Methadone Clinic- Involuntary Termination of Services prior to adequate taper

By moda00 · Apr 25, 2010 · ·
  1. moda00
    Don't want to get into it too much, but the clinic I attend is attempting to discharge me involuntarily in a retaliatory gesture for filing a formal complaint regarding a policy that is completely a violation of patient rights, and for the fact that I have educated several other patients on their rights.

    I am fighting it, but have to figure something out in the meantime, as even if I can get a ruling in my favor (which I should be able to if there is any justice, given that what they have done is illegal in multiple ways under state law and they violated their own policies as well) it will likely be too late as I may have already been kicked out, and since I am traveling this summer, I have to figure out arrangements for guest dosing or possibly stay out west indefinitely to ensure I can continue my taper at the proper rate and get off successfully, and since they are currently intending to terminate my treatment several days before I leave the state, I am unsure I can apply for guest dosing or transfer any longer through them, but don't want to start from scratch with daily dosing bullshit at another clinic and spend two years to get to my phase/take-homes even though I have a long history of recovery and am sober and compliant for a long time- I think it is despicable that they would try to throw me off my medication for utilizing the grievance process, which is illegal, and do so both knowing that I have a child to care for as a single parent and a degree to finish, and also that they would attempt to kick me out rather than allow me to continue at the normal pace and be out on my own anyways in 6-12 months.. I guess I am expendable because they know of my intent to taper and that I won't be a cash cow to them for much longer.

    Honestly, even if they ruled in my favor at this point I am not sure that the entire thing wouldn't sufficiently damage the situation to which I couldn't continue there anyways, and ethically have qualms about continuing to pay them for the way they mistreat people- but either way, they have made very clear where they stand, and they will learn very clearly where I stand... &( I know that to be successful after coming this far, I need to have the opportunity to continue to do what has worked even though it has been tough at times, and taper at a steady reasonable rate, and they are clearly precluding me from doing this and violating about ten statutes in the process.. wish me luck...

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  1. kailey_elise
    moda, I don't know what to say, other than good fucking luck, and I'm sorry all this is happening!

    Is there any way you can get a transfer to another clinic or something?
  2. MiMoMo
    They say never to aggravate a mother bear with baby cub. Well, looks like momma moda gonna teach that so-called clinic about heart. Alas, the rehab industry is a dirty business. Akin to prison, success is measured by continued occupancy, seemingly thriving on desperation.

    Please be careful and mindful of their clout. Perhaps an individual doctor's attention would be a more respectable relationship? Congratulations on your fierce determination and splendid achievements. Little 'modo' must be in forever heaven, having you as mother angel!
  3. moda00
    thanks to you both :s

    i have been on the phone and comp 24/7 since getting the news friday- state methadone authority, state grievance board, lawyers, methadone advocates, disability rights, counselors, my therapist, pain management clinics, private docs.. getting the run around, put on hold, talk to this person, tidbits here and there though they are adding up to form at least a part of the puzzle, there's still much in need of filling in.

    there's one great guy at SAMHSA/CSAT (federal government oversight org in the US for substance abuse regulatory stuff) who's on my side and willing to help, which is a start- no one else seems to have anything to offer, or just passes the buck.

    i have a few irons in the fire, but many potential leads have yielded nothing, or discouraging results. but i guess we'll see how they play out..

    kailey, there actually is, but it is only one other clinic in the area, part of a big chain, and am meeting with them on monday but honestly it sounds like they are worse than the one i am at now (wouldn't/won't honor my phase so i would have to go every day instead of once a week or once every 2 weeks, have CAMERAS in the bathrooms, etc.) so i'll check it out but i'm not really havin' it so far.. we'll see come monday i guess..

    i was told of a better clinic in another neighboring state and may, should they agree to it (they are going to talk and call me back) make the 3 hour drive out there once every week or once every 2 weeks to get my doses through them, until my taper is complete (about another year).. total bullshit that i should have to do that-- and should it come to court, be nice to see some compensation for that time and money... lol, but i'd rather do that than go to a clinic in my city that treats me like a criminal, disregards the take-home privileges i have worked long and hard for, and films me on the toilet, (then charges me hundreds of dollars for the privilege..) ugh. i at least want my dollars going to a place that treats people in recovery on medication with respect.

    also may have an option with an addiction specialty and suboxone doctor who MAY, rumor has it, help me with methadone taper, but we all know this is few and far between and i don't have much optimism left at this point.

    i also found out that even if the "fair" hearing ruling is in my favor, all that means is that a piece of paper saying they violated my rights is written and filed- it doesn't mean i am entitled to continue my treatment there and has no implications at all for any policy change or change in my own circumstances; it doesn't rectify the violation of my rights (then what the fuck is the point of all this? is my question for them... he said only a court can do that (order any sort of change or restitution), so court it may be...)

    my counselor there suggests begging and pleading and apologizing, which i may deign to if i must, and once i have that in place and all is said and done, turn around and sue the pants off them.

    -document- document- document. fuckers definitely underestimated me... i think like a lawyer. lol. too easy to get hopeless though.. can't give up, if only for the little man's sake..

    as you say mimomo- you don't fuck with a mama bear :s

    getting beyond depressing though, not sure how much longer i can stick this mess out without something seriously bad happening.. please, i need all the good vibes i can get. thanks all, much love.

    thanks for your support! :vibes:

    and we all know that i myself or anyone i have contact with would never break a law, but one can imagine that if one goes through all the proper channels for weeks and is unable to find resolution, one would potentially rather come up with their own plans rather than wind up at risk of relapse/re-addiction, death, mental health problems, inability to function.. i just need the system to be there for me and help me. i am in recovery. my goal is to get off all opioid medications. why can't they help someone who clearly genuinely wants continued help and support? :thumbsdown:
  4. moda00
    SO- now they wanna play ball and negotiate- isn't that usually the first step and not the last resort? hmmm...

    well, first they throw some psychological warfare out there by trying to throw down one's dose by 20 f'ing milligrams w/o one's consent.. then they say someone has to write a letter stating what was done wrong (disagreeing with their opinion and policy, is what was done "wrong" but it would be lying if one really writes this thing and apologizes for free speech and having a different opinion)..

    finally got a physicians assistant and two counselors to talk the "head honcho" on the phone (who btw one cannot talk to even though he makes all the calls and "prescribes the meds" (no doctor-patient relationship? not even over the phone?? ever? wait, i thought that was illegal too?), one can only speak through his go-betweens --which may actually be good now cause someone i know just might go off on him...

    THEN tell someone that, yes, she'll possibly be sick BUT that if she writes her "i'm so sorry, it was wrong, and it will never happen again" letter (yes this is a quote of the requirement given to one, no sarcasm included or intended, though i certainly realize it reads like an old school first grade teacher making some poor kid write i'm sorry a hundred f'ing times in cursive..) and agrees to taper 2 mg/week for 6 months with them, THEN next week after a week of hell they'll give her BACK the decrease and let her go UP the amount they put her down, and then go down again at a normal/slow pace- is that not cruel and unusual? and furthermore rather senseless and against the ideas of maintenance and taper and addiction treatment in general in civilized society?

    methinks they are obviously aware that since someone happened to research her right to a fair hearing w/in 48 hours and filed for such, they now don't want it to make it out of their twisted private for-profit clinic scheme, so want to resolve it in house but still keep raking in the money AND shut someone up at the same time.. so.. play ball? not a chance if someone can get another clinic transfer arranged, several options in the works, nothing ideal, but then again nothing ideal about this situation.

    methinks one would much rather give it to them in the ass (and be treated with respect elsewhere, even if it takes more time or money to accomplish) than take it in the ass from people like this and pay for the "privilege," and it seems they know they are fucked, changing their tune and all, so someone has a little leverage here- but can't get too overconfident and fuck all the options up.

    sick of dealing with this, though.. spent all day out in the sun at the dropzone, though didn't get to jump cause of windspeeds, and will be out there all day tomorrow with a friend and her daughter and the wee one and the babes can play and hopefully winds will allow for some jumpage to occur (no that is not a real word i don't think but my head hurts and my tummy hurts and my legs want to jump out of their shells so i can make up words if they make sense in my addled brain if i want to.)

    and- final exams in two weeks? NOT happening.. frankly this is a piss poor attitude but there is no way that one can finish out this semester at this rate, and doesn't really know if she even wants to, that's how "clearly" she is thinking now.. but she managed to meet with a uni admin and get extensions on most classes so she has time to take her head out of the deep freezer and get some real work done eventually..

    will keep friends posted on here, would rather not publicize too much drama and this may be going the legal route if one has her way (though, SAMHSA/CSAT has agreed what they are doing is illegal, so if our tax dollars here in the good ole US of A are worth anything at all, that should be their job.. but someone would like to face this "friendly doctor" face to face in a court of law... might be a nice feeling to express herself lol)
  5. radiometer
    Best of luck Moda! So sorry to read all this after your previous happy-go-lucky entry.
  6. kailey_elise
    Again, good fucking luck!

  7. MiMoMo
    "there's one great guy at SAMHSA/CSAT (federal government oversight org in the US for substance abuse regulatory stuff) who's on my side and willing to help"

    That's the ticket. All it takes is one kindred spirit in a position of power to tip the balance. Good going, unleash the Feds on these clinic clowns and watch them squirm for a change. Oh, and by the way, I see you as the future head of SAMHSA/CSAT after all this. Dazzling to see you so riled up, impressive & inspirational.
  8. moda00
    god i hate this feeling. withdrawal is the worst because it is physical and mental agony in one tightly wrapped ball. i get massive headaches every evening, have gotten 3-4.5 hours sleep max the past few nights, even with prescribed valium dose one of the nights.. everything aches, it hurts to pick up my babe, it hurts to play with him when he playfully tackles me, it makes me cry when he cries and i just want to lock him in a room and run away, i am so on edge. tylenol, immodium, ondansetron (zofran), and occasional valium help but a little.

    i hope to get clonidine prescribed asap, just unsure if it can or will be prescribed while actively on a maintenance med or only if going cold turkey off any/all opioid type medications/drugs.. also don't have a real relationship with a "general" doc- have an endocrine, a sleep specialist, and a midwife, as well as a therapist for me and a family therapist lol, but i don't really like my insurance required "PCP" and have only even met the woman 2x.. so idk.

    I think due to the long half life I have to get worse before i get better with this- i was just starting to feel a bit better from the other big reduction when they slammed me with an even bigger one against my consent and i think my body is reeling to try to catch up, but so far it's progressively worsening, i guess as the new decline really sinks in and the older higher dose is completely flushed away.. ugh.

    writing helps, takes my mind off shit. so hopefully my long ramblings here keep others posted as well as moreso just allowing me to let off steam and distract myself..

    also, i made my next level skydive in my student progression on sunday and i have to say it was one of the best and worst experiences of my life, or up there with 'em, lol. I was terrified (like to the point of stomach churning, bowels firing, crying, and convincing myself to fight the urge to drive away at top speed and never come back) I was a ball of anxiety and negativity, and of course the W/Ds played a role, as did life stress and the fact that this jump had been rescheduled like 5 times due to spring weather, so the pressure (from within moreso) was high, and I felt "rusty" not having jumped in so long. Last time I messed up the pull and wrapped a piece of the equipment on my arm (no prob, I untangled it and went on my way, but still, there was pressure there too)

    So, I was like, fuck it, I am doing this for a reason, this is what I want, and I will be glad I did, and I am happy to have the opportunity to face it up.. so I forced myself to do it. That was a turning point for me because my other jumps, excitement outweighed nerves, and sunday i was ready to roll over and die. But, skydiving takes away any and everything except that moment, that jump, and I needed that. Plus, knowing that something is one of the hardest things you will do and persevering anyways was a good mental exercise to prepare me for the fight ahead. If I can overcome that physical and mental pain and terror and make the jump (and actually improve in a lot of ways since prior jump, though there were some issues with stability at pull, the pull itself was good as was canopy and land, so I am not worried and am over it now..) I can do it, it might feel insurmountable, but if I can get over that immense anxiety (and it was not even fear or distrust of safety/death or anything rational, it was just ugly irrational terror and panic fucking with me, which was worse) and force myself to smile and get in that plane, climb out onto the step, arch and fly towards the earth at 120mph, then I can handle just about anything right? Lol. It sounds physically extreme but honestly the psychological overcoming of fear and discomfort was the biggest thing for me, realizing how easy it would be to give up and making the conscious schoice NOT to give up, was a turning point (in skydiving and in my life as of late)..

    So in other news-- the staff meeting was today. i was told if i wrote the "i'm sorry, i was wrong, and it won't happen again" letter to be presented at staffing, then they agreed to keep me on a six month, 2 mg/week taper until switching over to buprenorphine to complete it at 15 mg BID in 26 wks... and to put my dose back up where it should have stayed to alleviate the withdrawal prior to the continued slow taper pace, not that this tactic makes ANY sense- but apparently my letter was not nearly enough grovelling- I don't grovel. I was polite and I was honest and I clarified that I intended to pursue my rights.

    I did state that I apologized if my opinions or statements were offensive to anyone for any reason, and that should i ever violate any rules or receive a complaint i want to know immediately so i can rectify the behavior-- but i also made pretty clear that i would not sign away my rights or put in writing that i was "wrong" and "sorry" for speaking my mind and utilizing grievance procedure.. oi. I think they wanted to keep the upper hand and are still trying to avoid a third party fair hearing procedure or review of the situation, so I was not willing to play along knowing that I have a back-up plan.

    I have now requested my fair hearing FIVE times- two phone messages, one phone/verbal conversation, and two written letters, one delivered with delivery confirmation usps priority, and confirmed delivered (and read), the other in person yesterday to be shared at their mtg today.

    one thing i said in my letter was that they had no legal right to change anything (due to this situation at least), be it my dose or my status as a clinic patient overall, pending fair hearing, and demanded that my prior taper order, which had worked well for the preceding 13ish months, be reinstated. That actually was granted, and one of the counselors who was there said the head doc was PISSED about that whole thing. So small victory there, as I do not intend to be forced off my dose and into withdrawal further, doing in one month, what should take 12 and they know it.

    However, since I won't grovel to the necessary degree, they have apparently put aside any previous "good will" and "willingness to work with me" via a six month taper plan as initially agreed, and have stated that they now continue to stand by their 30 day notice served two Fridays ago.

    So, basically they have seven days to have a fair hearing upon my request, and cannot take action (doesn't mean they won't, that is the issue here- it may only be rectified AFTER the fact) Now, in business days, today would be the 7th day (though they are open Saturdays, so counting that, today would be the 8th day) It's almost 8 pm here, so I'd say they dropped the ball on that one too- are they seriously playing a game of "let's see how many rights we can violate and how many statutes and laws we can break" ???

    I think, since many have stated "I have no idea what a fair hearing is, I have never gotten this far in such a process," etc., that they have gotten away with this before, using methadone dependence as a weapon or manipulator- I may well be unreasonable by some standards, for risking my medication access to stand up for my rights and those of us in recovery in general, but I do so in good conscience and knowing that someone has to do it.

    "You CAN NOT be neutral on a moving fucking train!!" If not me, then WHO?

    I have thought through worst case scenarios and come to peace with it. I may need hospitalization for 3-14 days; I have good insurance and supportive family who will pay any unpaid expenses relating to this and who will care for my son with love and bring him to see me (I'd thought about asking if he could room in with me but I feel hardly capable of being an ideal mom now, I don't think I could possibly meet his needs in severe withdrawals- and it scares me going through this that it's minor compared to what I could be facing- but he does great for my mom and dad, and his other grandma has also just returned to town after six months away, so she will be there to help out, as will my grandma, my son's great-gr'ma. It kills me to think worst case would entail the worst physical and mental anguish ever and being away from my son for so long, but I know he would be safe and would come visit, and it would be safer and better for him to be with grandparents than in a hospital with germs and a mother who cannot function without hospitalizion. Though, if you are the praying or intention-ing type, please pray or intend or whatever your practice that it need not come to this.

    Technically they cannot take action in reducing my dose or discharging me without fair hearing, and I have a right to 48 hours notice, my treatment records, and a lawyer and/or advocate, and to call witnesses at said hearing. So maybe their refusal to acknowledge the right to fair hearing is good, since May 22nd could roll around without hearing and guess what? They can't (legally) kick me out then. BUT I would not put it past them- the problem is if the repercussions come too late to help me-- at least it will set a precedent. I know most people would not rock the boat when their stability in recovery and med access was at stake. I'm not sure I am entirely sane for doing so but I sort of have had a revelation- if I relapse or give up- they win. My family and I lose. No matter what, I fight and trust that I have options even if none are 100% ideal.
  9. moda00
    If justice is served, my fair hearing will nullify the order to kick me out and I will stay there until I reach a lower dose and can get to suboxone safely and/or until I get in with this other physician- finally some good news. He's a few hours drive but sounds as though he is willing to do the OBOT thing with methadone, and something like a monthly script to avoid clinic BS. A normal respectful physician is willing to take over my opioid taper! Finally, "there is a god" (or goddess, or life force, or universal energy of intention and love, or something good like that lol.. but i think i knew that? :thumbsup:)

    That said, I want the hearing in my favor so that I can ensure guest dosing and being well for my trip westward, but I also don't want to stay at my current clinic any longer than necessary, since I know that my dollars fund the shitheads who would try to get away with this with impunity and have abused me and others in the past.

    So, I take care of me and me son as I can if I am "granted" the right to stay, since I did nothing wrong, taper down for more like 45-90 days at a slower pace, and then switch either to the suboxone doc or the doc who is a further drive but is willing to take over sooner with the methadone prescribing/taper and then go to suboxone/subutex after that (this doc just cannot get me in until late June, so there would be a month in there- half of that month or more in OR/CA- where I would have no meds. This will be the risky period if it plays out like that, and no family support out there with kiddo either.. Even if it is only 3 days after discharge (supposedly may 22, to portland may 25) i am no longer considered a clinic patient/guest doser, and the only way i could then be dosed would be to pay an intake fee as a 'new patient,' start over at phase 1 daily dosing, fight for my split dose, and they would want to titrate UP rather than help me taper down- NOT an option. I need to be considered a transfer or guest dose patient and ANY delay in clinic enrollment would make this impossible.

    Fed law says a doc can prescribe methadone for up to 3 days' supply even to an addict on maintenance or clinic patient- so I could and would go to the ER and ensure continuous and stable dosing between discharge from my clinic and guest dosing out west, until my intake with another physician. But, even if I have records that I have the methadone taken continuously/properly, the clinic system operates under special laws and c/wouldn't honor that- so I just need the clinic to agree to 33 days instead of 30 lol- shouldn't be that hard right? And yet there is no way in hell they will..

    Like I said, worst comes to worst, I know I have loving family who will take care of my child while I get my shit straightened out, and counselors and friends and family who will support me, be that financial, childcare, emotional support, listening, backing me up.. So I will do WHATEVER it takes to get this done and done right, and come out alive and healthy on the other side, though it may get ugly for awhile.

    I will (and am in process of) do/ing everything I can to utilize legitimate, or at least gray-area if legit is not an option, ways to accomplish what needs to be accomplished with the trust and support of many people. And in the end, whatever my own path, hopefully I'll have paved the path a little smoother for those to come. :vibes:

    This does seem to be the point where legal action comes in, so I will be contacting lawyer options tomorrow, and my parents offered to speak with a lawyer friend for me tomorrow too. I figure they (clinic) have a high paid lawyer, I need someone good representing me though I feel confident rep'ing myself in some ways, it's (sadly enough) more of the money and image thing; I think i have a better chance with a legitimate representative and will appear more formidable (and if I can trust said lawyer, it will be a relief to stop having to call/talk/write/think about this 24/7- it's good to know your rights, but NOT good to have to re-explain them to the very people who should be able to explain them to you.)

    so... Please wish me well at my fair hearing (and that I GET one!), that I can find a way to transfer my info to be guest dosed during my trip (may have to pay the fee and fly out three days earlier? it's an option anyway...if all else fails), and that it all falls into place as expected with the methadone and/or suboxone private physicians who are more respectful than the BS clinics and say they will work with me..

    I swear, the "other" one acts respectful, but their policies are archaic and they act like they are not aware. Mine seems progressive, but when they decide to fuck with you, they fuck with you real bad.

    Obviously both think it is ok to put maintenance pts into withdrawal intentionally, so neither is fit to treat opioid dependent individuals in my eyes.
  10. moda00
    ahhh sorry this is so f'ing long lol!!
    Also, some vaguely good news on the policy front-- :thumbsup: Regarding my initial grievance (the one that my involuntary termination is in retaliation for, along w/ verbal complaints) I did not receive the requisite response in writing in 30 days (34 and counting) so have taken this to a step 2 grievance. However, tomorrow there will be a meeting among several important officials at the federal level concerning this, and my understanding is that a cease and desist order will be served on the federal level through SAMHSA's CSAT division- so the policy is toast, I am really pursuing this more because 1) any further action for doing so is more proof on my side of illegal retaliation, and 2) they need to understand that the LAW is a response to a grievance. I know at least one other patient who filed re" this new policy and did not get a response except a brief talk w/ his counselor, and in the past, my one other grievance, which was eventually validated actually, was addressed partially but never in writing and never addressing the important points raised in my actual grievance- they just expected that as long as I got my prior privileges back and continued access to meds, I would shut up and not care- well guess what I do care! They have done this repeatedly; it's time they learn they are not exempt from the laws, and addicts are not targets to be abused and denied basic dignity and rights.

    Feeling awful in withdrawal, but feeling at peace knowing that whatever the outcome, I am doing what my conscience dictates, my son will be safe and loved even if it means a short separation if I need to be hospitalized or otherwise encounter issues where I am unable to provide ideal childcare, and the clinic owners/doctors (conflict of interest anyone?) will learn that not all patients with addiction histories will play along with their sleazy bribes. It is too validating to know that my grievance will be shown to have been valid on a federal level, and the inner knowledge that this weekend, i could have walked away but i overcame my fear and did the jump. I'm still up and down, I am still sick, but the online support, two awesome counselors and the PA at my mmt clinic, the two awesome docs who are willing to help me if and when the clinic will not, and the support of my friends online and irl as well as close family has me thinking that no matter how shitty, this too shall pass, and i hope on some small level to make a point that will make these people think twice before denying patients their rights or treating them as criminal or expendable. WE ARE HUMAN TOO.

    I don't know how some people sleep at night. I don't currently sleep at night either, but at least it's due to withdrawal and not the knowledge that i have contributed to harming families and individuals' recovery and physical and emotional stability or well being. The sad thing is though, it sounds like they are either convinced they are right, or don't care that they are wrong- I doubt they lose any sleep over it.

    This might be wrong, but last time and from now on, each time I go to the clinic I will be bringing my one year old son in with me (in the past I did the opposite, not wanting him to be exposed to germs, secondhand smoke right outside the doors, etc.) If they are going to go along with this, they can look into the eyes of the baby who is being affected. And if they are advocating for me, they can see the other one for whom they are simultaneously advocating. (The problem is, the staff at my clinic are generally supportive- I have never met either head doc making these calls, though my two meetings with the program admin were highly unpleasant, so maybe she'll get the privilege of meeting my wee one some day.. we'll see.

    Oh and my experience exploring my local transfer option- one word- horrifying. NOT an option.

    I did interview/intake process at the other clinic in my city yesterday- and omg. Scary scary scary. There were 5 others in the room, no other transfers but me and they know i was not committed as to whether i planned to do so yet.. everyone else were people who had been on (illegal) methadone pills and/or heroin and were getting on for the first time. All in withdrawal- not a fun room.

    The clinic counselor stated at one point, "we'll be closed Wednesday [this was on Monday this week, they are closed tomorrow] for staffing, so at this point, being so new, none of you (gesturing to me- except *maybe* you) will get take-outs that day. A woman asked, "won't we go into withdrawal again!?" The answer? "Yep." As in, of course, but we don't give a shit.

    The whole problem that sparked this was they tried to pass a policy at my clinic that would deny Sunday take-outs, intentionally putting patients in withdrawal, for being late or missing a single day. They ALREADY have severe policies for patients who miss three days consecutive, or multiple days throughout the month- but ONE time, no matter the reason? With midwestern winter weather, transport/car break-down (some people drive 2-3 hours each way to get dosed here), traffic, children, sleep disorders like mine, car accidents, illness- most of us are bound to be late or absent at least once at some point!! The rationale I was given? Any pt. who cannot make every scheduled dosing day or appt and on time is NOT stable.

    So I ask then-- how is making them miss dosing a SECOND day in the same week going to increase their stability exactly (both stability referring technically to stable blood levels of a maintenance med, and stable in their lifestyle/treatment) If a patient arrives five minutes late and is turned away on a Monday, they are then returned to phase 1 (even if they have 10 years sober and UAs to back it) so they then come in Tuesday, Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Sat (not just that week, but indefinitely with no clear criteria outlined for time periods or who makes that decision) and Sunday you get zip zilch nada- clinic's closed, no option to come in, other clinic's closed and no guest dose option- so you know 6 days in advance that you will be in withdrawal that weekend. ---What do you think a new, vulnerable pt would do?? Not a hard guess... Relapse is a good bet. Even for someone in long-term recovery serious about their mmt, it creates a market for obtaining diverted methadone in attempt to stay stable and well.

    So yeah... the "other clinic" has cameras in their bathrooms for UAs, because "it's state law" *roll eyes* It gives vague responses to questions such as what are the required number of counseling sessions and groups to attend, what is the phasing schedule, etc. and all they say is, it depends on the individual case, you'll find out once you are enrolled and talk with your treatment team, etc. (no answers for you till you pay up and sign the dotted line- and of course these people are miserable w/ W/D and begging for help, what do you think they are gonna do?

    The counselor even said, "If you don't think this is for you, you can walk out you don't have to stay- but I've gotta say, I have never had anyone do that." Gee, I wonder why the fuck not? Guess I got to be the first LOL)

    At this "other clinic" they will not honor phases earned (take-outs), even with those on long term mmt programs of recovery and clean UAs for years (UNLESS you are transferring from one of their company's owned clinics, that speaks volumes); they will also not honor split dosing for new transfers at first- if ever- no guarantees. Split is necessary for me and honestly I advocate split for all patients, not just those deemed "rapid metabolizers" and those pregnant- the steadier blood levels the better, and the lower doses would have to be to hold imho and experience!

    Plus-- they do not allow any travel in the first few months, even to do a phase I/daily guest dose at another clinic while traveling. And they routinely deny take-home meds for holidays, staffings, and Sundays knowing it will cause withdrawal in those pts most vulnerable.

    Anyway, all is both well and not well, but I keep fighting the good fight, thank you for listening and your support, and any posts here or PMs to keep my mind occupied help mucho. :thumbsup:

    peace love and light to all,
    and NOT giving up.


    mimomo- you are right- it trips the power balance, and the only good that is coming, other than the final good news of having found the elusive private physician who will help a methadone pt, is the action coming from the federal government- starts with ONE person higher up the link, and things start to move... i love advocacy, though not so much when it involves my family's safety and puts me into opioid withdrawals lol.. but the worse it affects you, the harder you HAVE to fight, and i think i have too much empathy sometimes to the point where it can be very depressing but i cannot let anyone else go through this- one person/family is more than enough.
  11. moda00

    finally (after SIX requests) was told i had my "fair hearing" scheduled for monday (in 3 days monday). finally, right? however, short notice doesn't allow much planning, and the weekend obviously makes it hard to get in touch with the necessary people to continue my preparation.. i am supposed to have the right to an advocate or lawyer and to call/question witnesses.

    then, today i get a call from the "client rights specialist" who proceeds to tell me that she talked to the state methadone authority (none of these people should ever work in recovery-related fields.. scary scary stuff.. they are so anti-patient it is not even funny, except that one of them is actually titled the "client rights specialist" which would be funny if it weren't ridiculously disgusting and scary) that they do NOT legally have to hold such!?

    i think what she means is that the clinic does not have to hold this process, but i do under state law have a right to this process through the state (or county, for those w/ county funding) with the state grievance board. so, to them i go...

    but anyway, out of "goodwill" (ha) she "agreed" to still meet with me, same time, same place. "only" difference? it's not a considered a "fair hearing," no neutral party will make a decision, i cannot have any family members there to support me, my therapist who has known me since before i even STARTED on mmt cannot be there to help with input on my tx plan, nor can a lawyer (not that i could find one willing to take it on or did i bring it up in our discussion- the one who would called me back who was willing to work with me pending the conflict check called back to report indeed a "conflict of interest"-- meaning my clinic has already retained someone in her (very large and prestigious) firm. fuck.

    so... i can't have anyone on my side, even just sitting there for support, but they are bringing their two admins and my counselor (clinic counselor- closest i can get to someone on my side i guess, since she has and will advocate for me). i also have a letter from my counselor to bring, since she cannot be there, and may try to get a character witness or my other lawyer (other matters) to write a letter too?

    problem is, last time they tried to "negotiate" with me, they wanted me to write this whole "i'm sorry, you were right, i was wrong" bullshit letter. i see a repeat coming up in the near future; seems it is again all about that.

    legally i will not sign my name to a document stating i did something wrong when i did NOT do anything wrong!!! so that appears to be again what they are attempting to do as they wear me down with opioid withdrawal and deadline gets closer and time ticks away. what they don't understand is that i have an option of a private doc that may come through-- good vibes needed please! and that if he does not, i will gladly switch my plane ticket to the next flight out and stay in another state indefinitely to receive the meds i need. they don't have shit on me.

    also, how convenient that they schedule this for monday morning, notify me late thursday afternoon, and the big city-wide AODA treatment conference is THAT same day, so all the people in the field will be there and unavailable anyways. and mondays are when all jury selections happen and lawyers are tied up in court/voir dire.

    so, i am supposed to face these three clinic-paid people to "discuss my history and what needs to happen" withOUT "fair hearing!?" fucking A-- i'd almost rather wait for the state grievance board to step in and deal with their process. not sure i should even go, or maybe i can keep trying to get a lawyer to appear with me (and see if they deny him or her entrance LOL) but, we'll see.

    it was on speaker-phone (i was mtg w/ my clinic counselor, another counselor came in the room, and then she called and was put on speaker) and she (bitch on the speaker phone) interrupted me twice. i also stated to her that i had the handbook in front of me (i did too) and by all listed criteria i have met for successful treatment- she cuts me off and says actually that's not accurate, she used the example of a missed appt with my counselor (yes, there was one month about 5 mos ago when i didn't meet with her- it's not like i scheduled it and never showed, we agreed it was because of mutual schedule conflict and couldn't get one scheduled that worked, at the time she too was just as ok with it as i was).. so it's clear they will take minor things and throw them in my face. i don't know how they expect me to do this, and since i am prioritizing the doc appt, and will have only 15 or so minutes to meet with them, i don't even know if it is worth it, but i think legally it would help to say i tried..(?)

    any lawyers on here? advice?

    so-- i come when i am supposed to, once a week, i piss in a cup when told, and the results are as they are supposed to be, i do my call backs and bottle counts as requested, and most importantly (this is about RECOVERY from ADDICTION, right!?) i have been sober and NOT USING HEROIN (or coke etc.) for over 2.5 years!

    but apparently that doesn't matter, nor does their own list of criterion for successful recovery which i meet every. single. one. of.

    they made it clear that if i stayed at said clinic, i would be expected to sign a treatment contract, and i do NOT want to sign anything without going over it with a lawyer!! (who again is barred from this mtg apparently, and i don't think they will let me take it with me to consider- in a past case, which i won eventually but suffered a few weeks until the verdict came in, they made me sign on the spot or threatened discharge- i signed, but amended it such as "I understand and have read the above, and will continue to follow all rules as I have done thus far, but I have not broken any of the clinic policies as this contract implies" since the contract i signed was clearly stating i had violated clinic policies, which I had NOT then either! (again i did win that grievance :thumbsup: but the patient rights advocate or whatever that position is titled was a different guy then)

    this is fucked. now the good news is that i was able to get my appt with this doc mentioned pushed up as an emergency, to monday afternoon as stated-- so essentially i get to meet with the clinic fuckers for 15 minutes, then run out the door to drive 3 hours to make it to my other doc appt LOL.. not planning on telling them the purpose of this doc appt but if i get what i want and need, this doc may be willing to take over my methadone prescribing/taper and then i can tell the clinic to shove it and file my civil suit lol. wish me luck.. if this doc appt does not go well i don't know what to do.

    soooo many people tell me, just grovel and beg, the only thing that matters is your own recovery and your own access to your taper/meds.. but that is not true in my heart! if i do that, they check me off their list, keep collecting my $400 every month, and go on and then do it to the next patient.. who will break the cycle?

    i have come this far. i can jump out of a fucking plane (and not die, so far, LOL), i have beaten heroin and cocaine addiction, i have overcome heartbreak and loss, i have given birth without any medical aid or medications and parented a child as a single mother, i have bucked any and every social norm that exists, i have had my ego shattered into a million pieces by spiritual tools and entities.. why can't i deal with this? answer: I CAN> so fuck them.

    wish me luck, i will keep you posted..
  12. dyingtomorrow
    I just wanted to say thank you for documenting this experience. I am in awe. I think it is an exceptionally good thing you are doing, going through withdrawals and pain to right a wrong they are perpetuating on methadone patients. It is very disturbing to read how malicious these people are, who are in charge of helping people in such a powerless position.

    I hope you will keep us all updated. Sending positive vibes :)
  13. moda00
    Thank you for the thanks and good vibes DT. :)

    See my update in my most recent post, good news!! But I finally found a provider, a team of two physicians a few hours drive but well worth it, who are very respectful and will have me come make the drive only once a month to get a month's worth and finish my taper slowly.

    For now I am restabilizing after the withdrawals they put me through, back up to 40mg BID from 30, and now without the clinic having any power over me I can go ahead with my grievance without worry.

    I know it needs to be done on behalf of all methadone patients; I just think it is so sad that they get away with this over and over because they are in that position of power over vulnerable people who are dependent on the medication. It scares me the complete impunity they have for the law and the disregard they have for the recovery, lives, and families of those they purport to "treat." They disgust me. But it has definitely been an eye opening experience.

    I still have some anxiety, like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and get my meds cut off again, but I hope I can settle in and feel more comfortable that the physicians committed to working with me and were very supportive and positive so I shouldn't have to be anxious.. just after dealing with clinic BS getting worse and culminating in all this, one has a degree of distrust and stress- they should probably invent a PTSD-type diagnosis specific to those getting out of the clinic system, only half joking.. I have lived the past year plus in fear of having everything taken away, relapsing even though I don't want to, being unable to care for my son, etc. due to the absolute power (and absolute abuse of power) the clinics wield..

    We definitely need to fight for better regulation of the clinic system or abolish altogether in favor of OBOT like w/ suboxone. Addiction is a medical situation that needs to be treated by normal, well trained docs and meds dispensed at pharmacies t avoid conflict of interest like the for-profit clinics.
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