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injection site damage
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injection site damage

my husband has been on suboxone for 7 months.  Last saturday he partially detatched his lower bicept and was put in a cast for a few days until he could be MRI'ed.  A boil and infection exploded at his elbow (previous injection site)thursday nite.  Emergency surgery was done and the dr asked me if he was an active iv drug user.  I explained it was in the past...the dr says it has to be a recent "miss".  My husband insists he hasn't shot dope since he got on the suboxone program and has no reason to lie.  Could this be an old "miss"?  The dr's assistant who put the cast on says he examined the area completely and never saw any signs of iv drug use.    
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There are so many doctors out there who are simply blinded by their hatred of drug addicts...  I suspect this is one of them for one primary reason:  there is no benefit from injecting Suboxone tablets beyond one or two times, as the long half life causes tolerance to develop very quickly which takes away any effect.  In fact, if your husband is taking Suboxone, not Subutex, injection would result in immediate and severe withdrawal.

Of course, your husband could be saying he is taking Suboxone, but NOT be taking it in reality;  If you see him take it each day, though, it is unlikely that he is also shooting heroin.  It isn't impossible... but it is unlikely.

An abscess can certainly exist under layers of muscle or tendon for months, even years.  Such an abscess would likely have a thick wall made up of fibrotic tissue that would be seen during a repair operation.  Since it was a partial tear, it sounds as if they just casted it without opening it up and cleaning it out...  if that was the case (if it wasn't opened up surgically) I wouldn't consider the docs opinion too seriously.

For a non-trusting spouse, I often say that you don't have to worry-- active addiction, if present, will always present itself eventually.  If he is shooting heroin you would know it sooner rather than later-- the running out at odd hours, the frequent sickness, the drained bank accounts...
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