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Unread 03-03-2014, 05:11 PM   #1
robin1950
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Here is my story. I have a 28-year-old daughter who is an opioid addict. I do not know what her DOC is, but it doesn't really matter at this point. I accidentally found out that she had been on methadone for about six months and began putting the pieces together based on her lack of money, writing bad checks, etc. She found a Suboxone doctor here in Denver who treated her for about 4 months. She was doing great at work, in life, and just generally feeling good. Along the way, she made a mistake and took an Aderall from a co-worker to stay awake. That Aderall showed up as an amphetamine in her UA and the doctor was upset with her. He told her that he didn't have time to treat someone who was using other drugs. She explained what happened and that she had never been an amphetamine user and that this would never happen again. He had her come back in four days and after her UA was clean, he seemed to be okay with that and prescribed another week of Suboxone for her. He saw her a week later and gave her another week. The Friday before she was to see him the next week (February 21st), she received a certified letter from him terminating her care. No reason was given. He said in his letter that he would treat her on an emergency basis for 15 days. When she called, she was told she was discharged and there was nothing they could do. Her dad called and I also called on her behalf to no avail. I don't have a problem with the doctor terminating her care; however, I think it is cruel and borders on malpractice that he wouldn't give her a week, or two, of Suboxone until she could find another doctor because of the probability of suffering withdrawal symptoms. Also, why did he say in his letter that he would treat her for 15 days when he absolutely was not going to do it. We did find another doctor but he can't see her until March 5th. She did go into withdrawal and is having a hard time keeping it together at work as well as experiencing all of the other physical symptoms that withdrawal consists of.

Unfortunately, this situation points out that there are doctors out there who don't abide by the Hippocratic oath of "no harm." She and her parents just wished that he had the balls to speak to her personally and explain why he was terminating her. I realize that I have only heard her side of the story, but in this case, I do believe what she told me, especially since I was spoken to so rudely when I attempted to call him directly. Is this something that occurs frequently with doctors, or is this so outlandish that we should be glad to be rid of him? I hope that there are caring doctors out there for suffering addicts. Thank you for listening to my story.
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Unread 03-04-2014, 08:11 AM   #2
NancyB
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Hi robin1950, welcome. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened with your daughter and her doctor. First off, there is the 'three-day rule':

which "...allows a practitioner who is not separately registered as a narcotic treatment program or certified as a “waivered DATA 2000 physician,” to administer (but not prescribe) narcotic drugs to a patient for the purpose of relieving acute withdrawal symptoms while arranging for the patient’s referral for treatment, under the following conditions: 1) not more than one day’s medication may be administered or given to a patient at one time; 2) this treatment may not be carried out for more than 72 hours; and 3) this 72 hour period cannot be renewed or extended."

http://www.naabt.org/documents/three-day-rule.pdf

If she is really badly into withdrawals, she could try an ER, but the ER would have to have buprenorphine on hand - as this rule doesn't allow for a prescription to be written. If she does try that, then printing out the pdf and bringing it with her would probably be helpful as it's not a well-known rule. Another thing is that she may not need as much buprenorphine as she has been taking because she's gone without for a few days - just something for her to be mindful of. Too much bupe may make her feel really tired and generally not-so-great.

What her doctor did is unethical, in my opinion. No doctor should stop cut off any patient from a medication that can cause withdrawals without warning or providing enough to bridge the gap before finding a new doctor.

Unfortunately, there are buprenorphine doctors who do not put their patients first. But, fortunately, there are many who are wonderful. I'm hoping that this new doctor is the in the latter category.

Some things that may help are immodium, making sure she stays hydrated - even slight dehydration may exacerbate how she's feeling. Vitamins in the B family - especially B12 for energy; calcium and magnesium if she has restless legs; valerian root, melatonin, benedryl, chamomile tea for sleep; hot showers/baths; and keeping as busy as possible to try and keep her mind off of how she feels.

How is she doing today? Perhaps she can call the doctor and see if there were any cancellations and she can be seen today?

Nancy
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 03-05-2014, 11:21 PM   #3
robin1950
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Just a quick update. My daughter went to see a new doctor today and she thinks he is great. He told her that the former doctor should have given her a bridge prescription while she was searching for a new doctor. She is very happy to be associated with the new doctor. Here's hoping for good things to come. BTW, he requires her to go to intensive out patient therapy for 12 weeks which thrills her dad and me.
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Unread 03-06-2014, 07:19 AM   #4
NancyB
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Hi robin1950, what great news! Especially the the IOP therapy. Sounds like he is a much, much better doctor. Thanks for letting us know!

Nancy
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 04-21-2014, 03:04 AM   #5
Citysburg
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I am very interested about why the doctor might have been so certain and so absolute. Did you pressure them into explaining their case? Because knowing that my daughter was going to be so heavily effected by this sudden decision I would insist on them being honest with the patient and her caregivers about why such drastic measures were needed. I hate to know what your daughter and you are going through at the moment and I really hope you can find help soon. Please keep us posted about why this doctor did what he did. Keep positive and stay strong.
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Unread 04-21-2014, 09:52 AM   #6
deanna
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Hi Citysburg, I have read through your posts since you are a new member, and I just wanted to chime in that the posts you are replying to are a few months old, so you may not get a response from the original poster. Its not that they arent replying, its merely that they havent been here for quite a while. I have done that before many times myself. :/ so I thought Id pass it along to you

take care and welcome!
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