I just read an article I believe the ideas are a step in the right direction. We need to start thinking differently on how to combat this epidemic.
Another thought, the process to get off heroin, opiates is a nightmare. There are only a few select clinics and doctors you can see and they provide you with 2 limited choices. Suboxone or Methadone.
Suboxone is an opioid blocker, it blocks your receptors. If you take it too close to using you get violently ill. You need to be at least 48 hours since you last used in order to start taking it. Most addicts I know have a hard time lasting that long, the mental anguish from opiate withdrawal is twisted. The anxiety, sweats, muscle spasms and overall discomfort is torture. By 48 hours all of this has kicked in along with running nose, hot and cold chills, your so weak you can’t hold your arms up long enough to brush your teeth or comb your hair. And you know in that little part of your brain that you can make it all go away instantly, or even better add euphoria to the picture, it’s tough to resist.
But if you can get to that point and get on Suboxone, I believe it is the best way to get off opiates.
There is still more of a downside to Suboxone. Most cases you have to go to the pharmacy every day to get your dose. That’s fine for the unemployed sure. But when I was working and addicted to Fentanyl that didn’t seem like an option. So you manage to get into one of the very few clinics where you can get this prescription. It takes 1-2 hours to get you into the system and you find out there is a monthly fee of about $60-75, also most insurance companies won’t cover a daily dispense. They cover 1 day of the week you pay the rest, and they aren’t able to bill it all at once and dispense the dose after, so medical coverage is useless. You end up paying the monthly fee as well as daily for your dose. It actually adds up quick and becomes a very hectic, expensive ordeal.
Another pitfall is if you have any other addiction issues, say marijuana or cocaine, you aren’t allowed carries. So it’s to the pharmacy you go every day for your dose and to the doctor once a week. If you are good, keep your nose clean, you can eventually after a month or two of daily dose dispensing, get to take it home. That is what we call, carries. It will only be for 1 or 2 weeks, to see if you can be trusted then you have to see your doctor again. If you’re working I want you to think about this for a moment. All the time you have to spend going to the pharmacy and to the doctors office. That is a whole lot of time you need to take off. Probably worry about what excuse to use.
And Methadone, the other option. From what I have seen over the past 15 years of being in and out of addiction in most cases people taking methadone abuse it. They take too much or use while they are on it. At least with Suboxone you can’t technically use while taking it. Methadone I’ve heard is harder to come off of then opiates. And like Sub has the hassles and stipulations. It does however work for lots of people too. And I’m all for any option that helps reduce and eliminate.
I don’t understand why other options aren’t available. Like fentanyl patches, or slow release oxy. There are other ways to lower your usage. I think that we should explore these other avenues. They could potentially work for some people.
In the beginning I tried to get off, I went from 5 Oxy80mg (fake actually made with fent) a day to just 1 Oxy80 spread out over 4 days. From there I got a script for 10mg slow release oxy and quit. I only felt mild discomfort for 3-4 days. It was doable. (Unfortunate events occurred in my life. I was attacked and my best friend murdered at random, another story soon to come.)
In the midst of my using I was fortunate to come across a fent patch. I slapped that on and went 3 days without the grind. Without getting sick or scrounging for more, it was a nice break. Why these aren’t used as options for management or tapering?
To finish, I think there are so many areas to improve. Give more options for tapering and make it easier to access them. Way more people would get help if the help was easier to get.