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Unread 04-17-2007, 05:00 PM   #1
dt1
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Hi everyone.
I've been hooked on Hydrocodone for about a year now. I started to take them after I was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident.
I caught this web site a couple of days ago and I decided to try to quit.
I contacted a registered doctor in my area and was told that the treatment included frequent drug testing which I have no problem with until he told me that the testing could cost me $2,000 a pop and the entire program could cost as much as $15,000. I simply can't afford that kind of cash. Of course if there is no other way, I'll have to try to pull a loan because I'm determined to see this through.
I'm just wondering if the cost is about average or if I should try to seek other sources.
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Unread 04-17-2007, 05:11 PM   #2
NancyB
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Hi dt1 and welcome, I'd check around and see if there were any other certified physicians who will treat you at a more reasonable cost. $2,000 sounds a bit outlandish for a drug test, to say the least.

From this link: http://www.naabt.org/patient_doctor/splash.cfm
There are two ways to find physicians. One, you put your zip code in and mile radius and it generates a list in that area.
The second is the Patient/Physician Matching System - a confidential way to have a physician who has openings email you. You fill out the form, supply a working email address - which is changed into an ID# - and an email is sent to participating physicians in the mileage radius you choose (from your zip code). If a physican has an opening, you'll get an email back through the system - the physicians do not have your email address.

Please let us know how you make out.
Nancy
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Unread 04-17-2007, 06:06 PM   #3
bam55
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dt1
Nancysaid in a polite way that $2000 was too high.I am less polite than Nancy,$2000 for testing and $15,000 total is FREAKING RIDICULOUS!! It should be criminal to even try and con somebody out of that kind of money.Please take Nancy"s advise and locate another Doctor.
Congratulations on making a decision that will help turn your life around.Check in here and recieve great info and support,no one here will allow you to be cheated like the con artist you ran into attempted.
Bill
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Unread 04-17-2007, 06:11 PM   #4
Suture
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dt1,
Some docs will allow you to purchase a drug test online, like on ebay. These in office test kits are usually accurate enough for this purpose and most docs are agreeable. They cost about $10 to test for 8-10 different drugs.
S-
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Unread 04-17-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
Bassdad
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dt1,

WELCOME to NAABT.

I would be lookin for another doctor.That price is outrages,I won't say what I am really thinkin about that doctor.Watch out for crooks.Just because you want out of the lifestyle you are now in does not mean you have to pay that kind of money to do so.I wish you the best of luck in your search for a "Good Doctor" that will treat you like any other patient that walks into the office for medical care.

Later,
Bassdad
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Unread 04-17-2007, 06:45 PM   #6
gotoffmdone
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I have been going to my Sub Dr for seven months. He did a baseline drug test on day one. I asked him to do another test 5 weeks later to see if I methadone was out of my system. It was. Those are the only 2 tests I have had in seven months. The first drug test was included in the $250.00 first time visit fee. The second test, performed at my request, was supposed to cost $50. I have yet to be charged for that test.

I see my Sub Dr every other month, as he writes one refill. I pay $50 to see the Dr every other month. I called two other Drs in the Knoxville area and they wanted $600 for the first visit. I would have to be seen once per month at a cost of $150. According to them, it was against the law and they would be thrown in jail, if they did not see me every month. Ha! What a joke. They think we are stupid.

My wife called one of those same Drs, asking him how much a new patient would have to pay for a complete physical. The cost was $120. He went on to say that once established as a patient, each subsequent visit would cost her $60, assuming no xrays or lab work.

A complete physical for a "brand new" patient was $120. An "established" Sub patient seen just for the purpose of picking up a script, was $150, $30 more. Someone please tell me why the difference. I think I know why Drs charge Sub patients so much, because they can. Above is just one of many examples of a Dr taking the whopping 8 hour course to obtain a liscense to steal.

People lobbied hard to raise the 30 patient Sub limit to 100. I even wrote letters to several congressmen and paid to have them hand delivered. I think it is time we now lobby to try and put an end to this armed(with a pen) robbery. Until now, I have never seen a situation where people in a profession have taken the exact same course only to come out and put into practice what they have learned, with such inconsistencies.

I have already drafted a letter that I am sending to the co-sponsers of the Sub bill, Senators Hatch and Levin. I am copying the letter to all members of congress. This is an attempt to express my anger and frustration at the way some of these greedy Drs are pricing Sub treatment out of the reach of a lot of people.

I am listing several examples of the way some of these Drs are doing business. I doubt anything will come of it, but I will feel better. I hope some of you join me. Locally, I am considering taking out an OP-ED piece in the Knoxville, Tn newspaper.

I guess it is obvious by now that I absoluely cannot stand Drs like this. I have asked this question before and I will ask it again. Why does the course that offers any and all MDs the chance to get their Sub prescribing number, last 8 hours? Worse than that, why is it possible for them to get their Sub credentials by way of a CD.

I understand, fully, the rationale of the powers that be wanting as many MDs as possible prescribing Sub. As consumers that pay for this treatment however, quality of Sub providers is as important as quantity. The only people being short changed in the cases of greedy and/or incompetent Drs is, as usual, the patients.

Wayne
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Unread 04-17-2007, 07:31 PM   #7
TIM
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Hi Wayne,
It's my understanding addiction is not a required subject to graduate medical school. It is an elective. I hope in light of the brain imaging technology and the advances in the understanding of the brain disease of addiction particularly over the last 10 years that this will become a required part of medical training. Few diseases affect more people (directly or indirectly) than addiction.

As evidence of the efficacy of treatment mounts, addiction will gain the respect of the medical community and be treated like other treatable brain diseases. Stigma still plagues this disease. Until the public begins to understand why addiction is a treatable disease, everything associated with treatment will be marginalized.

One thing we can all do to help change the minds of the country is to avoid drug war terms when talking about the disease in public. These terms have been very effective at creating the stigma. Using medical terms and demanding others use respectful language when speaking to us about addiction will help greatly. We won't be able to change the minds of public if we use words like clean, dirty, junky, abuse, addict, and others. Replacing them with medical terms will not only help decrease the stigma but will help with the self esteem of those suffering with the disease.

I'll get off my soap box...I wrote a thread about the words we use and it has examples of replacement words and articles about stigma and language. http://www.naabt.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=358

Thanks for reading..
Tim
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Unread 04-17-2007, 08:52 PM   #8
dt1
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Thanks for all of the replies. I appreciate your support. I found a Dr. that charges reasonable rates and I have an appointment with him tomorrow. I was told over the phone that actual treatment will not start until Monday because I'll have to be completely off the Vicodin starting Friday. I just hope I can do it. The longest I've gone without is two days and I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin. Any any case, I'm still looking forward to it. Thanks again. I'll check back in on Monday
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Unread 04-17-2007, 11:18 PM   #9
Bassdad
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dt1,

That's great news! I knew you could find another doctor to treat you.Now,you don't have to be sick when you are induced with Buprenorphine.The idea is to be in 'Mild to Moderate' Withdrawals before taking that first dose.If you are not in WD,you could go into 'Precipitated Withdrawal'.You Do Not want this to happen,you will be really sick.I have listed a link below that you can check out for yourself.Check it out,you will be glad you have this info before taking Bupe.I look forward to hearing how you do on Monday.Please stay in touch and let us know how we can best help you.And please feel free to ask any questions or concerns you may have about this treatment.

http://www.naabt.org/documents/NAABT_PrecipWD.pdf

Later,
Bassdad
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Unread 04-18-2007, 12:02 AM   #10
okie
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congrats dt1..glad to hear you found a more reasonable Dr..I agree the first mentioned Dr's fees are outlandish..I have random drug testing done at a local lab when my sub Dr orders it and I pay $35 for that. $2000 is just holy moly off the wall ...
I would question when you go to the Dr why it is they want you to stop the vics on friday when you wont start treatment till monday..definitely read the education section on here as much as you can before your appt and make a list of questions for the Dr.
as for going from Fri till Mon in wds..well that seems somewhat unreasonable to me, in all honesty. Again check out to education section and ask the Dr everything you can think of so you are comfortable with the knowledge you have about treatment.
Let us know how it goes! of course feel free to keep asking questions here and anything else that might be on your mind.
Michelle
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Unread 04-18-2007, 03:24 AM   #11
dt1
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Thanks again everyone. I've had some time to think and I'm a bit concerned about the 72+ hour detox time before any treatment but I know I can do it. My big concern is being truthful about the actual quantity I'm ingesting Dailey. I know it's important but I haven't been getting it legally. The true story is that I've been provided two doctors that obviously haven't been on the same page. I request a refill from one and then the other. All of the sudden I have a double prescription. To add to it I have been purchasing it off the street. Currently I'm taking a minimum of 8-750mg tabs Dailey and some days as much as 12-14. How do I go about telling my doctor? I feel like a criminal. I know I have to get my life back in order but I don't want to disclose any illegal sources. This is the pitts!
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Unread 04-18-2007, 03:52 AM   #12
Edge81
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A sub doctor doesn't need to know or care WHERE you got it.. but you still should say "I've been taking this xxmg a day"

Your privacy is protected under HIPAA unless you're a current danger to yourself or society... in which case your not... as far as we know..

You shouldn't have to worry about it..

I obtained my doc illegally... 800mg morphine a day.. and my doctor didn't ask where I got it.. just said holy god thats alot...
--Rob
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Unread 04-18-2007, 04:32 AM   #13
jascade
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dt1,
Hi and welcome! As the others have said, you really don't need to go 72hours off of hydro-I went 24 hours and that was too long, in fact it was so awful that I went to the er the night before and got some clondine to make it til morning! If you read the links that have been provided you will know what you need to do. Also, as Edge posted, you probably should tell the dr your dosage, but I very much doubt
they will ask where you were getting it. This is really something wonderful that you are doing for yourself, try not to let it stress you out. The people here are the best- they will answer any questions you might have and pretty much walk you through the whole process.
I am really glad you found this forum and I wish you the best.
-Susan
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Unread 04-18-2007, 09:51 PM   #14
dt1
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Well, It looks like I'm back to square one.
I went to the Doc today and paid $370.00 to fill out the forms and a consultation. He told me that I will be replacing an Opiate with another Opiate and that I might be on it for the rest of my life! He also said that I can expect to pay as much as $1,600.00 a month for the Meds. If this is the case, I figure that maybe I should just stay in the Vicodin. This way I save all of the cash for the doctor visits and testing not to mention the Vicodine being 1/5th of the cost. It looks like my only other option is Cold Turkey.
I suppose I could go on vacation for two weeks and lock myself in the bedroom. Man oh man. This is really the pitts! Looks like I'm in for the ride of my life. Did anybody here see Train Spotting?
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Unread 04-18-2007, 10:34 PM   #15
NancyB
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Hi dt1, Wow. Ok, Let's start with replacing an opiate with another opiate. Bupe is an opioid partial agonist, please read this from our FAQs for a good explanation:
http://naabt.org/faq_answers.cfm#7

As for $1,600 a month for the meds. I honestly don't see where he is coming up with that.
Here's a thread where people are saying what they paid:
http://www.naabt.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=20

Is he talking about pharmacy costs for the med or him supplying you with the meds? Taking the *target* dose of 16mg and an average (of what I've heard lately, and this is a littel on the higher end) price of $5.50 that comes out to $330 a month.
Then you could use one of the discount prescription cards from this thread to get the price lower, or even shop around where you are.
http://www.naabt.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1302

I honestly cannot figure out where he is getting that figure.

And as far as you being on it for the rest of your life, that is something that you have a say in. You should be able to determine, perhaps with the help of your support system, when would be the right time for you to taper off.

Was he the only doctor in your area?

I hope this was helpful.
Nancy
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Unread 04-18-2007, 11:19 PM   #16
dt1
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Nancy,
There are three doctors in my area. The first one stated that treatment will be as much as $2,000.a month for the meds and testing and the doctor I visited today stated $1,600. a month for the meds alone. I'm not sure if that price is pharmacy or from him but he didn't offer any alternative option. I came in fully prepared th pay $3-400. a month and possibly as much as $500.Mo. I simply can't afford $1,600. a month. I would however find a way if I knew it was only for a few months. Not for life.
I called my regular insurance provided clinic but was told that I couldn't get an appointment until the second week in May. I also explained that my regular prescription will run out by this weekend and even if I could refill I didn't want to use it anymore. So the withdrawals will start on Saturday. They did say that they will have someone call me back and try to get me in. I can only hope for that.
Thanks again for the reply
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Unread 04-19-2007, 08:36 PM   #17
bam55
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dt1
Boy are you having bad luck finding the right Doctor.It almost sounds like the ones in your area are colluding,which would be illegal I believe.Anyway dont give up but dont allow yourself to be taken advantage or either. Where are you from? You may have to drive a little further to find an honest Doctor but at the prices the quacks you have found thus far are asking you could hire a limo to drive you there and still come out ahead.Please listen to Nancy concerning the prices,they are in line with what is the market rate for Sub treatment.
Better luck,
Bill
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Unread 04-20-2007, 02:23 PM   #18
okie
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dt1
Keep calling around..it is well worth it.
I have to self pay for my meds and the Dr visit.
For both I spend about 300 a month.
Nancy gave you good links about trading addictions, that is a load of hogwash.
The idea is that you are taking a medication, as prescribed to help you get your life together. Then if you are comfortable with how things are going in life you can taper off.
I agree with Bill, this sounds alot like these Drs are quacks rather then Drs.I urge you to read thru the education section and faqs on here and keep calling! It is well worth a drive once a month if you have to go a little further out.
Best of luck
Michelle
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Unread 04-21-2007, 06:48 PM   #19
dt1
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I finally got in to see a doctor in my area yesterday. Much to my surprise I found out that my insurance provider (Kaiser) has licensed personnel and I'm covered. I start taking the Suboxone tonight. I'm a bit apprehensive, excited and nervous. This will be the first time off the Vicodin in almost two years. I'm already starting to feel some slight withdrawal but I'm going to hold out as long as I can, just to get an idea how serious my condition is. I was directed to start with two 2mg tabs and one every 4-6 hours as needed. I report back on Monday. My big concern is that unlike privet physicians, Kaiser has nothing to gain by keeping me on it for very long. I'm not sure if that's good or bad but at least it's a step in the right direction. I also consider myself very fortunate to have the support of my family, Coworkers and a support group like this. Thanks very much and I'l report back on Monday evening.
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Unread 04-21-2007, 07:01 PM   #20
bam55
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dt1
Congrats on getting started.
How much is your insurance company being charged?Curious because of the ridiculous amounts you had been quoted previously.Hopefully it is a reasonable fee regardless of who is paying.It would really suck if some Doctor is ripping off an insurance company even though that happens frequently.
Bill
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Unread 04-22-2007, 12:31 PM   #21
NancyB
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Hi dt1, Great news on the Kaiser find! Wondering if you started and how you're doing?
Nancy
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Unread 04-22-2007, 05:28 PM   #22
dt1
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Ok, It's Sunday morning, 10:15AM. I waited as long as I could. Started getting body aches,sweats,headache and some anxiety. Took two at 1:00AM. In an hour I started feeling much better. To my surprise, I still feel good. I do however have a couple of questions that weren't addressed at the Doc's office. The prescription stated to take one every 4-6 hours as needed. It's been over 11 hours. Should I hold out until I feel symptoms coming on? How far under the tongue do they go, and can I swallow saliva as they are dissolving?
Bill, I posted a reply yesterday as to the cost but it looks like it didn't go through. I'm not sure of the cost because my wife's union covers the cost and Kaiser is the provider. I can tell you that the doctor's visits cost me $25.00 each and the first prescription was $35.00 for 30 2MG tabs.

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Unread 04-22-2007, 05:37 PM   #23
okie
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yes you can swallow the saliva as dissolving..just get them under your tongue, is all I do, as best I can.
It sounds like you took 4mgs ? so that may end up being the right dose for you, but it may be higher, its so hard to predict..
I would personally not take anymore unless you start feeling icky..with the half life of sub, you may not need to take any more till tomorrow morning..but I wouldnt be surprised if you need another 2 mgs or more later today..
unlike the other meds we were taking the half life on the sub makes it possible to take less often..so you still feeling ok this morning isnt very surprising.
glad to hear you are feeling well..its is such a relief when we feel better from the wds..
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