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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:48 pm 
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I am quiting Suboxone very soon and going back to college. I have been taking suboxone for almost a year and I am going to quit Suboxone and go back to college. I am wanting to go to college to become either a nurse CRNA or a Physician Assistant. Will the hospitals or doctors offices know about my past drug use when I apply to get a job and deny my employment? Is anyone on this forum that is working in the medical field that used to take Suboxone? I really need to know this information for sure before I become $100,000 in student debt and can't work anywhere near narcotics. I don't know of any way to find out. Do the medical schools and places that I can work look me up in some database? Please help me out here really need to know concrete answers.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:55 pm 
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Compliments of Amy.

http://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/partnersforrecovery/docs/Know_Your_Rights_Brochure_0110.pdf

Read it, print it, memorize it. Whatever you need to do to avoid discrimination.

Good luck on your medical career!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:39 pm 
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Your medication history is NOT going to be an issue. But there WILL be issues if you have a criminal record, or if you have a professional license that has been limited in some way.

But as a former anesthesiologist, I do have to offer a word of advice. I don't know if you have an 'opioid problem' or not.... but you mentioned being concerned that you plan to have a career that gives you access to narcotics, and you worry that your HISTORY will interfere with that plan.

Unless you have a record like I describe in my first paragraph, you will be able to strike out on whatever career path you want. But give serious thought to whether that is the best option for you. One of my favorite Clint Eastwood lines is in one of the Dirty Harry movies, when he says 'A good man knows his limitations' (or something along that line). I left the field of anesthesiology because I knew the odds-- that most relapses in anesthesiologists result in death-- and I decided to take a path that had a lower risk of death by overdose. I have a patient in my practice right now who wants to be an anesthesiologist some day-- and I counsel him every time I see him that his plans are a recipe for disaster.

Again, I don't know you or your history. But garden-variety opioid dependence has a high rate of relapse. Give some serious thought to whether you want to take that risk. Whatever you choose, feel free to contact me if you want to discuss the issue further.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:58 pm 
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I have to echo Dr. Junig here. I was about to apply to nursing school when I admitted my addiction. And I had wanted to go on and become a nurse midwife, so I would have had prescribing privileges. I was afraid that I would get into trouble, so I changed career paths. Try to know yourself as much as possible.

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:20 pm 
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I noticed people tell their stories on here to help others so I guess I will do the same.


Last edited by joedirtisdirt on Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:04 pm 
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Thanks for the helpful and informative replies, I am beginning to like this forum. I guess it would help to tell a bit of my story. I started to do pain pills senior year of high school on weekends and then when I started college it got out of hand. I was very young and dumb and immature and could be pressured into jumping off a cliff. I was taking them multiple times everyday / every other day. I have always worked so I have always had just enough money to support my bad habit. Never lost a job over drugs. I was working full time and going to college full time and doing pills full time so that obviously didn't work out and I dropped out of college my freshman year. I lost my scholarships and my car broke down so I was screwed basically and I just continued working. I quit doing pain pills and I was doing fine but then I started taking suboxone a couple months later for no reason really. I continued working a very labor intensive terrible job because I tell myself "I am going to buy a car and save up money and go back to school" fast forward to today. I am now 24 and I STILL HAVE NO CAR, NOT BACK IN SCHOOL, A TERRIBLE JOB, AND TAKING SUB. lol its funny how I got trapped in this cycle for years now. Breaking my back with nothing to show for it, all my money goes to sub and getting by. Each day is the same telling myself the same lies but now I am snapping out of it. I am saying f* it and quiting my job this month and quiting suboxone and so is my girlfriend because I am making her snap out of it as well. Then I am joining the National Guard (if they will take me) so I can have a part time job while I am in college and serve the most amazing country on Earth. I think I could benefit a lot from the military. But if I can't join the military because I took suboxone then I am just going to try to find a part time job working low level in the medical field because I need 4000 hours working with patients to get into Emory Medical School's Physician Assistant Program. And then I am going to just go all in and bet my future and get a college loan. I am going to work my butt off in college and get into medical school and become a Physician Assistant. But if I can't get into medical school then I will become a CRNA. This is my plan and I sure hope it works. I have been arrested when I forgot to pay a ticket, it was failure to appear in court because I didn't realize I had to go to court just for a speeding ticket. I will never be tempted to abuse pain pills again. I say I am not a "addict" because my motivation to succeed and to be happy far out weighs all else. I am highly motivated to turn my life around because I can not continue living this way. I am poor and have been poor long enough, now I am very determined to lift myself up by my boot straps and prove to my so called family and everyone around me that wanted me to fail and stay a addict were wrong. I will not be tempted to do pills ever again. Becoming a CRNA or a PA is like going to Mars where I am from. I will be homeless while in college and work until I collapse if I have to. I would never jeopardize a medical career to return to this. My only concern is that it's to late. I ask myself "Is 24 to old to return to college? Will anyone want to hire me after I graduate at 30?" I don't even know anyone in the medical field. I want to help others because nobody ever helped me, even when I so desperately needed it. That is why I am entering the medical field so I can help others. I am very confident that I will not have any issues working around narcotics.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:12 pm 
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Joe, there are several things I want to say to you.

1. I'm so sorry that your family hasn't been supportive of you and I'm sorry that no one reached out a hand to help during your times of need. It is much easier to succeed when you have people in your corner who care about what happens to you. You are obviously smart enough that you received scholarships for college, so I'm sure you can handle whatever school work is necessary for your career. But it's still much harder to climb that hill if you don't have people who believe in you. By the way, I believe in you! You have plans to do great things like serve our country and help people by providing medical care. You have worthy goals, intelligence to pull it off, and the drive to succeed!

2. It's definitely not too late! Whether you end up being a PA or a nurse anesthetist, most people in those jobs are 28 and older. Frankly, I wouldn't want a PA that is 25 anyway. I have noticed that those professions attract more people who have some life experience under their belt. Being over 30 would not be a problem.

3. You're not an addict because you have a certain mindset or amount of willpower. You're an addict because you've taken opiates that have changed the reward pathways in your brain. Perhaps suboxone has let you maintain status quo during a time when you were not quite ready to fly. Or maybe it let you maintain status quo when you should have flown already. The helpful thing about it was that you weren't dealing with the ups and downs of active opiate addiction. You still worked and supported yourself, albeit not well. You may be at a point when you can never imagine taking another pill, but it would be wise to keep an open mind about the possibility of eventual cravings. And it would be wise to keep an open mind about using sub as a tool if you need it. Just to give you an example, I am in grad school earning a masters in addiction studies right now. I also take 2 to 3 mg of buprenorphine every day. My motivation and intelligence is intact, and it's a good thing too! Otherwise I could be failing these very difficult classes! :)

I think that's it. I believe in both of us! We both have great potential and the drive to make a difference in the world. I certainly hope you stick around to ask questions and find solutions to your challenging circumstances. Keep up the good attitude as it will serve you well!

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:48 pm 
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Thank you Amy and everyone else who weighed in here, it really means a lot to me. I guess you're right about keeping a open mind about taking suboxone. I never really thought about that. It's probably because I don't know anyone else who takes it. I will keep everyone updated on my status as I make these decisions if anyone is interested to check. Best of luck to everyone.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:51 am 
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Great ideas...Thank you for sharing this post.


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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