After waiting to no avail for the CEO of HHC to get back to me, I finally had to contact him, again. He told me that it was indeed the policy of HHC (Harmony Healthcare) to "not maintain anyone on any form of buprenorphine". He then told me that if he could find another "in network doctor that also took insurance" that he would contact me.
Today, on my own, I went to an independent doctor that is certified to prescribe all forms of buprenorphine. Honestly, I was super nervous because ever since breaking my relationship off with "Pete", my life has been in a constant state of disarray. I was very worried that my story would once again fall on uncompassionate, deaf ears. The biggest difference with today was that I was dealing with a NON HHC doctor.
I told this doctor EVERYTHING. I started from the very beginning and brought him to present day. I didn't leave out a single detail.
When he asked me why I stopped seeing my current doctor, I told him that I was being forced to go cold turkey from Subutex. He replied, "you mean, he refused to give you Subutex because he wanted to only give you Suboxone?" I said, "No, he told me it was the official policy of HHC to not maintain anyone on any form of buprenorphine, period."
This doctor reeled in astonishment. After we had talked about my history with Harmony, he said that it was quite clear that Harmony was trying to get rid of me because I was most likely a liability to them.
This doctor went on to tell me that the medical consensus for people in my particular situation (coming from a decade long addiction of long acting opiates), is to make sure the patient has their other life's problems in order before even attempting to tackle my addiction with detoxification. He understood that my addiction would never go away as long as I was constantly worried about where my next dose of medication would come from, let alone the doctor himself being my main source of anxiety.
He told me the best thing for me would be a total reset. He put me right back to 16mg./day. This guy and I talked for almost an hour. This is the first time I have felt like I was right. I feel vindicated. I feel free.
This is the way that I will be able to gradually work my way down, then possibly off of Subutex. This doctor did however point out that just like insulin keeps a diabetic well for life, the same might be true for me with buprenorphine.
The social stigma attached to Subutex is currently undergoing a paradigm shift with the medical community. I was being handfed bullshit by the HHC doctor.
I know many of you revile Subutex. However, if it is the only thing that gets you through the day, the only thing that gives you enough energy to say that your life has meaning, then look at it like insulin.
Subutex gives me ZERO negative side effects. Without enough of it, my life is barely functional. Without it, my life is unlivable. Yet I had a doctor ready to commit me before prescribing it to me. This medication was invented to save lives. Unlike methadone, the drug that got me into this mess; Subutex, when taken in therapeutic amounts and without worrying about ever looming withdrawal is truly a lifesaver.
If you are strong enough to detox from it, and live a normal life then chances are your addiction was not severe enough to warrant it in the first place. For those of us who have gone too far down the rabbit hole, it offers new hope.
As for the assholes at HHC? I am strongly considering legal action. If you look back at my original posts, and see the mental anguish I was being put through, as well as the doubts about myself being cast upon myself by them, well you would be as pissed at them as I am.
I will still advise people against going on buprenorphine maintenance treatment ONLY IF your addiction has not progressed to the point where you might die from an overdose, or you have tried (really tried) unsuccessfully to wean from other opiates. Subutex really is the answer for a select few. I am one of them.