bringing back up again. It has crossed my mind on what would happen if I went to a concert and took a hit or two if someone passed some my way. Would I risk being thrown out of the program? And is it best not to bring it up in the hopes you won't get tested next time?

The reason I bring this up is a friend of mine was in town a few days ago and he smokes pot for pain. And yes, I've known this guy for a very long time and he does have bad pain. He swears it helps and it keeps him off the opiate pain medication.

Has anyone here ever tried it for pain? I have not. My habit of MJ went away in my 20's when it started getting too strong and it made me feel paranoid. Plus my lungs just can't take in smoke of any kind.

What's your opinion?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:27 pm 
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Hi RULE

so,,, i tried smoking a bit, when I FIRST went on suboxone,,it kinda made me sick......
I don't know, it felt like a bad reaction with the meds or something??

My husband has his medical card, and well, it's around.....LOL

When I first started seeing my suboxone dr. he seemed very against, smoking weed.
then after I'd been seeing him like a year or so,,, he said something about, "if I ever did so, to just tell him"
so,
i've since thought about it, even "decided" once, but Never went thru with it. Not sure why,,, just didn't want to I guess.

Anyways, I was an "avid" smoker while on all the pain meds......daily, all day long, most of the time.
I don't think it ever really Helped ME with pain,
definitely helped with anxiety though.
my good friend,
smokes it for pain too, but he says, only when it's "really bad"
although it does help at FIRST for the pain in his knee, once the weed is "done" he sorta
concentrates MORE on his knee, and that makes the pain worse.

so, who knows, probably different for every one of us.

good luck

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:15 am 
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Great find and topic to bring back up, rule. I think we all 'want' to be honest with our docs when we mess up but don’t because of the fear that the suboxone supply would be cut off and rather just take the risk.

I am not trying to promote the use or anything but in my active using days I rarely ever smoked but did once every month or so (like in the same situation as most of us who have no tolerance or have a built up amount of THC in their system). So I smoked and was randomly drug tested roughly 96 hours after smoking and nothing showed up. We're all different but I think it is a myth that weed stays in your system for 4 weeks or whatever it unless you are a heavy smoker. I didn't smoke very much but enough to the point that I wouldn't get any higher. For all I know it was out of my system 48hrs after smoking. I certainly didn't feel comfortable taking it then and wouldn't to this day just because it is not worth it. I'm not sure if it matters but it was a home drug screening if that makes a difference.

No one likes lying but they do it in order to protect themselves. I think most of the doctor’s approaches are that they won't kick you out after the first time but probably after the 2nd or 3rd time. If you fail a test that many times it's clear you aren't taking your recovery very seriously and suboxone probably isn't the right choice of treatment for those people. Humans aren't perfect and have flaws. I don't think weed is a long term solution to us addicts and is simply just a substitute for your drug of choice, otherwise I don't think it is very harmful in moderation and certainly has it perks.


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 Post subject: Silence
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:33 am 
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Okay, most everyone agreed that being honest is the best way to go. My question now is, if you happen to take a few tokes off one and just didn't say anything to your Dr., is that being dishonest by omission?

I am just surprised we haven't had this discussion more often due to how many people smoke it these days. It is legal now in several states so wouldn't that increase the amount of addicts on Suboxone who also enjoy lighting up now and then? And does it really help with pain?

And yes, I too agree that it isn't good for your recovery.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:20 am 
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I've smoked weed a number of times since being on Sub. It's always been a take-it-or-leave-it drug for me. If it's being passed around I won't say no.

As for doctors. In Australia I can guarantee there'd be no repercussions. It's against the whole principle of prescribing addiction pharmacotherapy to do drug screens of any kind for people on "drug replacement". I also personally think the idea is fucking ridiculous. A person on Suboxone who continues to use other drugs is still getting just as much benefit from it as those who can manage to stop their other drug intake. That's proven. Even those who still continue to use opioid drugs find their risk of overdose drop shitloads on methadone / Suboxone. And keeping Suboxone for only those patients who have a capacity to stop using all other drugs ... is robbing Suboxone from many of those that need it the most. It's ridiculously counterintuitive. And if they started booting people off for smoking some weed, or taking ecstacy at a new years party ... they'd be booting most people off the program down here.

It's a real punitive, enforced kinda recovery. It might "help" some motivated people keep themselves in line. But IMO it'd also kill a lot of people who Sub could be saving.

Anyway... rant over.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Wow. This thread made me want to go out and smoke the fattest bowl ever. My doctor would never be okay with it. I had a slip up for THC once and it wasn't that big of a deal because I was honest but I know if I kept going, I'd be done. And it stayed in my system for the longest time.

The hardest part is all my friends are stoners and the fact that marijuana made it so much easier to deal with my depression.

Please don't tell me to find a different doctor if it's that important to me, there's not many doctors in my area and I only have insurance through one clinic, plus what am I suppose to do, call the front desk and ask if the doctor lets his patients smoke pot before switching doctors?

I wish it were possible but I just can't risk it.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:28 pm 
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healingwaters wrote:

Please don't tell me to find a different doctor if it's that important to me, there's not many doctors in my area and I only have insurance through one clinic, plus what am I suppose to do, call the front desk and ask if the doctor lets his patients smoke pot before switching doctors?
.



Pretty much........

that's what I would do, allthough it MAY help to explain your situation a little bit first. ( I mean TELL them it helps w/depression)

Let me back up for a second.....

what you do is KEEP seeing YOUR doctor now, and Look around for another, You can just ask what their "rules" are regarding MJ,
(over the phone, of course)
I mean, LOTS of people have medical cards and all that, I'm pretty positive you wouldn't be the first or the last one to ask.
then, hopeful they'd give you a "well sometimes, depending on circumstance" OR NO, not ever.
if they gave you some kinda answer like, well you have to talk to the dr. blah blah blah
you could make an appt, you haven't done anything wrong UNTIL you get two scripts, at the same time. so you could have like an intro appt or something,and MEET the dr. have all your questions/details ready to go, at that appt, and kinda "feel them out"

THEN, and only then decide, IF it's worth the risk.

Or not, it's completely up to you.

I know seeing another doctor is expensive, BELIEVE me, I'm doing this whole thing, with no insurance at ALL.
for the script, or anything.
And, where I live there are two suboxone dr's within a 60 mile radius. So, basically I'd be driving at least two hours each way to see another. I stay very serious with my doctor, I mean, I TRY REALLY HARD to follow all his lil rules and what not.

anyways,
just wanted to say that.
When I said find another docotor before, in another thread, I wasn't trying to be mean or shitty or anything at all, I was only trying to help, just so you know. And that's all I'm trying to do, now, too.

Hope you had a great christmas :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:16 am 
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Marijuana was the first drug I ever did. I smoked for a few years and almost completely stopped no too long after that and once I started oxycodone I stopped all together and maybe only smoked once or twice every 6 months. Weed made me so incredibly high it was hard to function normally around people. I only enjoy it, and still sometimes do every 3 months or so, when I do absolutely nothing but watch a movie and eat food. The exact opposite was for oxycodone, my drug of choice. I guess it is just my personality or something. It was weird because it was like oxycodone was somewhat like an upper to me (even though it isn't) because it made me so much more talkative and want to do things and marijuana was like a massive downer.

I guess what I am trying to say is that not smoking weed to me isn’t a big deal to me. It's odd that I ever get the urge to want to smoke. I think it is overrated and while it wouldn’t affect everyone poorly who is in recovery, like alcohol, because people respond differently and also manage it more responsibly than others. But for the most part, it just doesn’t seem worth it to me to risk getting kicked out of the program, simply because it is the rule doctors have rather than if it really does cause a problem to the patient. Can anyone compare to my experience?


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