I just started reasearching Suboxone treatment. I made my first call and was discouraged at all the hoops that had to be jumped through to get started. First required to see a nurse who doesn't have any appointments open for over a week...pay $300 that vist....then see doctor 3 days later while in withdrawal..pay $75...see doctor one week later..$75...then see doctor montly at $75 a month. Plus required counseling and prescription costs. I didnt realize finding help would cost so much and be complicated to start. I have no idea how I can go to work while in whithdrawal and I cant get off work..seems so hard to start this. I can't lose my job..have to keep up the act but am running out of the energy to continue it. I'm a single mom with a toddler and 2 teenagers that need me and deserve so much more from me. I will continue making calls on Monday...does anyone now if the procedure I described above is basically the same for most doctors? If it is...I guess it would save me a lot of time researching. Thanks in advance for any advise.
It is pretty much the same everywhere from my understanding. In order for my Dr to be able to prescribe Suboxone he has to have a License just for prescribing Sub's. I was also told I had to be in WD's for 72 hrs before I could start. I made my mind up that I was not gonna go 72 hrs without anything. The main reason I was getting on Sub's was to AVOID all WD's cause I was not mentally ready to deal with it. I think it was about 24 hrs give or take since the last time I had used and I didn't have any problems when I took the Sub's. I am in NO way telling you to go against what your Dr told you so please don't take it that way. I am just telling you what I was told and what I actually did. It ***** that Suboxone is so expensive and not to mention the fee for the Dr and whatever else they can throw in there to charge a few more bucks. Seems all the healthy things and things that can help ppl always cost a small fortune. Luckily my Dr visits were free so all I had to pay for was the Sub's ($8 a pill here in WV) and drug tests. I wish you all the luck in getting clean! If you have any questions about Sub's I can try to help you the best I can.
Thanks for your replies. I know..part of me realizes the suboxone is maybe going to be me stalling..but at least I can get my head together and stop being obbessed with how many pills I have available..counting them..hiding them..its horrible.
I'm just surprised about the timing of the treatment and why that one doctor doesn't offer help right away. I was told that even after I see the nurse..the doctor only saw suboxone patients on certain days and times..if someone is in a crisis and finally has the courage to reach out..it seems like there should be a way to start when you need it. After all..I'm about to run out of medicine..and thats why Im calling. If I wait a week..I'll already have been through my week of misery and then be able to get a new prescription and it will start all over. I just can't break the cycle. I keep telling myself..one more refill to use to taper off..but I can never do. Instead of taper..I do the opposite.
I will call more on Monday to see if other doctors are more available.
i can understand how you feel, but i think that is why a lot of us did it cold turkey, we werent strong enough to taper, and knew we could wait till the next script got filled, so it was best to do ot once and for all and not have the next script coming, also even with sub you have to go in withdrawals and then get off the sub, none of it is easy, best is to not take any ever again, and get some after care to help us stay clean, i wish you well,
I know the feeling with finally asking for help and having to wait. I was on the waiting list for Suboxone for about 3 months after I asked for help. That was 3 months that the addict in me could have changed my mind in getting help. Dr's in the ER don't see patients having heart attacks only on Mondays between the hrs of 3-8 so why should a patient that is an addict asking for help have to wait til a certain day and time. It might not be as serious as a heart attack but still serious enough and needs attention. I know that most Suboxone program places where I live can only have a certain number of ppl in the program at a time. It's not fair for the next person wanting and needing help to have to wait when a huge % of the ones in it are only doing it to sell.
i went a different path and did a 21-day short detox with Sub and it worked just as advertised so far... and you DO NOT have to be in 72 hours of withdrawal! Otherwise, what is the point! might as well just go cold turkey.. I was only 12 hours and had no problems. They use a scaled called the "COWS" scale to determine where you are in detox.. 12-16 hours is plenty, and my doc has detoxed thousands of people.. mine was WAY more expensive than what you are saying, but then again i'm done already and wont be going to monthly visits. I also used Subutex, not Suboxone - as the Narcan in the Suboxone isnt necessary and is the cause of a lot of headaches and things in people.. As soon as i got in the doc's office, he saw me and gave me 1/2 a pill as we were discussing my history (although they already knew it having spoken to me for weeks).
i used it to break my constant relapsing and ridiculous amounts i was taking and i struggled for years trying to do it myself and just couldnt stay away... so for me, it did what i wanted - but i have also been going to daily AA meetings, a counselor, and cut off access to all my supplies. You have to want it, Sub is not a quick fix but if used properly can work.
i researched a lot, and found that 21 days is the optimum time to break the cycle but not get hooked on sub... which is the danger you face, as its hard to get off of Sub once you get on, and many docs want to keep you there for "maintenance" - which means you are still on a drug. But different situations for different people.... it was only one piece of my overall recovery plan, a tool to use along with aftercare, counseling, exercise, diet, changing everything basically to get well
I found a doctor that was a little less expensive..$125 for "application" and $75 per visit thereafter. I paid the upfront $200 and was "accepted" (it was very weird...the doctor never talked to me). I just summarized some of my problems on an old photocopied questionarre..and then was accepted. Feels not right...but the other doctor seemed too strict..now I got the opposite.
Anyway, I'm suppose to go on Monday while in withdrawal..the paper said 48 hours..the nurse hinted 24 acceptable. From what I read I thought they would give me the medicine in the office to see what my dosage should be..but thats not how this place operates..its a 15 min apt and I'm just getting a prescription. I feel like I made a mistake. I'm sure I can't get my money back.
I read all the FAQs in this forum about the terrible withdrawals coming off of suboxone and now am totally confused. Plus..my prescription refill for my pain medicine is next week as well...so now Im second guessing my decision to quit the pills. I'm very confused. I did this fast so I wouldn't change my mind..not sure I'll ever really know when I'm ready. Now I have too much time to second guess myself. Is there such a thing as "trying" suboxone..or am I just kidding myself.
listen - i did a years research on Sub and found a doc that ONLY does 21 day short detox.. i did it in 18, have been off massive amounts of hydro's for 25 days, no cravings, no bad w/d from sub. But i immediately started tapering down every 2 days until i got all the way down to 1 mg then just stopped last friday... all good, no problems, finally broke my relapse cycle.
you don't need to be on big doses of this stuff.. my doc had me take a half pill (4mg) then wait a few hours and see how i felt, then another half... then i took one more the first day. TOTAL of 12mg the first day, then next day went down to 10, 2 days later... 8... and so on. and i was taking 35+ norco 10s a day for a LONG time..
my point is - if your doc just gives you the script, then manage it yourself if you are going to do it.. educate yourself. Go read the "Heath Pages" upper right corner there are LOTS of documents on Sub, including a fast taper like i discussed... its all there for you to check out and research. We arent allowed to give step by step tapers, but you can educate yourself so if the doc says "oh, i'm putting you on 32mg of Sub every day for 9 months..." you can think twice - otherwise, it will be a BIG issue getting off of that.
And no, i would not "try" suboxone. If you really want to quit, use it as a TOOL along with meetings, counseling, etc.. which is what it was designed for. Don't just up and switch addictions to take Sub instead - as it can draw you in that "oh, i feel normal on these, life is good" - but then it turns on you...
i say just keep reading, keep researching and educate yourself.. I was only 12 hours into detox, but i also got Subutex that doesnt have the Narcan opiate blocker thing in it like Suboxone which is why they want you to wait longer..
copied from another post. from a sub doctor. thought you might like to read.
hope it helps. debbie
Below is a message from Dr. Scanlan that may help people choose.
One addiction is potentially being traded for another as the FDA-approved detoxification drug Suboxone is becoming one of the most prescribed medications in the country. Known as the “miracle drug,” Suboxone is estimated to be 25 times more potent than morphine.
Steve headshot.jpgI am board-certified in Psychiatry by the American Academy of Psychiatry and Neurology and board-certified in Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. I am the co-founder of Palm Beach Outpatient Detox (P.B.O.D.) in Boca Raton, Florida. I was once addicted to opiates during my medical residency in anesthesiology and was detoxed with the help of Suboxone. Now I successfully detox my patients from opiates (eg. morphine, Oxycontin) using regulated amounts of Suboxone and also detox my patients from Suboxone addiction when that drug has been misused.
I have found that the optimal time to have someone on Suboxone is between 20 and 25 days, tapering down on the medication every few days. This makes the physical symptoms of detox very manageable, without causing the patient to become cross-addicted to Suboxone. I have found that Suboxone use for a longer period than this begins to cause a strong dependence on Suboxone.
Once a patient is stabilized with Suboxone and no longer getting high, they have to be convinced that recovery is possible. A detailed program is then created at the P.B.O.D. office that focuses on abstinence and better coping techniques. P.B.O.D. prepares patients for the restlessness, irritability, and discontent they will experience when they are off all narcotics, including Suboxone. The Suboxone detox makes the physical aspect of the disease manageable, but does not help with the emotional and spiritual consequences of addiction. Often patients are concerned about coming off the Suboxone, but I educate them about how Suboxone is a tool to get them clean, but it is not a suitable maintenance drug if a patient wants to get into recovery.
Suboxone is a powerful opiate—an anesthetic to emotional pain. It immediately alleviates anxiety and depression, and makes a person feel more emotionally stable. A lesser dose of Suboxone (2mg a day) will block an estimated 80 percent of a person’s feelings, while higher doses can make a patient practically numb. How effective can individual or group therapy be when a patient’s feelings are still being attenuated by Suboxone? Patients often say they feel great on Suboxone and since they are not getting high they want to continue on it. I tell them, “You are not dealing with your feelings because you are still not feeling—you are still numb. You need to start experiencing emotions to understand what you were trying to self-medicate in the first place. It’s time to live life on life’s terms.”
When used in the short term, Suboxone is the best detox drug I have ever seen—it can immediately stabilize a patient’s life, and this can be done in an outpatient setting. When used long term, though, it is the hardest medication I have ever dealt with to detox a patient from. Suboxone does not work like natural opiates; it’s created in a lab and interacts with the receptors in the brain unlike any other opiate. I believe when given long term it causes abnormal adaptations to the opiate receptors and other receptors in the brain. In my experience, long-term use causes emotional dysregulation, loss of libido, hair loss, and an abnormality in how the body regulates its response to stress.
Suboxone is a mixture of buprenorphine and narcan. Buprenorphine is a powerful opiate, and narcan is an opiate blocker used to resuscitate people in the E.R. from an opiate overdose. With no other opiates in their system in the last few days, an addict can either snort or intravenously shoot up Suboxone and become extremely high since it easily dissolves in water, making it easier to shoot up than heroin. The combination of there not being enough narcan in Suboxone and the fact that Suboxone binds to the opiate receptor so strongly, there is no built-in deterrent to keep a patient from abusing Suboxone.
The misuse of Suboxone and the lack of attention to the problem is causing physicians untrained in addiction medicine to feed into the over-prescribing craze. To become an eligible prescriber for this medication only an 8-hour online course has to be completed. Many do not understand the long-term ramifications of Suboxone addiction, and it is also a very lucrative business for the prescribing physician. Most doctors charge $200 - $300 monthly, per patient, for a five-minute check-up to renew a Suboxone prescription. Most places prescribing Suboxone maintenance do not offer any addiction treatment because the doctor is not trained in addiction medicine and because it is not time or cost effective to do so. Furthermore, the lucrative nature of Suboxone on a maintenance basis is a disincentive to tapering the drug and its income-generating potential.
As a point of comparison I charge $2,000 for a detox from oxycontin, taking about three weeks. A detox from Suboxone dependence costs $5,000 because it takes four to five months, incorporating nine to ten different medications to successfully detox the patient from suboxone. The success rate for detox from Suboxone is much lower than with detox from other opiates because patients tend to give up hope as the withdrawal process is so long and drawn out.
Most Suboxone studies follow post-detox patients for only a month and are often funded by the drug company that manufactures Suboxone. There are no long-term studies of Suboxone maintenance. I learned myself about the dangers of Suboxone from meeting people in my practice who have been on it for years. I am ashamed that the medical profession has allowed this to happen. I wish I knew how to fix this problem. I only know how to prevent it from happening to my patients in the first place or how to correct previous Suboxone treatment.
Only time will tell what role Suboxone will play in the multi-billion dollar field of addiction medicine. Will it one day only be used in the short term as solely a detox tool, or will it also continue to be prescribed as a maintenance treatment? Supporters of maintenance treatment will state that the manageability of an addict’s life improves tremendously with Suboxone maintenance, and there is an abundance of research to back this up. Nonetheless, I believe that an individual on maintenance treatment is not experiencing the full range of emotions, the good and the bad. It is imperative, at that the least, that all physicians prescribing this medication become more educated about Suboxone and the pros and cons of short-term and chronic use.
that is my doctor Keeper... the guy i flew out to. READ THIS as it is what made me pick him and go see him as he knows what he is talking about... Great guy, and this method helped me break my relapse cycle and i'm already off the Sub with no cravings and doing well...
Wow I am living the same stressful pill life you are. I start stressing about running out of my pills on the very day they get refilled. Want to start a treatment program but no insurance and no dr. in the city I live in who is licensed to prescribe the suboxene or buphrine. But I want out of this misery just need to find the means and the guts to reveal my secret to my primary Dr. who I have been going to for years and I am 55 years of age I do have real pain both emotionally and phsycially. If anyone has any suggestions please do tell. Thank you for letting me vent!
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