Suboxone, What’s Wrong, and What’s Not (first two pages of Chapter 17)

Suboxone is not meant to be a permanent replacement. In order to get on it, you have to go to a doctor specializing in Suboxone treatment. He or she assesses you, makes sure your last dose of whatever drug was at least twelve to twenty-four hours ago, gives you a drug test, a blood test to verify that your liver can handle the medication, and gives you a certain amount of time to seek, and find, adequate counseling for your drug problem. Every doctor differs slightly, but they all do basically the same things.

Mine costs $300 for the first visit, and $100 for every visit after that, just for the doctor visit. The prescription itself is different, but most insurance plans will cover it, though you have to jump through a million hoops in order for them to approve it. Anyway, the second visit is scheduled for two weeks after your first. That’s $400 in the first month, plus prescription and drug test costs if you don’t have insurance (drug tests are $60 in-office, considerably more if you go somewhere else like LabCorp).

After the first two visits, you go back either once even four weeks if you are prescribed one Suboxone a day or less, or every two weeks if you take more than one a day. (As I said, different doctors do it differently. Usually the costs are different, but close to the same, and the amount of time between visits can be different).

I started out on 8mg a day, but soon found myself running out before my four weeks was up, so I upped my prescription to 16mg a day. Though, I only took about 12mg a day. I stayed like that for a few months, and then as soon as possible started weaning myself down as much as I could.

I am now being prescribed one 1mg a day, but only taking .5mg a day. During days when I get very little sleep, or feel really horrible, I sometimes take a little more. However, on some days I take less.

So, I’ve already gone down a considerable amount. I’ve already accomplished an amazing feat; getting off heroin, getting off methadone, getting off heroin again, and significantly lowering my Suboxone dose. None of those are easy things. So to say that I’m proud of myself is an understatement. And, for a while, everyone close to me was proud as well.

However, things have started to change. I now get bombarded daily with “it’s that medicine that’s causing [whatever mundane thing is bothering me],” (I have a headache. It’s the Suboxone. My foot hurts. It’s the Suboxone. My eye is twitching. It’s the Suboxone. I ate too much ice cream and now my belly feels like crap. It’s the Suboxone. I fell down and scraped my knee. It’s the Suboxone.)

Everything that is wrong with me is Suboxone’s fault. And I’m sorry, I just don’t see it that way.

I think Suboxone saved my life. Scratch that, I know Suboxone saved my life. It saved my son from a world he does not deserve, and I am eternally grateful for it. No, it’s not the best option, the best option would be to not rely on any drug or medication. However, that is not a plausible option for me at the moment.

I am not just sitting on my ass doing absolutely nothing and taking drugs all day.

I am a single mother of a wonderful toddler, in school full-time, and taking care of a household consisting of myself and three males, ages two, twenty-four, and fifty-five. They are all crazy in their own ways, and it pains me to say that since I have moved into this home, my personal life has been going downhill. I love all of them with everything in me, but they don’t seem to realize how much they affect me.