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|05-02-2010, 05:55 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Dayton, OH
Major Problems with methadone clinic...
I am just looking for some advice or support for my utter frustration. I can clearly say that the biggest possible hinderance to my sobriety is my methadone clinic. I have been there for over 4 yrs now and have been requesting a dose reduction for 2 1/2 of those yrs! I have remained 100% clean since the first day I took methadone, but now after completely turning my life around (including holding a great job for years and pursuing a masters degree) I am entirely fed up with methadone and my clinic.
I have been thru 5 counselors, half of which left there jobs after a couple of months, the other half were completely incompetent. One used to sit on his cell phone and flirt with girls during individual counseling sessions, the other would never speak a word to me unless she was asking the specific designated questions on her checklist. If I wanted to bring up the subject of getting off methadone she would completely ignore me and give me dirty looks. When I told her she was making me feel frustrated and uncomfortable she told me "that attitude won't get you anywhere", and continued to ignore me. The staff at my clinic is completely unapproachable and everyone treats you less than. There seems to be some power control issue with most of them. I have started to experience panic attacks when I go there in the mornings, and I can not get anyone to listen to me whole heartedly. I have been told 5 times that my dose would be reduced, once by the supervisor who assured me she would personally make sure it would happen. Not once did it go down. I finally have a decent counselor, but he has been trying to get me in to see the Dr for 3 months now for a consultation for a dose reduction. Everytime I see him though, he is up to his ears in paperwork, and just does not have the time to deal with my situation. I accidental missed my meeting with him last month, so that put me behind another month as well.
Another huge issue is the fact that sometimes it can take HOURS to get your dose. I came incredibly close to loosing my job a number of times and have known several ppl who have. Ironically, on my wedding day, they had a 4 hr wait. I tried to calmly explain my situation to see if I could get hurried thru the line, but it was met with nothing but rudeness and laughter that I even asked. I was late to my own wedding because of this clinic!
Sorry for the ranting, I just feel so helpless. I am positive this clinic does not care about anyones overall success, and I would take it as far as to say they make me feel less than human. I could write you a 10 page essay on the negative experiences I have had. I want to go above my clinic to get my dose reduced if necessary. Where do I turn for help when no one at my clinic will help me? I want to at least get reduced low enough to switch to suboxone from a private DR. I need out of this place, it is starting to impact my life as negatively as the pills did in the first place. There is no way I can survive another yr here.
|05-02-2010, 07:13 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Middle of MO
Welcome to the forum! I had trouble with my clinic, too. No one should ever be treated as you described! What steps have you taken to address all this?
First, I would make an appointment with the clinic medical director and discuss your troubles. If that doesn't help, contact the next level of administration for the clinic. If its private, contact the corporate office. Next would be to get in touch with your state's Dept of Health, find out who oversees the clinic system, and find out who to talk to.
You need to be systematic, courteous, and persistent. Start be writing down your problems, being as specific as possible about dates, names of clinic staff involved, and what you have done to address your problems. Call it a journal, but you need to be armed with this stuff as you start your quest. For example, if you meet with some administrator, and have nothing in writing, and no log of having done anything but vague bitching, don't expect a lot of sympathy. Don't start going over people's heads without first giving them a chance to hear your grievances.
|05-02-2010, 08:39 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
I certainly agree, this clinic is not operating in your best interests. Though many clinics do not urge or push patients to taper off methadone due to the extremely high relapse rate (90% within the first year), if a patient, being aware of this, still wishes to taper off, they MUST be supported and allowed to safely taper off. This is a part of the federal regulations.
I see you are from Ohio. I can tell you that Ohio is, unfortunately, one of the worst states in the country for methadone treatment. They have a very backwards attitude, overly restrictive rules and regs, overcrowded clinics, underdosed patients, you name it.
I would suggest firstly that you discuss it with the clinic director. If that does not result in an immediate order for you to begin your taper, I would file a grievance. I would also contact your state methadone authority:
Jerry L. Jones
Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services
280 North High St., 12th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Telephone: (614) 644-8442
Fax: (614) 644-5169
and let him know what is going on. They are there to help you.
You can also go to the National Assoc. of Methadone Advocates (NAMA-Recovery) website and contact them to see if there is a trained methadone advocate availabe in your area to assist you in this conflict.
Remember, the law says they MUST allow you to do a safe taper off methadone if that is your desire--they CANNOT refuse to do this.
Last edited by Dee74; 05-02-2010 at 08:46 PM. Reason: removed link
|05-02-2010, 08:51 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Dayton, OH
Thank you both very much for the information. I keep heavy records of everything I do there, and make counselors sign of on every meeting, group, etc. It saved me from administrative detox once because my counselor quit without recording any of my progress!
I really appreciate the contacts. I have tried to ask clinic staff for this info, and again it is met with the usual brush off. I don't want to bring the place down or anything, I just want my personal chance for success and sobriety without the stress of methadone.
|05-04-2010, 04:13 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Dayton, OH
Well it looks like I may not have to do all that just yet. I saw my counselor yesterday and he actually did do all my paperwork and got me approved for the reduction. I am supposed to be able to make an appt with the Dr. today. He also said they will be giving me an extra take home, so at least I will only have to go 4 days a week a now. We'll see today if its all empty promises or not.
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