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Julia M Aharonov, DO  
Female, 51
Southfield, MI

Specialties: Addiction, Drug abuse and dependence

Interests: My family

MDS Rapid Drug Detox
888-637-6968
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Methadone and Suboxone Deception. Are you truly informed?

May 02, 2012 - 26 comments
Tags:

methadone

,

Suboxone



Several weeks ago I got a question yet again, from another pregnant young lady using opiates asking me if it OK to use them only on weekends. I gave her my usual spiel and a few days later noticed a comment to her question from another reader:
“I was in a rehab when I found out I was pregnant.  I have now been sober since Feb. 8th of this year and am 12 weeks pregnant.  They told me no drug is good to do during pregnancy. It can hurt the baby.  I have been on methadone since Feb. 8th and will be on it my whole pregnancy.  Maybe it something you can look into.  I have no cravings and the baby is growing good and healthy.”
This got me to realize how important it is for me to address this issue.  And the issue at hand is the deception that is practiced by the “Addiction Physicians” and “Rehab Clinics” that have sprung up like mushrooms throughout United States in the last twenty years.   Federal money and the deep pockets of the pharmaceutical companies are being used to finance unscrupulous pharmacists and physicians to lead innumerable unsuspecting addicts to believe that by switching their illegal habits to the daily methadone or Suboxone they, in fact, are becoming “sober”!
What they are not being told is that they are simply switching one opiate to another. In fact, both methadone and Suboxone are longer acting and more addicting then even heroin itself. I do agree that shooting heroin is extremely dangerous and can lead to horrific consequences and in some instances it is preferable to place an addict on Suboxone or methadone to avoid those risks. However, in no instance is it allowable to mislead and deceive addicts into leading them to believe that they are now “sober” or “clean”.
These medications were first thought to be used as tapering tools off of the harder or illegal opiates, but with time, as they have shown to be extremely addictive, most addiction physicians began using them as maintenance treatment or substitution for heroin or street opiate abuse.  We at MDS Drug Detox believe that the only true treatment for opiate abuse is abstinence, and the solution to it is our rapid detox and a long term Naltrexone treatment.  Naltrexone treatment, however can only be initiated once a person is already opiate free, and that is hard to achieve without help.
During opiate use, central nervous system makes more and more opioid receptors and the brain anatomical structure is physically changed.  It causes the user to crave more and more drugs as they have less effect on the multitude of the opioid receptors. The Naltrexone therapy allows the central nervous system to return to its normal pre-opiate state, thus allowing the brain and the person to regain their normal function.
Human body was created to function without outside endorphins, it is a marvelous machine that will function beautifully if we only take good care of it, treat it well, feed it healthy food and keep it intellectually, physically and spiritually occupied.
We, as physicians must treat our patients with respect and being honest with them is part of our relationship with them. Every patient signs a document called “Informed Consent” prior to starting any treatment. If a patient thinks that they are sober on methadone or Suboxone, their “consent” was NOT “informed”.


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by annabelle825, May 02, 2012
Well this is nice to know.. i only wanted to do what I needed at the time to get off the pain pills.  the a week after i started the program i found out i was pregnant.  I've seen 3 different docotors and each one of them told me that taking the suboxone instead of the 20+ pills a day was best for me.  Now I am 38 weeks preganant and my baby is doing well.. howver now I have to deal with him going thru WD after birth.  I can't quict cold turkey as it will be more harmful to me and my unborn son.  I just at my wits end with all of this BS.  Once I have my son I have every intention of weaning off the subxonone.  

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by rach7849, May 02, 2012
Thank you for the compassion that underlies your direct and honest treatment of this issue.
Would Naltrexone be an option after suboxone withdrawal?


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by Gwensbn23, May 07, 2012
It is difficult for a person to understand addiction and addiction treatment when they have not experienced it first hand. not impossible, but difficult.
When I introduce myself to someone as an addict, a recovering addict I introduce myself as being clean, and that is on methadone. I am on methadone and I am a clean recovering heroin addict.
It makes me furious when I hear others speak their ignorance of those on methadone or suboxone as not being truly clean or sober.
I have made many of my most important triumphs throughout my life while being on methadone.
I am at 20mg and I am almost off of the methadone and will be completely off in the next few months. I have been clean from any and all chemicals and medications that I have abused for almost 4 years. I have not used one single drug or substance illegally or ill prescribed since the day after I began my methadone treatment.
Before methadone treatment I tried for 6 years to get clean, in and out of rehabs, detox facilities, was even clean for 5 whole months. But nothing has worked to help me be who I should be. Methadone, for me is the stepping stone that helped save my life, it helped me keep my family together, helped me learn to be confident and have the courage to say no.
To meet me you wouldn't even know I was on methadone unless you saw me take it and read the bottle. I have continually lowered my dose through my physician at the clinic, after my daughter was born, until recently I had began a treatment and my physician wanted me to halt on my taper for the time being.
My daughter was born healthy, whole and is a perfectly normal child.
If it weren't for the methadone treatment I may not be where I am today. I have an associates degree, CPC, have begun my bachelors degree in psychology, but may possibly be switching to aim for my PHD instead.
I am very well informed on my methadone treatment, and continue to inform myself on all aspects of addiction.
Yes I am disgusted by the increasing number of addicts going onto the methadone and suboxone programs because that means that there is an ever increasing number of people becoming addicted to heroin and other opiates.
I am proud to be a clean recovering heroin addict on the methadone program because it saved my life, and for me...... IT WORKS.
I think that you are the one whom needs to be more "informed" as you say.

You say that our bodies are meant to function without the support of outside endorphins, well heroin and other opiate addiction causes a decrease in our bodies ability to produce a normal amount of endorphins for our body.
Using heroin and other opiates also causes our brains to no longer produce dopamine on their own as much as it would normally. When heroin is stopped cold turkey our body is no longer getting that faked dopamine from the heroin and the methadone can help to supply some of those missing chemicals as our brain can learn to heal and most importantly have time to heal.


It if helps somebody and it's not harmful, and it can save lives, then why knock it down?

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, May 08, 2012
Dear Gwen,
I would like to address some of your questions and concerns. I am very happy that your are doing well and I and not in any way trying to put you or people like you down. You seem to have gotten your life together, despite of difficult circumstances and are obviously doing very well.
However, let me ask you, what is a difference between you and a person who takes insulin for diabetes? The difference is that they have no choice. You do. I am a physician, I belive in the use of medications, I use them every day, even the heavy duty opiates, for patients who need them,
You choose to be on them. You can also chose to detox off of them without dying. The diabetic has no such choice.
The medications have their time and place. You have been making excuses. They maybe very valid. However, no matter how valid they are and no matter how wrong I may be in your eyes and how much you hate me right now, you will not die without methadone.  A diabetic will die without insulin, a hypertensive will eventually have a stroke or kidney failure without blood pressure pills, etc. But you, you will survive, and with time, even thrive! That is the difference.
Good luck to you and your family.
Dr. Julia


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by nygirl7, May 09, 2012
I was on suboxone for several years and slowly tapered off of it when I was ready and new I would not be unable to fall back into old patterns. It's been over a yaer now and it worked for me. Much better than the years of pills prescribed by kind caring physicians that went from Vicodin, to Oxycodone, to Oxycontin, to .......onwards and upwards into pure addiction.

It was better for me but then again I had a wonderful doctor from a major NY hospital that I has had an upstanding rehab for many many years.  It was never intended to stay on them forever, just to wait until I was ready personally to get off them.







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by Dee1956, May 09, 2012
Hi I am not on either of these medications however I have a family member who is.  I thought this was better than the drugs and I thought that if someone stopped their medication they could have a seizure and die
Are you saying that a person on methadone or suboxone could go off their medication "cold turkey"?  I am just curious as I know that my family member thinks that they are recovered on suboxone.  I do not think he/she knows that suboxone is a narcotic.
Thank you


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by Dee1956, May 09, 2012
Thank you ID, I appreciate your response.  I did think that the above medications were better than using.  I know that it helped my family member.  I do wonder about the taper as that would be the best way in my opinion rather than putting someone through the pain of withdrawal.
Thanks Deb for sharing
Chickadee

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by sab107, May 12, 2012
Hi does the rapid detox you are talking about work for getting off of suboxone? I've been taking 8mgs for years and can't tapper off without MAJOR symptoms. Also can you discuss price please to see if it's even doable. it's really nice to be able to hear from a doctor who is knowledgeable on this subject.


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by hthrfthr, May 21, 2012
Gwen, Wow your comment was just what I needed to hear. I will be 30 days CLEAN tomorrow and alive thanks to the methadone clinic. I was clean almost a year and relapsed hard. I feel I am clean being on methadone bc i am not sticking a needle in my arm. I needed to do something different this time and the clinic was the road I chose after detox. I love the people that tell me I have to change my clean date after I stop taking the methadone. WHAT???? This is "our" recovery and no one elses. Do not let people get you down. Hearing success stories like yours tapering off the methadone makes me realize I made the right choice. I would never DO the rapis detox. Talk about rushing your recovery! I didnt use for a few nights and Im not going to get clean in a couple either! Thanks, Heather




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by hthrfthr, May 21, 2012
PS Diabetes and addiction should not be used in the same sentence let alone compared! There is no comparison. Diabetes is not a mental physical and emotional disease. I can tell you I wish I had diabetes over drug addiction as a disease!

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by NOMASGOTAS32, Jul 05, 2012
estoy de acuerdo en que una persona no se muere por dejar la metadona o el suboxone.....pero lo mal que lo pasa no hay quien se lo quite!!!!!!!!! yo estoy con suboxone,para dejar la metadona!!!!!! ahora quiero y necesito dejar toda la medicacion!!!!!!!!!! me han dado de todo.......    transiliun50 quetiapina 200mg mirtazapina 2de 30 y suboxone 6mg todo esto para un solo dia.......la verdad es que tengo la suerte de tener una muy buena doctora en el centro de drogo en a coruña.... muy comprensiva y me entiende!!!!! yo llevo mucho tiempo sin drogas..... pero muchas vezes pienso en si seria mejor volver ala heroina una semana y comerme el mono encerrado 4dias.que llevar años y años con tanta medicacion,,,,, aun asi lo que tengo claro es que la metadona es el peor de los remedios!!!!! una droga gratis del estado para tenernos controlados!!!!!!

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, Jul 05, 2012
Thank you for your comment.
I agree that a person does not die by leaving methadone or suboxone ..... but how badly it goes no one can take it away!!! I am with suboxone, methadone to stop!! now I want and need to stop all medications!!!! I have taken all ....... Seroquel 200 mg mirtazapine transiliun50 2of 30 and 6mg suboxone all this for one day ....... the truth is that I have fortunate enough to have a very good doctor in downtown Drogo in La Coruña .... very sympathetic and understands me!! I took a long time without drugs ..... but many times I think it would be better if the wing back a week and eat heroin monkey trapped 4 days. that take years and years with such medication,,,,, even so clearly that I have is that methadone is the worst remedy!! a drug free state to keep us controlled!! (Google translation of the above )

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by bobo942, Aug 10, 2012
Dear Julia M Aharonov how are you? I am from Australia and i have been thinking about getting the Naltrexone inplant but i know its a blocker and that it blocks Endorphins as well if so then no way thats like a meth addict getting a dopamine blocker the body cant function without dopamine release. So i dont want to live without endorphins but i have read that endorphins make you make risks and ever since i became an addict i am sort of addicted to danger and high risk situations and have been in some i dont react like other people they get scared and panic, i get excited. I really just want to know if the implant blocks your natural endorphins because if so then no way in hell am i going on it please help thanks for your time!!!! excuse spelling


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by smithyw, Aug 15, 2012
Hia im 28weeks pregnun and im on abt 15mil ove metherdone will that harm the baby .

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, Aug 18, 2012

I feel very strongly that methadone is not the best choice for drug treatment during pregnancy. I am sure you want what is best for your baby and so do I. Methadone is an opiate, very long acting one and very addictive. You are still opiate dependent and if you continue to be on methadone through your pregnancy, your child will also be born opiate dependent. Your baby will be in withdrawals after birth and will have be spend time in the Neonatal ICU to go through those withdrawal. If you choose to nurse your baby while you are still on methadone, there have been documented cases of babies dieing due to respiratory suppression (they stop breathing).
You need to get your OB/GYN involved in this and if s/he is not familiar with this process, find one who is. You should not be on methadone during pregnancy. The standard of care for pregnant addicted women is Suboxone or Subutex taper, even though maintenance Suboxone or Subutex is still considered safer than methadone because of much less risk of the respiratory suppression.
Please get a second opinion   before you get yourself and your baby into a whole lot of trouble.  Your baby deserves to be in your loving arms, being nursed at your breast right after it is born, not being for days or weeks in the NICU, not able to go home with you.
Good luck and stay safe.


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by Talia1138, Aug 28, 2012
WOW THAT IS NOT TRUE. I was an addict for 10 years (heroin, crack) i can tell you this   I was in 12 step, narconon, jail , intesive out patient. you name it i tried it. but I COULD NOT FUNCTION. I could not stay clean I actualy thought about ending my lkife once while i was SOBER. then came suboxone and adderall, now I know everybody wants abstinance. but for most long term addicts ABSTINANCE KILLS  because the moment the supernatural will power to stay clean fails (even just one time) this is when OVERDOSES are most likely. and the fact that i have to take  8 mg of suboxone and 60 mg of adderall a day to put my brain in balance, and prevent relapse is a tiny price for all the joy and happieness that my life holds now. My only problem is that my peace and tranquility is constantly being threated by ignorent ans well meaning (but compleatly unknowledgeable people) with the "war on drugs" still raging i fear one day it may become more difficult to get my scripts  I wonder why addiction is not treated like other chronic diseases, IMAGINE  A DIABETIC WHO WAS UNABLE TO CONTROL HIS BLOOD SUGAR BECAUSE HE HAD A BUNCH OF CAKE. THEN MESSED UP HIS INSULIN AND PASSED OUT WHILE DRIVING A BUS.  would this person suffer a DWI    JUST THINK```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

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by Rach22772, Nov 19, 2012
My partner and I got on the methadone programme 20 odd years ago. I soon found out I was pregnant and against the       A & D's advice i made a decision to withdraw at a slow and steady rate. I was off methadone by the time I was 6 months pregnant with the buzz of being pregnant with my first child being enough of a high to keep me focused. There was no way that I wanted to put my baby through withdrawls. My baby has now just turned 19 years old and so far so good - no effects from my methadone use have shown themselves. He is a perfectly healthy, hard-working young man.
This is the BEST decision I have ever made. I had a perfectly normal birth and pregnancy, he was born 7lb 2oz.
I am begging people who know about methadone and methadone withdrawl if you find yourselves pregnant then for God's sake get off it as soon as is safe for you and bubs pleeeeeasse

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by FL_Grl72, Jan 09, 2013
That's completely true! I am a neonatal nurse and worked in ICU with drug addicted babies the most disturbing thing to see a newborn suffer for weeks going through w/d's crying and raw bottoms from chronic diarrhea.theses doctors make opiate adddicated believe methadone is the answers...sorry but...u are still harming ur baby period...I would suggest doing a slow wean the minute you find out ur pregnant. That's ur best bet to protect ur baby...suboxone just as bad! Im also on suboxone was on opiates for chronic back pain and turned to suboxone to try to have a normal life but I was uniformed about the addictive nature of sub...and was never even offered a taper program...4 years later and thousands of dollars still on sub....I weaned myself once. I jumped from 2 mg...was sick for 6u weeks of pure hell just to get doc to give some ambien to sleep

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by FL_Grl72, Jan 09, 2013
They acted like they didn't want to give me meds for anxiety or sleep...was off subs for 3 months....back pain was so bad...the doctor said we prescribe sub for chronic pain all the time and had no problem handing me 3to months worth of scripts...im am sick of living my life dictated by these doctors and these meds..being at the mercy of the doctor if I can't get to appt cause I work full time I wont get my meds and that means I will suffer from w/d...im starting my taper from 12mg ..this time gonna do slow taper over longer period of time until im down to a tiny piece....my doctor told me to wean properly u have to skip a day between doses,then 2 days, then 3 days and sou on untiland ready toto jump and shouldu be verythere mild w/d. Im gonna take the supplements recommended on the other post.          It jan and planu on fgiving myself until may to wean slowly...nothing I want more than to beat this and the pharmaceutical co. At their own game...legalized drug dealing! I wish everyone the best seems like all we have are these post.I believe the medical community has failed us...im turning to alternative medicine and will get better myself! U can do it! We can do it!

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by HookLineandSinker68, Jan 13, 2013
Tried methadone clinic for 8 days from a hydro addiction.. Simply replacing a drug for a stronger drug. Was horrid having nodding, and they just wanted to keep increasing my dose to level out. Most people there i asked how long they were on it and not a one was under a year.. Some on for 5 years.. Free drugs to get high is what it is... Don't want to offend anyone here but it is what it is...hitlers scientist created this drug and had his soldiers on it.. That should tell you a little something.. So off I went for my little cup of poison. If you can and most that are NOT determined cannot wean. Seek a family member to hold your pills and wean comfortably, long wean to give your brain and body to come back to "normal".. I just don't get using a stronger drug to replace a milder drug and have WORSE side effects and withdrawals than what your taking now..personal experience and had two docs I work with, yes I'm in the med field tell me the same thing I already knew and was felling for myself. For those who it works for normally on it for years, great. But what's a month or two or weaning versus something do horrid.. I experienced the worst.. Mouth sores, etc from this poison. Some may come out ahead but I would research what it really is.. There is a program called methadonia that is great to watch, tells you like it is. Pros and cons and documentary.. Scary but real, not faking the documentary....watch first before you decide.

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by alex1904, Feb 02, 2013
How u doing bro I seen ur email online I jst wanted some advice im 21 and been on opiates for 2 years then whem I relized I couldnt kck the pills I moved to methadone bad mistake I was on that for about 4 months and ut seemed like they were just wanting to give me more mgs of methadone and I wanted tk stop but couldnt after all kinds if ups and downs I turned to a rehab out in mexico we there is no in and out ******** ur in and u staying thete with no kinds of meds to help u through the wds I ended up not sleeping for about 35 day and had the worst goosbuumps pain and was not given any nitritonal food since it was mexico and the cost is 169 amonth I did 2 months of prison style rehab made me relize what I had and have I came out early since the program was 4 six months everything seemed ok since the worst part was over or I had thought. I stared smoking weed to get over the erge to do opiates 3 weeks from beign back and I found myself at the pill conect again went on a 3week binge and now I startd the wd prosses again which is not too bad ..but in dont wanna keep beign an addict and I havnt gone to any groups yet what should I do I feel there is no sence in like inless in on something

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by Marsmadwoman, Nov 02, 2013
It is not true  people on amny opiates including Methadone & Suboxone can stop cold turkey and they will not die. They probably won't, but they might. If they are young and healthy they probably will not die. But, if any serious known or unknown health issues and have taken opiates for a long time,  could have a stroke, seizure or even heart atttack. Rapid detox has KILLED many people. For people who can taper, it is a SAFER way to stop taking opiates. Yes, it is true people as well as many doctors are not informed about the fact that Methadone is a stronger and more addictive drug than herion. And Suboxone is also quite addictive. But,  tapering can be done and people do taper and get off these drugs.  You sound like you are a Dr working for a rapid re-hab clinic. Are you? I would suggest people interested do I-net searches on "deaths in rapid de-tox" before entring one. Tapering is a safer way to stop using, IF people are able to. I realize many aren't.   I would never advice anyone who had been using a high amount of opiates for a lengthy time  to stop cold turkey. Not everyone's body can handle this shock. Telling people they can when you have no knowledge or their health or medical history is irresponsible.

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, Nov 02, 2013
Why don't you just read my most recent blog about just that? Risks and benefits of rapid detox. You might just learn something. Thanks.

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by completelystopping308, Nov 08, 2013
Im 6 weeks pregnant and want to stop taking suboxone. .. I have been tapering down... do u think I will miscarry if i stop all together...I plan to stop tomorrow sovi will keep u posted on what happens in the future. ..

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by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank, Nov 11, 2013
Congratulations on your upcoming motherhood. It is caring, wonderful women like you who make the most nurturing, amazing, selfless mothers. Your baby is so very lucky.
It would be best for both you  to be gently tapered off of Suboxone while you are still pregnant just like you are doing, so that you are both drug free by the time of the delivery and she will not need to go through any withdrawals at all.  This needs to be done under the supervision of your OB or midwife. Please find a doctor you trust and make sure your baby is monitored closely while you taper slowly.
If for some reason you are unable to taper completely, you need to know that babies have been safely delivered to mothers taking Suboxone and nursed by those mothers while on Suboxone. It is not ideal, but possible.
The best thing you can do is take good care of yourself, eat healthy food, stay hydrated, keep active and busy. Stay away from sugar, soda, and simple carbs. Do not consume caffeine at least 6 hours prior to bedtime. The best way to take care of your baby is to take care of yourself.
As I said before, it is possible to have a baby while on Suboxone, but depending on the dose, there is a likelihood that baby may experience withdrawals, especially if you do not breastfeed.   If you do breastfeed, baby will be fine while feeding and will wean slowly while weaning from the breast.
Withdrawals from Suboxone are very unpleasant and may keep the baby in the NICU and away from your loving arms for many days.
I suggest that you read my blog on pregnancy and addiction that talks more about it. Click on my name in blue and than "blogs".  
Good luck to you and stay well.

Dr. Julia

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by infodone, Aug 09, 2014
It concerns me when physicians spread false information. Our brains do not make more opiate receptors in response to opiate use...we are born with a finite amount. This is basic knowledge.  It hurts recovering people to feed them false information to promote your own rapid detox agenda.  Just as some diabetics need insulin to maintain a homeostatic state, some recovering addicts need methadone to MAINTAIN a homeostatic state.  Should we as doctors deny those addicts medication and force them to live with disabling symptoms? I think not.  I also think it is our responsibility to provide FACTS THAT ARE ACCURATE!


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