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Posted in Suboxone

Re-Published Site

Good morning!  I apologize for anyone who has stopped by or tried to visit the site over the past month or so but could not access anything.  My computer bit the dust and currently I’m using an older Chromebook (by the way, never waste your money on a Chromebook of any sort!).  Until yesterday, I refused to post or allow access until I was 110% sure that everything would still have at least the same level of security if not more.  So now that I was able to get that taken care of, I’m republishing.  I did not trust the posts that were already available online (I’m well aware of hackers’ abilities).  Please bear with me as I get information back up for you guys.  But as always, in the meantime, if you have direct questions, feel free to contact me at LifeOnSuboxone@gMail.com .

Thanks for stopping by and for your patience!

 

~Liz

Posted in Suboxone

Results (sort of) After Strange Drug Screen

Good morning everyone!  Several weeks ago I wrote a post about issues I had with my usual ‘urine drug screen’ with my suboxone doctor.

Quick recap:  During my usual bimonthly appointment I submitted my normal urine sample for drug screening.  A little while later, the receptionist asked me to repeat the test, which after multiple bottles of water and Mt. Dew I was finally able to submit, my doctor told me that my tests were coming up positive for methadone.  I have never in my life, for legal or illegal purposes, ever taken Methadone.  Since two tests were showing the positive results, she compromised with me and was going to send the samples for full lab screening and give me a prescription for enough Suboxone for the two week period.

Fast forward to the two week appointment… I wasn’t worried about the lab results because, as I said, I knew I’d not taken anything.  However, between the two appointments, I researched the issue, even contacted a doctor from UCLA who had written a few articles about a lot of drug screens coming up with false positives because of other, non-restricted medications.  In my case, Benadryl (aka diphenhydramine) can cause false-positives for methadone.  Apparently the fact that when I use Benadryl, I take a high dose seems to make the possibility more likely.

So I go into my appointment to get the verification when my Suboxone doctor tells me she has good and bad news.  Good news is that the drug screen they just did on me came up  normal as she expected.  Bad news is that the drug screen that was supposed to be sent off for lab review somehow spilled in the bag and they were unable to process the analysis.  Again… this is the type of crazy BS that I have happen to me on a regular basis!  I tell my kids regularly that I really could be the poster child for Murphy’s Law…  If anything can go wrong, it will!

I have little doubt that I am the only person on a medication such as Suboxone to encounter anything like this.  Anytime something happens that contradicts what you know to be fact, look into it!  This was the second time this happened to me.  The first false positive was at my 1st appointment with my current Suboxone doctor.  The really crazy part was that after it happened the first time, I didn’t find A LOT of information about the false positives, but a little more than a year later, I found articles, papers,research galore!  When it comes down to it, these initial urine screen tests are little cheap, $5 tests.  They’re simply a quick way to check things.  Anytime one of them comes up unusual, ask for lab analysis.  And be patient while the doctor works with you… remember regardless of degrees… they’re still human and allowed to have questions and doubts of their own.

Posted in Basic "Life" Check In

Just An Everyday-Life Quick Check In!

Hi Guys and Girls!

I have been scarce this past week between using a great deal of time figuring out how to put a voodoo curse for my laptop… an “Acer” Chromebook (that name translates to: ‘big piece of shit’) in addition to the fact that somehow a year went by when I wasn’t looking because my oldest daughter just finished her first year of college!  I swear we just moved her into the dorm!  Now I’m having to prep to move her back in!  Where’d the time go?!? I’ve always just ignored other families who make similar comments writing it off to them just being dramatic.  I was WRONG!  100% Wrong!  Cause I swear we just moved her into that dorm!

While I generally shy away from giving product “reviews” on any type of forum such as this, I would feel literal guilt if I didn’t warn people away from this “laptop”.  I’d initially purchased two of these laptops for each daughter.  But when my desktop died, my oldest had just upgraded to a new laptop for school and let me use this one in my computer time of need!

OMG! I have never in my life cussed and threatened an inanimate object like I do this piece of junk!  Top that off with the guilt I felt that my daughters had been dealing with all of this BS not knowing it wasn’t normal.

This thing constantly loses connection with my wifi.  Tested everything and it’s the device,not my network.  It’s obnoxiously proprietary!  I always avoided Apple computers because of the proprietary nature of them.  I had no clue that Google was apparently trying to out-do Apple on that aspect.  I can’t use a full Office version. I can’t use my printer. I can’t use the majority of my graphic programs (which is how I made most of my money while in between jobs). So this thing SUCKS!  When I’m finally able to get a real computer again, I will have almost a sexual level of gratification when I get to use this Piece of shit for target practice!  My girls had a Nexxus (also a Google product) tablet and we all have iPhones that are more useful than this thing! Please… use your money elsewhere!

Posted in Suboxone

False-Positives In Drug Screen Urinalysis

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I had to change my Suboxone doctor when my original doctor was arrested.  I’ve been with my new doctor for a little over a year.  My first appointment brought me face to face with an issue I’d never dealt with before…  a false-positive urine drug screen.  The initial results came up showing positive for Methadone.  This truly caught me off guard as I have never taken Methadone, legally or illegally.  This tossed a wrench in my first appointment, obviously, but was soon clarified when my sample was sent to the lab and was verified with no Methadone.

Fast forward to my regular appointment this week.  I go in, I’m given my standard cup for urinalysis, do my thing and figure it’s all good.  No.  The receptionist asks me to re-do the test.  This is already an issue for me, so in the mean time as I’m chugging water and Mt. Dew, I see my doctor.  She tells me my drug screen again showing positive for Methadone.  Okay… this has gone from slightly annoying to worrisome.  Again, I’ve never touched Methadone.  I’ve spent my time on Suboxone striving to do what’s right.  I haven’t gone through the hell of getting clean just to screw myself.  Doctor reassures me that these are just the cheap, $5 tests and can be wrong, that’s why she’s having me re-submit.  That’s all well and good until the second urinalysis comes back positive for Methadone as well.

I hate that this happening plants that seed of doubt in my doctor’s mind.  Yet I’m not overly concerned with that, because she is sending it off to be evaluated by the lab.  I have no concern with this portion, because I know I haven’t taken anything I should not have.  Even so, it bugs me that this keeps happening.  I can’t make an intelligent argument that it’s even the “fault” of the cup test because I’m the only one this is happening to.

I go through the whole list all over again of everything I take, whether it’s daily or as needed, prescription or over-the-counter.  Nothing is coming up as a possible culprit.  Until I happened upon an article written by a USC doctor on the GoodRx.com website.  There I find an article listing 15 medications that can cause true false-positives.  About 4 or 5 down the list is diphenhydramine, aka Benadryl, which can produce false-positives for Methadone.  I take Benadryl.  I take it regularly in the winter and spring months when my sinus issues go into full throttle.

Again, not real concerned with the temporary issues with my doctor because I know it’ll be verified with the lab analysis.  What did occur to me is that I’ve had several job interviews which I thought had gone well.  I’ve gone as far as multiple interviews and even drug screens.  If diphenhydramine can cause a false-positive for Methadone with my doctor’s drug screen, why should I expect anything different from a possible employer.  I have emailed my doctor to see if there would be a difference between the test she uses versus what she would expect an employer to use just to make sure.  Yet the thought that something I have been doing may have effected my chance to get a good job is really hard to suck up.

I was up until almost 4am looking at research for this.  I even found articles from the National Institute of Health stating that yes, diphenhydramine can cause false-positives for methadone. I’ll link information below about what I have found in case anyone else has dealt with similar issues.

Before taking anything, regardless of prescription, over the counter, medication, supplement, do research on the possible issues you could face down the road!

Liz S.

  • Article: These 15 Medications Can Cause a False Positive on Drug Tests
  • Author(s): Dr. Sharon Orrange, MD MPH
  • Date: November 15, 2016
  • Site: GoodRx.com/Blog
  • Link: https://www.goodrx.com/blog/these-15-medications-can-cause-a-false-positive-on-drug-tests/
  • Article: Rapid urine drug screens: diphenhydramine and methadone cross-reactivity
  • Author(s): Rogers SC1, Pruitt CW, Crouch DJ, Caravati EM
  • Date: September 26, 2010
  • Site: PubMed.Gov / US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health
  • Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=diphenhydramine+and+methadone+cross+reactivity
  • Article: Commonly Prescribed Medications and Potential False-positive Urine Drug Screens
  • Author(s): Nancy C. Brahm; Lynn L. Yeager; Mark D. Fox; Kevin C. Farmer; Tony A. Palmer
  • Date: 2010
  • Site: Medscape.com
  • Link: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/726897_2

 

 

Posted in Suboxone

One Of My Biggest Roadblocks On Suboxone…  Not What You’d Expect

I don’t recall when this problem started. I know it never happened when I was pregnant but in the last 10-15 years anytime a doctor (regardless of type) hands me a cup and asks for a urine sample, my body instinctively refuses to comply!

Not a clue why! Now when I was dealing with legal issues years ago and on probabtion, this would cause me so many problems! At least at the doctor office, the worst thing that’ll happen is the doctor may not see you, might make you reschedule or make you wait until you can give a sample. However with other situations like probation, your freedom can ride on being able to pee in a cup! I came within minutes of having a scheduled surgery procedure cancelled. I’d gone to the bathroom before getting to the hospital not realizing they make women do a urinalysis before surgery in case of unknown pregnancy. So it’s something that can have a big affect on your daily life.

I’ve really lucked out with my current doctor. She’s in the process of trying several different methods. One almost looks like a pregnancy test you put under your tongue. But the good ol’ ‘pee in a cup’ is the usual go-to method. I believe it’s because if anything strange comes up, they can send that same sample to a lab for detailed testing.

End point: make sure you are WELL HYDRATED before appointments. Always go in assuming you’ll need to give a urinalysis. And understand the tests aren’t perfect! Any way, good luck on your next appointment! I have a hot date with another bottle of water!!

Posted in Suboxone

Family Members – Be Careful When Getting “Professional” Advice

Many family members and friends have an idea that something is ‘off’ with a loved one when they become addicted.  You may not know precisely what is going on, but that little internal voice will nag you about it.  Unfortunately, I am so good at putting on the “Life Is Wonderful” mask, that no one in my family knew.  Not my husband.  Not my kids.  Not my parents.  And at the time, we all lived together, so we saw each other every single day.  The fact that they had no clue, I believe, led them to being a little more frantic once my addiction, treatment and legal issues were explained to them.

As hypocritical as this may sound, I was very aware of what I was putting my family through.  That was so very hard to accept and deal with daily.  Yet I was NOT expecting the number of so called “professionals” who were just waiting for that ‘frantic’ family so they could, in the end, profit from it financially.  (Understand when I say professional, I’m referring to legally certified, licensed and state approved members of both the legal and medical communities!)

After I had begun treatment, I was still dealing with several legal issues.  This particular issue was one of the more minor instances.  It was going to hurt financially, but it wasn’t something I was going to have to worry about doing time for.  But the financial portion was substantial.  I guess to get a better understanding of what could happen, what the probable outcome would be, my parents chose to meet with an attorney (who I knew nothing about, had never met before) to get some of their questions answered.

By the end of this meeting, this attorney (I checked afterwards, he was a licensed and state certified)had my parents all but convinced that I had not entered treatment.  I was not just addicted to opioids but to meth as well and I was still using meth. He preached to them that they needed to wipe their hands clean of me and my evil ways, kick me out of their house and either convince me to give them my kids or take me to court.

Now let me make this perfectly clear.  This man had never met me.  Never laid eyes on me.  Never spoken to me.  Did not represent me at any point and was literally an attorney they found from a Google search.  When I called to confront him afterwards, he didn’t even know about my case that my parents had gone there with questions about.  What pissed me off more than anything was that he came to this conclusion after asking my parents a handful of questions, to the extent of: Did I regularly stay up late, with little sleep?  Could I be a real bitch at times?  And did I have dental issues?  All of which, in truth, they could answer yes to.

Thankfully, my mom had a quick realization that put a wrench in his line of theory.  Yes, I have problems sleeping and I am a night owl.  Yes, when in the right situation, I am not simply “a bitch” I can be “The Bitch” and yes, I ended up having to have $7,000 worth of dental procedures that I paid for out of pocket.  But my mom pointed out that if she followed his line of logic, I must have been born a meth addict, because I was a little bitch the day I was born.  I’ve been a night owl with issues sleeping since my early teens and the dental issues they knew came from severely chronic sinus issues that went years without being treated properly.  All of which were issues that were well known by the time I was in 10th grade.

Unfortunately, this was not the only situation like this we faced.  I have had more than my fair share of physicians who, while they were under the belief that I had private insurance, thought I needed all sorts of long term therapy.  I’ve had doctors tell me that I would need (and this was before the addiction part) in-patient physical therapies, etc until, again, they found out that I either did not have any insurance at the time or did not have private insurance.  Then, suddenly, I was well!  Come to think of it, my problems probably would be just fine if I took “x” pill at home.

For family and friends of someone facing this battle, it is a very hard place to be in.  I have little doubt you will have days where you wonder what you did to deserve dealing with this. For anyone in a similar position, I will always support you going to  get information to educate yourself.  Just please, PLEASE, do not make any one decision based off of a conversation with any professional who is giving you direction involving someone they have never met.  In my opinion, the more people you speak with that have no true connection to  one another, the better off you’ll be.  Sometimes the truth about situations can be very painful.  So before you go asking questions, make sure you’re willing, and able, to hear the truth.

As always, if anyone has any type of question that you’d like to ask me, I have no limits as long as the questions are sincere.  There is no such thing as a sincere, dumb question.  Fire away!  I’m extremely open minded and there’s very little left in the world that can shock me!

Take care of yourselves and I wish you all the best of luck!

Liz S.

Posted in Random Tips, Suboxone

Random Tip No. 4: Minimize as much “free” time as you can

Random Tip No. 4: Minimize as much “free” time as you can 

Many consider free time as a gift that should be treasured.  The time to sit for hours, if not days and do whatever you want, even nothing.  Yet when you are battling something like addiction, especially opioid addiction, free time can be an enemy.  The more down time or ability to be flat-out bored, the more dangerous to staying clean!  This was a HUGE issue for myself.  Especially for the long period of time that no one knew about the addiction or the treatment!  If I wasn’t actively doing….. something, that was when my brain would start going through it’s internal check list of what felt bad, what stressers were in my life, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I could never figure out how to shut off that part of my brain while in “free time”.  The only thing that worked was finding something  to do.  Work. Take a class. Read a book. Watch a movie. Go outside. Walk the dog. Clean the house.  DO SOMETHING!! This was also very true when I would go to bed. If I was going to bed just because it was “bedtime”, I was more likely to sit and my brain starts going through the same things.  I learned quickly to not even contemplate getting into bed until I was dead tired!  Making sure I was at that level of fatigue where if I couldn’t go to bed, I’d probably start whining and crying!  Not necessarily a glamorous look, but hey, you do what works!

After meeting others going through the same thing, it became clear this was an issue for many others as well!  The newer you  are to being clean and sober, the more this seems to be an issue. 

If you find yourself in a place where you simply cannot come up with something to do, then go online and watch videos on YouTube.  For me, personally, I stuck to nothing but movies that were either comedy or horror.  If there was ANY chance it contained a scene that would make me tear up, it was temporarily banned!  (There goes all those Disney movies!)  

Posted in Random Tips, Suboxone

Random Tip No. 3: Baby Step Your Goals at First

Random Tip No. 3: Baby Step Your Goals at First

Just because you are using something like Suboxone, it does not mean that you are on some easy boat to sobriety!  Sooner or later most people will find themselves horrified at the idea of changing up their normal ‘schedule’ of use, stopping that drug of choice or, once on the Suboxone, tapering off.  This may sound a little ridiculous, but I am dead serious.  When you find yourself in those situations, give yourself BABY STEP goals.  If the thought of not using when you first get up terrifies you, baby step.  Compromise with yourself.  Okay, you’re not going to use as soon as you get up, at first you’ll take the dog out.  You’ll have a cup of coffee.  Watch the morning news (unless it easily depresses you).  Do the same thing the next day.  Eventually, you’ll see that not only were you able to get through waiting for the coffee, but you had breakfast too.  Again,  it may seem ridiculous, but when you see that you made it to that baby step goal, congratulate yourself!  It’s a step you wouldn’t have taken before!  It may be a small victory in life, but it’s a victory nonetheless!