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Unread 02-25-2008, 10:31 PM   #1
HaP Girl
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Default When will withdrawal start? long post sorry...

.... I type and talk too much.
oK, SO .. hi! I posted here over a year ago when I was a desperate 50 a day hydro addict, trying to find a doctor who would prescribe suboxone for me. I have since reformatted my computer and lost my member name, and needed to start over with a new name
Anyway, a very belated thank you for the wonderful advice I was given here, the great support, and wise answers I received in my total bewilderment. I doubt I would have managed without this forum and the people here.
So... THANK YOU.[:X] I am sorry I haven't been back to do this before now... but typical addict that I am, I only come around when I need something. heh.
Short story- and really this IS the short version- I found a doctor, several hours away, but I am willing to drive, after much searching. I have been on subutex for 14 months now. Started out at a very high dose and have gradually brought it down to 8 mg a day, where I am comfortable. My doctor is pretty easygoing and in no rush to get me off it, basically says it is up to me.
First, I have no intention of going off of it at this time, or in any foreseeable future. I am in recovery, and dealing with all of the underlying crap that helped me become an addict in the first place. To try to stop taking subutex at this point would be like flinging away my lifejacket while floating for the 14th monthS out at sea and no rescue boats in sight. A choppy, cold sea. With hungry sharks circling. And a cramp in my leg.
You get the picture.
POINT? Yes... ok, so today I called in a refill. Ooops, another quick explanation- my doctor prescribes 30 at a time. I only fill them 7 at a time, because they are so insanely expensive. So today I called in my refill, knowing I should have a week and two days left on the current prescription of thirty. To my surprise, the mechanical voice did not say "Your prescription will be refilled". No, it said, "We must contact your physician before we can fill this"... well, with longer words. But that was the gist of it.

So this is where I am so uncomfortably aware of my Still Such An Addict Brain. I immediately was swept with panic- and guilt- although I had no reason to feel either. Just auto responses to the idea that my prescription is delayed. OLD stuff that I haven't felt for over a year! Already I am feeling bad.
Calmly, however, I called the pharmacy where a very bored person told me that "They" (the mysterious and all powerful They- whoever They might be) have put new regulations on my medicine and now the pharmacy needs a new prescription from my doctor before they can fill it. No, they cannot fill the rest of the prescription that I got three weeks ago... even though if I had just gotten it all at once, I'd have it now. Realizing that this is probably not this person's fault, i calmly said, OK, please let me know if that happens. I was informed that it wouldn't, until my doctor gave them a new prescription, and he hadn't responded to their faxes.
Then I called my doctor's office. No real people, just an answering machine. I called his other office- in a another state, but there he usually is when he is not at the one I go to- there, another very bored person (I must bring it out in people) told me he is gone until Wednesday. None of my records are there, they have no idea who I am or what I am taking, and once I told her it was subutex, she got even more bored... or possibly "mean" would be a better term. Hung up on me kid of mean, you know. Probably muttering under her breath about junkies.
Panic... panic.
All of this old, yucky, horrible stuff rising up from wherever it has been sleeping for the past year. I am feeling JUST like my old self- calling doctors and pharmacists frantically, trying to sound reasonable and sane, hearing the thread of disdain (or is it disgust) in their voices as they tell me, no, too bad, you can't have your meds, tough luck.
Question- when does withdrawal hit? I am also (NOT just saying this, though I am so hyper-aware of sounding even remotely liar-and-manipulative-like that I think it might sound like something I'd just SAY)... ahem... I metabolize drugs very VERY quickly. This is why I took 50 per day. Withdrawal woud hit me within 3 or 4 hours then- I'd wake up to gulp pills several times a night when I was woken by the first sweaty chills.
So I am afraid that the same may be true with subutex- wd's will hit me quicker than "normal".
I recognize the irony in all of this- I am now dreading the exact thing that I am taking this medication to avoid... withdrawals! I will openly say I am a huge baby when it comes to wd's, it is the wiper-outer of any and all willpower I might possess (not sure if I actually possess any)
I am already feeling sweaty- what a joke, and definitely mental-panic-freaky-self brought on, I'm sure. But the fact is that my doctor will not be back until wednesday (2 very long days) and I have not had my dose for today ....
suggestions? Ideas? outrage on my behalf (That last one was a joke)
Thanks very much for reading this long and hysterical post.
Any thoughts will be thanked for (though maybe not for a year heh)
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Unread 02-25-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
hydra
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Hello and welcome back to the site,

I am sorry to read about your situation. That really is a tough situation. I am a little suprised to read that the pharmacy won't fill your prescription. Maybe I misunderstood. But it sounds like you do something similar to what I do with your precscription for suboxone. Recently, I switched doctors so I had a RX that I couldn't fill for a couple of weeks. So I dropped it off at the pharmacy to hold for safe keepings. I did this twice, once it was a seven day prescription and the other time was 21. If you turned in a prescription for a full month but only filled 7 pills then that rx you have should still be on record with the pharmacy and it still should be good. Maybe I am missing something but it just doesn't make sense to me. Although all states are different and I of course am no expert. I just wanted to relate my experience and to wish you luck. I am sure others will be along with some advice. Please let me know how you are doing.

Take care,

Heidi
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Unread 02-25-2008, 11:37 PM   #3
isabella07
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Hi Hap -
I am sorry this is going on, how can the pharmacy do this? You sound like you have a Legit refill. How can your doctor leave his patients like this?
This is very concerning, because, I also had my new rx- BUT the pharm only had 7 days worth- ok fine, they ordered it, then when I went to pick up the rest of my original rx- they charged me another co-pay and made me wait until I had only 1 day left. Not convenient. Am I flagged b/c I take tex?

Is there some new law about all of this?

Try not get panicked, I wish I had more advice, I would hate to steer you in the wrong direction. Please hang in there and take care Isa .
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Unread 02-25-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
never-again
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I'm no expert and am new only second day but doesn't it depend on the class of the meds that determines if refills are OK or you need a written script. I know the class percocets are you can't get refills they require written script and can't be called in by phone.

Was the class changed and thats why they won't fill it? Doesn't make sense many people fill a little at a time for all different meds because of the cost.

Also call the same pharmacy but different location if it's like a CVS or Rite Aid with many locations and see what they say. Sometimes people could care less how bad some one needs something and does not fully check into it. I've seen it many times in all types of stores and I had to do their jobs for them to get what I needed.

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Unread 02-26-2008, 12:06 AM   #5
HaP Girl
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That is exactly what I thought- how can they refuse to fill the remainder of my prescription? It doesn't seem right... or legal, but what do I know?
My doctor gives my script to me and it says "30 days- one 8 mg per day". I can't afford to buy 30 of them at once, so for the past year I get 7 at a time, 4 times in a row, and then when I call in my auto refill the 5th time, there are only 2 left and they give me those 2, and I know I need to call my doctor. This has always been fine.
But bored woman was pretty unsympathetic. "new laws", "new regulations", I think both of those were said to me.
Pretty freaked out, but thanks very much for your supportive words!

I don't think, unfortunately that there is a great deal of difference (in what I take now, as a recovering addict, than what I took then, as an active one) to the "normal" person observing. In fact maybe it is worse now because before, I might have just had surgery or soemthing, real pain, needing real medication, you know? Lots of people get pain meds, every day. It isn't until you start calling them saying you lost your pills, ran out, threw them up, the dog ate them... etc that they get suspicious. hehe
With the subutex, there is no doubt what I am taking it for.I am not mistaken in the great variance of attitudes I get from both receptionists at the doctor and people who work at the pharmacy. When I first went to this pharmacy I loved the pharmacist, she was very nice, asked me how it worked for me, asked me about how I'd found out about it, etc. etc.
unfortunately she isn't there any more.
Since she left, they have run out on me twice, but thankfully got it in within a day... but both tines the attitude was the same exact one I am getting now. Blank voices, and I can picture the matching expression, raised eyebrow...slowly explaining loudly that I cannot have the medicine... blah blah. I hate it... a LOT ...but I consider it part of my karma as an addict and I try to ignore it and be kind to them anyway.
I searched for any new law news that would make sense, but didn't find any. I live in Washington state.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 12:26 AM   #6
lynnj726
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So you have pills that are basically "banked" at the pharmacy until you come pick them up and pay for them right? It is still a part of your initial RX correct?? If this is all true, I would ask to speak to the manager, and explain the situation, they would not turn away a diabetic who has the other half of their insulin at the pharm. right?!
Unfortunately, mentally I would freak out to, I have turned around on my way to work, just because I didn't have my suboxone....and I had already taken my dose for the day, I just need to know its there if I need it. If lived closer I would lend you some pills...if that was even legal? Best wishes, please follow up w/ a manager and continue to dispute this, it sounds like you are right and the people working there just dont care enough to even try to help, so sad!
Keep me posted, good luck!!
Jaime
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Unread 02-26-2008, 01:25 AM   #7
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We too have had "attitude problems" at certain pharmacies with the prescription for subutex. However, if you have "banked" medicine-ie the 7 pills that are still owed to you from the original written prescription-then there is absolutely no way the pharmacy can deny them to you. I do hope you will call and speak with the manager regarding this. Perhaps you are hesitant because it IS subutex, but if it were your insulin, blood pressure meds, or any other medically necessary medicine you would be at the pharmacy demanding to speak to the manager. Do not let the ignorance of the pharmacy techs cause you to avoid getting what is legally coming to you. I do know that none of us like to be treated as "low-lifes" which is the impression that some techs, dr office workers, etc give to us. Rise above all of that and respectfully request that they comply with their legal obligation of dispensing the medicine that the Dr has prescribed for your disease. IMO there is no new law that would require them to deny the medicine that the Dr has already written a prescription for. As far as feeling stressed, I do not think this is any different than if you were out of your insulin-you would be worried if you needed insulin and the pharmacy denied it to you. Give yourself some credit-you have done a fantastic job and I see no reason why you won't continue. Now, get yourself down to that pharmacy and act like any other patient that wants to pick up their medically necessary medicine. Best wishes-Nan
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Unread 02-26-2008, 01:31 AM   #8
hydra
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Hi there. I am just checking on you.
Tonight after work, I had to go pick up my zoloft prescription and I asked the pharmacist about your situation. I explained the scenario and he also agreed with me that someone must not know what they are doing. He said to demand to speak to the pharmacist or the pharmacy manager. So... I agree with Jaime. Ask for the manager. And explain that you aren't requesting a refill, you are requesting that your original prescription be completed. Possibly because you called in the automated line and requested a refill that is where the confusion is coming from. Bored lady at the pharamcy doesn't know what she is talking about or she is just really confused or maybe just really lazy. Or all of the above.

I am just dumbfounded at your situation. I wish I could say more to help you. I would be stressed out too, I think it is only natural considering your situation. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Please keep us posted.

Take Care, Heidi
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Unread 02-26-2008, 01:32 AM   #9
hydra
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Nan you summed that up perfectly. You are absolutely right!
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Unread 02-26-2008, 09:08 AM   #10
flowers
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by lynnj726

So you have pills that are basically "banked" at the pharmacy until you come pick them up and pay for them right? It is still a part of your initial RX correct?? If this is all true, I would ask to speak to the manager, and explain the situation, they would not turn away a diabetic who has the other half of their insulin at the pharm. right?!
Unfortunately, mentally I would freak out to, I have turned around on my way to work, just because I didn't have my suboxone....and I had already taken my dose for the day, I just need to know its there if I need it. If lived closer I would lend you some pills...if that was even legal?

Jaime, NO it's not legal, might even be a felony. Please don't offer such things on the internet, you are asking for trouble, and could be hurting our NAABT site as well. I know you have the best intentions, just a word to the wise. Sandra A.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 11:32 AM   #11
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Thank you Sandra. It is illegal.
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2001/501_drug.html
"Don't use other people's prescription medications and don't share yours."
"Those convicted of unlawful manufacturing, distributing, and dispensing of controlled substances face fines, prison sentences, or both."

Nancy
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Unread 02-26-2008, 02:17 PM   #12
okie
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Hapgirl
I have had walgreens pull the exact same crap with my sub scrips. and then some..
Make sure you do talk to whomever is in charge at the pharmacy, and call your dr again.
It took a few days but my Drs office was easily able to call the pharmacy and verify that I did have part of my prescription there, and after the way the pharmacy staff acted it was mutually agreed between my dr and I to cancel the rest of that scrip and he had the nurse call in the held hostage number of pills to a different pharmacy.
Unfortunately it is rather common for those of us that partial fill, my dr has run into several times.
I did find a pharmacy that not only partial fills without being jerks about it, but also puts on the bottle that its a partial fill and how many I have left on the scrip to pick up.So after having dealt with the whole mess as you are now doing you can imagine how happy I was to find a place doing it that way.
Not sure that you have any Publix stores near you but thats the pharmacy I use now and couldnt be happier to know that I wont be dealing with not being able to get my whole scrip again because some tech or pharmicist has an attitude issue.
Good luck and call the Dr and pharmacy again and make them do their jobs!
Michelle
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Unread 02-26-2008, 02:40 PM   #13
HaP Girl
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Good morning all and thanks for the massive support yesterday... Jaime, you're the best, and I appreciate it very much. We just need to not say the naughty words that are forbiiden online- like "borrow" or "loan" in the same sentence with "medication". But I was picking up what you were putting down, which was, "I wish I could help you, I know how I would feel in your place". And that is what I needed yesterday. Thank you
Well, my husband basically is my hero. And that is amazing, considering the holy hell I put him through for years ... of course that hell has probably made him an even bigger supporter of subutex than I am, I suppose!
Basically, he would not leave the doctor's office alone. Kept calling and calling. Said he would come there (in a different state hehe I am sure that part was a bluff) if he needed to. Told the receptionist that she needed to get a hold of my doctor- needed to get a hold of my records- needed to get a hold of whatever she needed to get that prescription filled for me. (Oddly, the doctor's office didn't say anything at all about the pharmacy's weird stipulation. Maybe there really are new regulations??? Or maybe the receptionist had no idea either... yeah, that is way more likely.)
I may suffer from huge phantom guilt and shame, but hubby doesn't, and as he said, "you're not doing anything wrong, you're trying to do what is right- get the medicine that keeps you from using." He has the same attitude as you guys who mentioned insulin and he brought it to that receptionist.
My hero. I am so grateful and know that I don't deserve it, so that makes it even better.
The end result was that even though the doctor was never contacted (at least to my knowledge) the receptionist ended up faxing in a refill- exactly what the difference was from the unfinished fill, I haven't a clue. Then my knight in shining armor went to the pharmacy and stood at the counter, right by the register, until they filled it. Since he is really large, with bald head, piercings and tattoos, he looks like he might be scary (although he is as scary as a baby lamb on Easter morning)and I am sure they wanted him to leave from their counter before he frightened away the diabetics getting their essential medication.hehe.
He reminded me that I spend at least $50 a week at that pharmacy, for subutex alone, not even counting other medications, which makes me one of their better dang customers, (although he was slightly more colorful) so they better start acting like it.
Otherwise... I dunno, he might start loitering by their chairs in the waiting area. Maybe...eating a very messy sandwich... and it would look like he might drip at any time. That would teach them.
I got my dose late last night- this whole procedure took him hours and kep the bored receptionist after hours at the clinic (hehehe...ok that does make me feel a bit better... unless she gets overtime! Oh no, I hadn't thought about that. I bet she does... sigh...) I might have been bringing it on mentally, but I was definitely feeling the nasty wds- no doubt in my mind... so now I know how quickly that will start. within the day, at least for me. Not that this will ever happen again. I am thinking about just springing for the whole bottle at once so it doesn't.
My poor husband said seeing me like that brought on a whole bunch of crappy old memories for him too... I have NO doubt. What a lot I have to fix before I can even think about not using subutex. This entire thing emphasized how FAR I have to go. Stupid addict brain.
ANYway...
I will be asking my doctor about it when I see him next and will let you guys know what he says. Now that I have refound this site, I will make an effort to hang out more.
Thank you so much again for your support- you guys rock, and in the coolest, rockinest fashion.

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Unread 02-26-2008, 04:22 PM   #14
flowers
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HaP Girl, So glad you got your meds! The power of a huge mean-looking man cannot be underestimated!! I wanted to say I love your style of writing--very colorful, descriptive, entertaining. Are you a writer, if not you should be, even when you're writing about tough things, your posts really make me laugh. Sandra A.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 04:31 PM   #15
hydra
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I am so relieved to read that you got your meds. Thanks for posting. Your post may help someone else with the same issue in the future.

Take Care and keep in touch, Heidi
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Unread 02-26-2008, 05:00 PM   #16
HaP Girl
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Hi Sandra,
yes I am indeed a writer and I am so happy that it is obvious! haha!! Mostly I just type what is flinging it's way through my brain at that moment and there are as many people offended by it as charmed, so I am very pleased you think it is a good thing.
thank you
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Unread 02-26-2008, 06:22 PM   #17
nikki6497
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hello,
I've been reading your postings but not replying. I had to this time. I am so happy you got the meds. I was quite scared for you. I can't imagine going through withdrawls ever agin. It makes me feel sick just thinking about it. I went through a really bad withdrawl. I know what you mean when you make it very clear that you don't want to endure that. It really makes me mad when I hear that others get treated badly when dealing with pharmacies and employees at the D.R. office. I though I was being paranoid when it happened to me. When I was going through the bad withdrwal, I called the pharmacist, and I felt he was very rude. I just had a couple questions about the medication and as soon as I said Suboxone, he changed his tone of voice and kept putting me on hold, then he tells me to call back. I totally understand what you mean.
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Unread 02-27-2008, 06:41 AM   #18
HaP Girl
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Thanks for replying Nikki. It was a nightmare, it really was, feeling those sickening wd's coming on. I am so afraid of withdrawals.. UGH. It was bad, but thank goodness, not too long. I agree it is horribly frustrating, and kind of ironic, to be treated badly by our "providers" while on a medication to stop abusing drugs ... All we can do is hope that in time, we will get at least as much respect as a morbidly obese person who is on prescription diet pills. :P My sister is such a lady and admits that she is treated better for her self-created "condition" than I am.
Here's best of luck to all of us!
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Unread 02-27-2008, 09:31 AM   #19
flowers
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Hi HaP Girl, Oh, I had a feeling you might be a writer, you tell a story so well. You're new here, but a while ago we had an ongoing discussion about the pros and cons of 'stockpiling' sub. Your situation is an excellent example FOR stockpiling; we never know when our supply will be threatened, and it is very stressful! My hubby is morbidly obese and like your sister, he gets treated better for his meds than I do for mine, they don't even bat an eye, in fact they're sympathetic towards him. I also believe women are judged far more harshly than men when it comes to addiction. Best of luck to you in your recovery and I hope we will keep hearing more from you. Sandra A.
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Unread 02-27-2008, 01:33 PM   #20
OhioMike
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Sandra Wrote:
. I also believe women are judged far more harshly than men when it comes to addiction.



Sandra, that is an interesting comment and one which I have never considered. Clearly I never had a reason to. However, I tend to agree with your view. In fact, the more I think about this and the more I reflect back to meetings, counter chatter at the club, counter chatter at the store and in life in general, it becomes a very good point and a very unfair reality. Thank you for being willing to share it, as you can bet it will be topics in AA meetings this week! lol

OMike
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