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Posted: 09/12 08:31 AM
I hope you don't mind if I get something off my chest here. I've been hording Suboxone.
Last Fall, my doctor lied to me. He informed me that, because he was going away and"legally couldn't prescribe Suboxone with a refill", he had to schedule an appointment for me for ten days after I had an appointment (which resulted in two copays in one month for the visits and for the scripts, one of which was just a 10-day prescription). He told me that he had tried to write for refills before and that the pharmacy wouldn't allow it. I wasn't pleased. So, I checked with the pharmacist (knowing that I go to a pharmacy that most of his patients don't use). Although the pharmacist originally thought that the doctor was correct, she looked it up and told me that the law does allow for refills, only it has to be a 30-day prescription, no more.
Ten days later, I informed my doctor of this fact. My hope was that he would write me a script with a refill. Why? Well two reasons. First, he was traveling to India. What if something happened and he didn't get back in time? Secondly, I felt that I deserved to recoup the additional office co-pay that I had made. First of all, my previous appointment had been made for 25 days, not 30, and that was supposed to be because he was going out of the country. But, at that appointment, he told me that he had to schedule me for 10 days later. WTF????? Why had I come in 5 days early????? I was beginning to feel like his Sub patients were funding his fun money for his trip. I couldn't see any reason why he shouldn't do it. I was an excellent patient. 100% compliant 100% of the time.
I confronted him with the fact that the pharmacist said the script could have a refill. His response? He told me that he always wrote for 30 days only and would NEVER consider writing a refill. That's just the way that he ran his practice. Again, WTF???? If he had told me that originally, I might not have liked it, but I wouldn't argue that he had every right to run his practice as he saw fit. But, hadn't he told me that he knew that refills weren't allowed because he once had tried to write a refill? I felt royally deceived. Still, I was compliant. Until....
He came back and my appointment was for ten minutes and was a joke. I know that he was swamped and was trying to fit in all his junkies into one day (my words, not his). Same thing next month. THEN, he broke his leg and no more appointments for 5 months. All I did was show up at the office every month, pick up my script for 30 days of Suboxone, and (two weeks later) get my EOB that my insurance had been charged $75. Once more WTF?????
During all that time, I relapsed a couple of times, not on oxys (my DOC) but on the Tramadol that I had been prescribed after surgery and alcohol because of some marital issues that I wasn't up to handling. At the beginning of treatment, I signed a contract stating that I would be dropped from the program if I took any mind or mood altering substances not prescribed by him (and he won't prescribe any). A month after I started with him, he told me that he dismissed another patient due to relapse. The guy was given a week's script and told not to come back. Of course, I've never risked telling my doctor about what I've done. But, I've always been afraid of him dropping me and his treatment of me since deceiving me has made that fear stronger than my desire to comply. That's why I've tapered my dose and not told him.
The past several months, I've had a prescription for greater than the amount of Sub that I'm taking. At one time, he was prescribing 16mg and I was on 4mg. Currently, I'm prescribed 8mg and am taking 4mg. I fear that my head is as active as it is because of my deception. I started off so honest. In fact, my previous relapse from another doctor, meant that I had a supply of Sub when I started this round of treatment. I took that supply into my current doctor. I wanted to do everything that I could to make it work. Now, I have a stash of Sub and I know that I won't ever give it up. I don't ever want to feel that vulnerable to someone I can't trust.
Last visit, my doctor called me his star patient and told me to keep making him proud (okay... great... now I've got that age-old adolescent need to keep someone proud of me and the guilt of knowing that I don't deserve it!). I know that there's no way that I'm going to be honest with him. I'm also not able to be honest about this with my sponsor (though I tell her everything else). I don't tell because I can't get rid of the Sub. I often fear that I'll never be able to stay clean. That's probably why I can't come clean about the supply of Sub.
I recently heard a quote of Oscar Wilde. "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth." This forum is my mask. Without it, I would have nowhere to divulge such things. Of course, I don't really expect anything to change by posting it. Then again, maybe I am hoping that it will help some to be honest somewhere.
Posted: 09/12 11:51 AM
I would not be too hard on yourself for hoarding sub. I get it. I used to hate early on in my recovery always coming down to the very last day to fill my script. Anything can happen from getting a flat tire on the way to my appointment to the pharmacy being out of stock and a million other things. It was the one time of month I always still felt like an addict. I've been on sub for almost 7 years and see my doctor every 28 days and get a 30 day supply, as the math proves, I have hoarded a few also. Now what your doing is a different level of hoarding but as long as you are not selling them or planning on selling or trading them, I don't see anything wrong with that. Just my oppinion, some will disagree.
About your relapse and not telling your doctor, this can get a little tricky IMO. Most doctors have some sort of clause where if you relapse you will be cut off or kicked out of his practice. I totally see where doctors are coming from with this but at the same time it doesn't encourage honesty from their patients. Relapses are all different, sometimes the person who slipped up learns more about themself or it just reinforces what they already knew. Some people though are not or have never been that serious about their sobriety and I think that is what the doctors are worried about. If you are one of the first examples and really regret what you did and learned from it, you wouldn't want to lumped in with everyone and be taken off suboxone. Does any of that make sense?
I think you should always be honest with your sponsor, they deserve it and are not getting paid to spend time on our issues, why waste their time. With doctors, especially suboxone doctors, be as honest as you can. I'm sure I am being a hypocrit, as I always preach honesty with doctors, but this is where I think honesty can back fire. If it gets to the point that it
really bothers you and you are loosing sleep, then by all means get it off your chest but if your ok with it I would not beat yourself up too much. I think that fact that it even bothers you is a good thing, I'm sure you never lost any sleep about your honesty when you were abusing, I know I sure didn't. Best of luck and let us know how you handle this.
Posted: 09/12 02:40 PM
I think I have to agree with Smoothy - don't be so hard on yourself. You aren't diverting it and you aren't abusing it. And you certainly aren't the first person to relapse and not tell the doctor for fear of treatment being terminated. I don't think that's a big deal either. You're seeing things in black and white, and not recognizing the gray areas. Life is not all or nothing, or all right or all wrong. Try to ease up on yourself.
For awhile I was saving up some of my sub, too. I reached a point where I had about a month's worth saved up and decided to tell my doctor I didn't need all that he was prescribing anymore. I don't consider it hoarding, it's just smart. Again, like Smoothy said, you never know when something could happen. Maybe instead of coming fully clean with your doctor, just tell him on your next visit that you are taking a bit less than you used to. Perhaps this will satisfy your urge to confess to him. I don't know...it's just a thought. I just don't see what you've described as terribly dishonest of you. You've lost faith in your doctor and you are protecting yourself and your treatment. Try to look at it that way.
Posted: 09/12 08:51 PM
Perfectionist that I am, I'm reading your kind replies and am having trouble getting past the fact that I misspelled "hoarding." I knew that it didn't look right but was too lazy to check the spelling.
Back on topic... black and white... I have such a hard time with that. I have to tell you that it helps to know that, among those serious about their recovery, I'm not the only person that had trouble with being down to my last pill the day before my appointment.
As far as letting my doctor know that I'm cutting down, I did a couple of visits ago. So, I'm down to 4mg and he's prescribing 8. I'm afraid not to keep hoarding because he's made it very clear that I shouldn't be having difficulty coming off now because I'm down so low and that it will continue to get easier as I taper because the physical addiction isn't really there anymore. I worry. What if he cuts me down too much and I go nuts as I have in the past? I know... I need to share some of Dr. Junig's work.
Right now, I need to stop worrying about the future. Believe it or not, I never really worry, unless it involves my addiction.
Posted: 09/12 09:25 PM
I don't intend to scare you, just inform you, I think your doctor has that backwards. For me and many others on here, it got harder the lower I got. Don't get me wrong, none of the reductions in dosage were that difficult but I did notice it got harder when getting around 5 and 6 mg's. I am currently on 3 and that's been the toughest dose for me to adjust to. You'll do fine, just make sure you and your doctor are on the same page. Try not to let your doctor lower your dose until you feel you are ready.
Author: Diary of a Quitter
Posted: 09/12 10:31 PM
I kept up a pretty large reserve stash of Sub the whole time I was on it and I never even thought twice about it. I was on Medicaid, and if you know what that's like, you know that there's always the threat that you won't turn in some form or some other bs will happen and suddenly you're without coverage and you're screwed. I knew I didn't want to get caught in some situation where I'd be thrown into withdrawals, and since I couldn't depend on anyone else to make sure I had that covered, I took care of it myself.
That thing your doctor told you about how it should get easier and easier for you to cut down... That's exactly the opposite of what my doctor told me and of what my actual experience was. Not to freak you out or anything, but knowledge is power. If I was you I'd hang onto that stash in case you need it to finish your taper properly when the time comes.
Posted: 09/13 06:46 AM
I'm with everyone else.I think you're taking this too seriously.Look,this guy could drop you at a moments notice for any reason and leave you with nothing and not think twice.Doctors do this all the time.What's wrong with having a reserve of the medicine that you so badly need?
Nothing.Go save some more!
Posted: 09/13 10:41 AM
Christin, I've got to wholeheartedly agree with the others. Give yourself a break! While I find your pursuit of rigorous honesty admirable and agree it is an important part of recovery, on this particular issue, I do not find it nearly as important. I 'hoarded' Suboxone the entire time. Because of that, I was able to have plenty left when I got ready to taper. The last time I saw my doctor I told him I was down to 2mg/day and he released me from his care, saying only to call back if I decided I needed to stay on it. That was around 3 months ago. Having all the extra has allowed me to take my time with my taper and not have all this pressure that I was going to run out of pills before I was ready. People do this sort of thing quite often, I believe, even with other types of meds. A lot of times, the doctor even knows it. They know that a lot of us have a hard time paying for our scripts so they'll write the prescription in such a way as to allow one copayment to cover a couple of months instead of just one.
All this may not be the most honest practice, but it is definitely not outright wrong either, in my opinion, anyway. Yeah...let that issue go. You're only trying to be smart and protect yourself.
Posted: 09/13 02:46 PM
I was worried about this issue as well. I decided to tell my doc today exactly how many I have left and how many I've taken day by day since I started. He responded by prescribing significantly more than I am taking now, even though I already have a couple of weeks worth saved up. I'm not certain where he is coming from other than he seemed to be trying to assure me that I won't have to worry about running out as long as I test clean every time. He prescribed 3 x 24 the first time. I have averaged a bit less than 2 x 24 so far, and the second prescription is for 75. He did say I should have enough extras to get me through vacations and holidays if any issues pop up. The entire process thus far has been amazing! The doc couldn't be more supportive, the sub seems to be working beyond my expectations, and I have so far had no cravings, anxiety, or anything really, other than trouble sleeping at the very beginning. This even though I came to sub from a 5 year methadone addiction, and before that fentanyl. I feel like there must be a dark cloud coming eventually, and yet everything that comes up goes my way. I wish I had heard about suboxone 3 or 4 years ago. I'm not sure that many docs know anything about it.
Posted: 09/17 03:31 PM
One more thing.I've never had a doctor who was going away who would not give me extra on my prescription if a refill was illegal.Percocets,klonipin or Suboxone.3 different doctors have all helped me out like that.
I would just ask him for double the amount per day for that time he's away.... From suboxforum.com