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 Post subject: What am I fighting for??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:19 pm 
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Since I started college for chemical dependency counseling, I have been climbing an uphill battle to advocate for medication assisted recovery. I learn about evidence based treatment, ethics, being open minded- and then I come in contact with fellow students, work staff, and teachers that knock Suboxone so badly. There is a woman in my class tonite that on the first day of class had noticed me from an NA mtg. about two years ago. I told her I no longer attend 12 step meetings locally because I do not feel right about having to justify my method of recovery. She asked what I meant, and I told her I was using medication as part of my recovery. She says, "Oohhh, I knew you were on something- your voice is different." I reply, "What do you mean, different?" She says, "all people on Methadone or opiates in general have deeper voices." My reply is, "How do you know my voice is deeper than normal? I only saw you at a meeting ONCE. That makes no sense!" She goes on to tell me that I am not truly in recovery, blah, blah, blah. I finally had enough and got a little loud saying, "While I respect your recovery- you should understand that there are different ways to do so, you should not speak ill of something you do not understand, please do not worry about me, I am happier than I have ever been!" I then got in my car and forgot about it.
The next week I walk into class, and I see this woman lean over to her cohort and whisper, "There she is." They both looked at me like I was a criminal. I got so pissed off, I told a couple of my friends about it, they told me to blow it off- she is crazy. So, I did. BUT Every single class, this woman brings up Medication being an excuse, a crutch- that a person does not truly know themselves while on these type of drugs, etc, etc. Every week, I blow it off- but tonite I left class in tears. I feel if I confront her, I will just be more scrutinized. I am so tired of this crap. I feel really beat down.
Honestly, What am I fighting for? Why am I constantly having to justify the most productive treatment I ever had? Why are the doctors prescribing this medication treating patients so badly? I feel so lost- and I am so tired of fighting.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:07 pm 
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To put it bluntly. Don't tell anybody. It's none of there business what your choice is for recovery. I understand you may have been more comfortable telling this person because you recognized them from a meeting, but on the other hand I would just keep it to yourself. If you do. You won't have to fight the world and feel like you have to defend your choice all the time. The fact is the are a lot of people who don't understand what it is to have opiates take a hold of your life. They don't understand that you are much better off on Suboxone or Methadone under a doctors care than constantly living life on the brink of relapse in an abstinence based program.

Don't give them the ammunition to go on. That is the best advice I can give you. You will not have this class forever and whoever this girl is may be in other classes you have in the future but it will pass if you let it be. I would think you would have to have pretty tough skin for people bad mouthing our treatment method in your area of study. Even though the number are good for success using Suboxone the is a big group of people out there who are ignorant when it comes to opiate addiction and have lofty ideals for what recovery should consist of.

I have only told my immediate family, ex, and a couple close friends. I really don't want to give anybody else the opportunity to judge me, because I don't need there opinions.

I wish you the best of luck with your recovery and with school!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:20 pm 
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If it is causing you this much stress then you may want to reconsider taking this one on. She may very well be jealous since she is doing it the hard way. She is clearly insecure or uneducated or misinformed or all of the above and WE all know she doesn't have any facts to support her opinion as she is already spouting pure ignorance.

I would be EXTREMELY tempted at this point to open it up for debate in the class since she is apparently telling others your business anyways. Has she violated your annonymity too? Kind of sounds like she may have. Anyhow...I would be tempted to open it up to debate just so I could prove her wrong and hopefully make a difference by challenging the traditional thought process on this topic. BUT....keep in mind it isn't your responsibility and it is OK if you don't take that on. I am sure you not only feel the need to defend your choice since you know it is right for you but also to help those in your field become a little more educated on a topic the industry itself isn't doing a very good job with. I would also be tempted to ask her if this is the behavior or attitude she is going to take with a potential client down the road. Surely a client will sense her judgments which could cause harm to his or her recovery. I came across a really good article the other day......let me go find the link. Till then....sorry you had such a rough day with this B$*#@


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:21 pm 
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You are fighting for everyone out there who is too afraid to say: "I need help." For everyone who has ever looked into the mirror, and had to turn away. Ashamed.

You are fighting because simply...you are a FIGHTER. It's what you were born to do. To not accept everything this life has to give us as unchangeable. To question things, learn, and in turn change the outlook of the world.

And recovery well..it's just that. Recovering a part of ourselves that was lost or maybe never even there at all. And noone has the right to judge you. It is not a crutch, it's you being the best you. Who cares how we all got here, as long as we are here.

I'm so sorry that you have to deal with such closed-minded people. Not bad, just mainly uneducated. Maybe you are indeed the voice of reason that they have never heard. Someone unique, who will set her mind to what needs to be done and conquer. One person at a time. You fought for your life and WON!!! Now you are just fighting for the lives of others...And you will be amazing.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Just to add to my earlier response....

I commend you for what you are doing. They say the best people for helping someone go through a crisis are those who have gone through the crisis themselves. By all means keep fighting for what you believe in. I guess my point earlier is that you may want to pick your battles so you don't get so beat up.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:35 pm 
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You may have already seen this article but here it is in case you hadn't and for the rest of you who have never seen it.

The Use of Insulin in the Treatment of Diabetes: An Analogy to Methadone Maintenance

by J. Thomas Payte, M.D. 1

A five-year study was conducted on 300 insulin-dependent diabetics. The purpose of the study was to determine if the use of insulin resulted in any long-term benefit to diabetics. The concept was based on two widely accepted hypotheses: (1) that a formerly insulin-dependent diabetic could learn to live a comfortable and responsible life without insulin, provided that he or she wanted to badly enough; and (2) that the use of any exogenous substance to replace or simply substitute for a deficient endogenous substance is conceptually unacceptable to modern scientific thinking and may be inherently evil.

It is obvious that exogenous insulin, being highly suspect at the outset, should be used in the lowest possible doses and for the shortest time possible. In this study, treatment with insulin was limited to two years and the daily dose was limited to a maximum of 40 units. The post-treatment follow-up period varied from three days to three years, depending on the duration of survival. During the treatment phase (insulin maintenance), random urine samples were collected under direct supervision and tested for glucose at least weekly. A positive urine glucose resulted in a warning to the patient. After three positive urine tests, the dose of insulin was reduced by five units daily for each positive urine test. This policy was intended to increase motivation on the part of the patient to provide urine specimens negative for glucose. If positives continued, the insulin was eventually discontinued and the patients were placed in the follow-up group. The authors of the study felt that patients would have a better chance of reentry into insulin maintenance at a later date if (a) the patients survived and (b) patients accepted full responsibility for their insulin dependence and were willing to go to any lengths to recover.

All patients were required to endure one hour of individual or group counseling each week, which addressed such subjects as meal planning, hygiene for the feet, pancreatic imagery, and dietary assertiveness. Counseling patients fell into one of three categories: those who had no need or desire for counseling; those who might need counseling but were entirely unwilling to participate; and those who both wanted and needed extensive counseling, but the counselors were so busy spending an hour a week with the others that they were unable to meet the increased demands and needs of this group. Avoiding this bothersome, time-consuming, and costly process of individualized treatment also served to reduce the risk of enabling the patients' maladaptive behaviors by what could seem to be a reward system. The resulting uniformity of service assured that the needs of no one were met. It was hoped that by making the treatment unpleasant that motivation for recovery would be enhanced.

Half the participants failed to complete the two-year treatment with insulin maintenance. Some patients simply dropped out of treatment, but most were terminated for continued glucose-positive urines. This was despite repeated warnings and in absolute defiance of the reductions in insulin dosage with each glucose-positive urine. It was concluded that this population is poorly motivated, difficult to work with, and is lacking the resources needed to effect the major life changes required for recovery. Many of this group died during follow-up. Some survived with amputations, blindness, neuropathies, and other conditions associated with the unhealthy life-styles of the diabetic.

The remaining half did manage to complete the two-year treatment and even appeared to experience relatively good health and seemingly normal functioning. Of course, this illusion of apparent good health was at the expense of continuing to maintain the insulin-dependent status with daily insulin. Some investigators speculated that insulin might be continued over a longer period of time and at higher doses. This notion was quickly rejected as being absurd because good health should not be obtained at just any cost. As the patients approached the two-year period, the insulin doses were tapered over the final two months. All subjects began having positive urine tests and again were showing active insulin-dependent diabetes. The obvious conclusion is that insulin does not help the insulin-dependent diabetic and is not effective in treatment. The high mortality rate of post-treatment patients suggests that insulin may have had some delayed, deadly toxic effects. This concept should be the subject of future research.

COMMENT
This "insulin spoof" was originally written with the idea to share it among friends and colleagues. Somewhat surprisingly, the spoof was well received by many who urged that it be shared with a wider audience. Initially, the intention was to transpose rather typical and illogical clinical thought processes about methadone maintenance to another more familiar chronic and incurable disease.

The transposition to a disease that is much more widely understood made the line of reasoning clearly absurd in the new context. Yet when this pseudologic is applied to chronic opiod dependence and methadone maintenance, few people find anything wrong or out of place. One might conclude that the vision of some is clouded by the philosophical and ideological considerations that erect barriers to understanding, accepting, and implementing this lifesaving treatment modality for those chronic intractable heroin addicts who need it.

Any humor in this parody is quickly lost when one estimates the loss of life and other costs associated with untreated heroin addiction that can be attributed to a persistent shortage of methadone treatment slots. This shortage is due, in part, to persistent negative attitudes toward the methadone treatment modality.

1 Chairperson, Committee on Methadone Treatment, American Society of Addiction Medicine; Founder and Medical Director, Drug Dependence Associates, 3701 West Commerce Street, San Antonio, Texas 78207



So.......what I like about this article is that it really points out how we can sometimes see ourselves and unfairly judge ourselves. This is what we do every time we expect ourselves not to use this "crutch". If she isn't even open minded enough to consider it, then quite possibly she is still fitting herself into the stereotype. Maybe that is part of the cause of the insecurity. You could actually be helping her by providing something like this to her. I don't want to push you to defend yourself because you don't have to take all that on....but if you WANT to then certainly there is a lot of ammunition out there. The only thing I can find against suboxone use is entirely philosophic and is not based in fact. I had to challenge my own stereotypes because I FELT like it was a crutch. In trying to prove I was right, I found I was wrong. Her opinions involve VERY faulty thinking. In any therapy it is quite dangerous to assert your own opinions into the sessions and unless those who oppose suboxone can come up with something better than "because it's a crutch" they will find themselves on the defensive very soon.

If it makes you feel any better, my Mom will be here tomorrow and Friday/Saturday and I fully intend to debate this topic with her. Pretty much for the sole purpose of her medical clinic being so ignorant and causing harm to so many people because of this "crutch" theory. I will be giving my Mom the article. I hope she will take it back to the clinic.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:00 am 
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Is this person your teacher,boss, mother,sister,potential employer or friend.........? No she has the same disease you do. You have helped so many people on this site by sharing your experience, strength and hope and you have been doing it for awhile which has prepared you for for your future. This is one person that you are letting get at you and you have shown that you are must stronger than this.When in addictive addiction people that hurt me I hurt them back...I would have their electricity shut off and only turned back on if they used the password PONY.Call them in sick due to prostitution arrest or shoplifting........many more. Now I pray for them that they get better because they are sick. You know who and what you are and we know who you are too. If revenge is your gig I have a million of them....but I don't think you are. Show up....do your best and then teach the world what you have learned. I don't share with strangers about my sub use. In a few years people like you will educate those that don't understand and in the end you will win. Never jeopardize your choice of recovery for anyone but yourself..........You are just fine.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:56 am 
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Keep up the good fight and don't worry about people with small minds.

This is stereotyping and prejudgement [prejudice] taken to the extreme. Essentially no different then racial, ethnic, religious, or any other limited thought process. It's one thing to have these erroneous preconceived ideas and thought but they are usually followed by the next step which is of course discrimination. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this person lobbys others to pressure you to feel that you don't belong. Ignore the wisphers of this person!

Please stand up for yourself and all others who are in the same situation. Information and education are your best weapons. Here are some tool suggestions... take a subs or meth dr or other addiction professional with you to the meeting along with some printed material for them to read...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:48 pm 
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Hi shelwoy,

Wow - everything I've read on this thread is wonderful and there isn't much more to add. Of course you felt beat down, who wouldn't after that kind of treatment?! Like others have said yours/ours is a good fight and worth fighting. You have contributed so much to this forum and I'm quite sure others in your life. Imagine what you'll have to offer in the future!

Isn't it awesome that we have this place to turn to when we feel like you were feeling? I hope by the time you read this you're feeling better and maybe some of the words spoken here will give you more strength.

Take care,
Melissa

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:55 pm 
Hi Shelwoy. What are you fighting for?....You are fighting for all of us and for all those to come who need help for opiate addiction!! You are doing a good thing. You are getting an education in a field where you can do the most good.
Please don't let this self-absorbed woman deter you for another minute from pressing forward! It's disheartening when someone who should be on "your side" decides to try and sabotage you. You know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you are getting better and better with your course of treatment with Suboxone. Your life is manageable, you are going to school, functioning well within your family and living your life to the fullest.....something that, no doubt, would not be happening if you hadn't chosen to try medication-assisted treatment.
The best 'revenge' you can get in situations like this is to just continue on, undaunted by her comments and poor treatment of you. Hold your head high, do well in school and show everyone who is the 'better' person!
I hope that because of people like you who are willing to take the beating for the rest of us, there will come a day when our choice of treatment is more widely accepted and appreciated for what it is.......a method of recovery that actually works! A method that gives us a chance to succeed in remaining off opiates, thereby letting us live our lives as we were meant to live them!
So keep up your good work girl! Let's just see where this woman is a few years down the road! Odds are she won't be doing as well as you are likely to be doing down the line! You are obviously not going to convince her that you're not talking different, or acting different, or somehow being different because you are on Suboxone. But just think for a minute how stupid her remarks are! How ridiculous......she doesn't even really know you!
Continue on with educating the ignorance of people like her. Better yet, don't even waste your time on people like her. Focus instead on educating others in the recovery and in the mental healthcare community about medication-assisted recovery. That's where you really can make a difference. Where else in the medical community and the community at large would a cutting-edge, new-and-improved method of treating disease be frowned upon? It makes no sense to me. If there were a new cure or treatment for cancer that proved to have far better outcomes than say-chemotherapy, would you still have so many people standing up and saying, "No I think I'd still rather go with running some poison through my veins, be sick as a dog, risk death, and have only a 5-10% chance of survival instead of trying this new treatment which is less toxic and gives me a better chance of surviving. Yeah, I'm gonna just stick with the old way.....this new stuff is just a crutch. I need to go ahead and have the full Cancer experience here, chemo and all!!" I know it's a VERY loose comparison to say the least, so don't go off on a rabbit trail on me or get mad at me....I know it's not the same. But still....just to say how stupid the argument really is!
Hang tough Shel! We're on your side!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Shelwoy,

Others have said it better than I could, so I just want to say "hear, hear" to the above advice.

Although I've not been on the forum very long, I've seen from your posts to others that you're really solid in your knowledge, mission, and sense of self. Anybody would feel put down and discouraged by the sort of childish treatment these characters are dishing out, but yep, it's all about them, not you.

I've always maintained that even in adulthood, the group dynamic is never far removed from the elementary school playground.

Trust yourself and your good instincts, and phooey on them.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:31 pm 
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I like the term used by setmefree: "medication-assisted recovery". I've never seen that before. However, I like the other description used even better...chemotherapy I don't think many people would characterize "chemo" as a form of subs treatment? But, why not... The mirriam-webster dictionary defines chemotherapy as:

The use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease or mental illness.

I think that includes subs/meth prescriptions...

Naturally when we speak of chemotherapy... cancer automatically comes to mind. And I don't want to confuse cancer and subs treatments. However, I personally believe addiction and drug dependency management should be included in how people recover via chemotherapy. I wonder if that could be crossing a boundary and perhaps discounting the horrible side effects cancer patients experience?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:00 am 
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Just know there are a whole lot of people who are behind you. We're not there in class and you can't see us but we're there. You're not alone in that class....she is! That's why she has to keep dragging other people into it and bringing it up. We have your back and as such you don't have to say or do anything. You are happy right? So who cares what she says or think. She sounds like a very small person. Don't sweat what small people think about you or us. We're doing great.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:49 am 
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I am eternally grateful for the outpouring of support from all of you, thank you for redefining what I am doing this for. It is amazing to me how even as a professional in the field of addiction recovery, I am hit with such ignorance. I should have known better, but the situation caught me off guard and this person's relentless display of ignorance just got the best of me. I needed to take a step back and really analyze her motives. She is a hardcore 12 stepper, it should not be any surprise to me that she behaved this way. One of the main components of our education is learning about the many different ways people recover, she is stuck within one model and refuses to accept any other- sad but true.
Another thing I realized is that I am more than half way to my degree, she has just started out. She is taking her courses out of sync and will suffer for it, so I will keep moving forward and do my best to ignore her stupidity. This semester is really rough, a true test of my dedication to the field- and I am working very hard to get passed it. That is why I am not around as much. Thanks again for your support and friendship! It really means allot.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:15 am 
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It's good you've chosen to ignore this person, but should she decide to step on her high horse again in front of other ppl, ppl like her usually fall to pieces if you turn it around on them. Just step up and relay the hard facts of suboxone vs 12 stepping it, dont back down, and dont take ANY shit from her. I got sick and tired of ppl like this a long time ago. Usually they talk all day about nothing but their "recovery" and themselves. Doesn't seem like much of a recovery to me if you're as miserable and self-conscious as the lot ive come in contact with. but yea its your choice. ignoring them is just fine as long as they dont mess with ya. just dont let em get to you cause thats exactly what they wanna do is make you feel GUILTY about taking suboxone. Sorry but ppl like that really burn my ass sometimes. GL to ya.


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