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Old 04-08-2013, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Methadone clinic rules, regulations, policies question



Hello Everyone. I really need everybody who reads this to give me some advice or information. everybody knows something even if you think its something small i want to learn everything i can.
i am considering about fighting against a methadone clinic in Philadelphia. if your from philly you already know everyone says you cant fight a methadone clinic because they can do whatever they want. well im sick of it.
what do you think of this. someones on a methadone clinic for 3 years, never been in trouble.
get take home bottles and have had clean urine tests for 2 1/2 years. one day this person goes to get dosed and is on hold. so they go to the counselor and find out they are bring discharged because they got a magazine in the mail at the clinic in there name but in care of the counselors name. so the director gives this client the choice. if you go quietly and don't appeal or cause a fuss you can pick whatever clinic in philly you want to be transferred to but if you appeal or fight this we will give you a 21 day detox if you loose. and the detox starts the day you file the appeal. were going to give you 48 hours to decide.
so the client being scared to detox said, ok i will go quietly. the next day comes and the client goes in to get dosed and their told. the director decided to keep you hear even though you didn't appeal. we reviewed the case and saw the bill for the magazine was paid and that you have been getting mail here for 2 years. we are giving you a new counselor this is her name go meet with her.
a week goes by and the client goes to get dosed one day and is on hold again. the director meets with the client and says i reviewed the case a little more and i see that even though you were allowed to get mail here you were never told you could get it in care of your counselors name and i decided i am discharging you. and went on to explain the appeal process. the client said well if i don't appeal and go quietly don't i get the chance to pick the clinic i want to go to. the director said no that was the offer last week and its not the offer now. we will decide if we are going to transfer or detox you and if we transfer you we will decide where.
now this client who was clean for almost 3 years came home from that clinic high, not only that didn't go to work tonight and has locked herself in the bedroom since early this afternoon.
so now, i want to know. how do i fight this clinic, i had enough of them and the **** they are putting my family threw. i know once my wife feels better she will want to fight for herself too but i want to know every policy, every regulation every standard,for methadone clinics in Pennsylvania and Philly. I want to know every advocate, every organisation, every group who helps people on methadone when the clinics treat them badly. i would greatly appreciate any advice any of you might have.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey Steph. Welcome to the forum! All of this happened over a magazine? I guess I am confused a bit as to why someone has a magazine delivered to a clinic, but it must be because they sit in the waiting room quite a bit.

I am not lawyer so whatever I tell you would just be my best guess / opinion which in the end is not going to help you that much. Your best best would be to talk to a lawyer. I am sure clinics have a lot of leeway as to who they accept and rules for discharge and since they were offering to detox her it is most likely going to be an expensive and uphill battle for you. I doubt you can sue someone saying they made her relapse, but again this is just the opinion of an ex-junky.

Sorry you are going through this. I hope it gets resolved to your satisfaction. Take Care!
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thank you for your opinion. i don't even know if i want to sue the clinic. i guess what i was hoping for was to find some kind of rule or law that says what they are doing is wrong or against the rules this way i can go to the director and yell him either treat her right or were going to sue. i don't even know if that is what i an looking to do now that i re read it. i am just very upset at whats going on. over the last few years she has really made so many positive changes, now over a magazine coming to the clinic and them throwing her out like yesterdays trash i can already see our lives changing. i can not believe what is happening, i want to find a way to do something before this gets any worse. i know there has to be something wrong with what this clinic is doing. there just has to be some rule or law that has some type of guidelines that they have to follow. or what about a group of some kind who will stick up for people who believe they have been treated unfairly by a clinic. what about filing complaints. somebody has to be in charge of the clinic, who gives them their licence? everybody has to answer to somebody i just have to figure out who these clinics have to answer to and maybe i can start there.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Methadone clinics are highly bureaucratic and federally regulated. I'm also confused about this magazine...with the patient's and counselors name? How did that lead to detox and discharge? Is the patient being discharged now? I know where I used to dose my methadone, they would not allow any doctor or counselor to speak on your behalf to husband, friends, boyfriend, doctors, etc without a release of information form signed by the patient. Thing I also noticed at clinics was that they are so used to patients trying to get one over on the system. It's the nature of an opiate addict to try to scam or deceive to get drugs. We feind, and we'll do whatever it takes to stop jonesing, if only for a moment. Maybe it was a big misunderstanding since they told her she was going to be able to stay one week. Maybe she needs to make her case to them in writing.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for the reply, everybody seems to ask the same thing. Is there something more to the story. The answer is simple. No. Several clients including my wife get mail at the clinic. Some are homeless and don't have an address, some people like my wife just find it easy since she is there every day and where we live its on the outskirts and we have to go to the boxes about a block away to get to the mail boxes for our building.
She got mail there for a very long time, now she ordered a magazine, which she paid for. When it came to the clinic the counselor was concerned there would be a bill or some kind of financial responsibility on his part since it was addressed in care of him. This i can understand but it should have been handled two ways. One tell her no more mail here or two tell her to bring in the statement to prove it was paid in full. There is no reason for discharge. They have started to detox her and now we are three days into relapse, our oldest daughter asked me this morning if mom is going to get out of bed today.
I need to know how to get in contact with some kind of organisation or advocacy group. If i am going to fight this i cant do it alone.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Try putting your case in writing to the regional office. Did she get sent to another methadone clinic as you mentioned? You said 3 days into relapse? Meaning she's on opiates other than methadone? When I quit methadone, the fatigue killed me! I too, found getting out of bed difficult. When I did I had no energy. Detoxing opiates (including addiction maintenance opiates) is the worst.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply,
yes its heroin shes doing, when the kids are in bed for the night shes going down the way and getting what she wants. We are already fighting about it but i learned a long time ago no matter what i do i cant stop her if she wants it bad enough shes going to go get it somehow. To be honest i feel like if i just let her go there's no fighting sh goes and is back home in under a half hour, the kids don't see/hear us fighting. Shes not sneaking around. Hell i remember a time she said she was going to the corner store for a pack of smokes, two days later she came home high as a kite. I don't miss those days so for now if i am giving her 30 bucks to go for a half hour as inabeling as that is i just feel its easier on the rest of us this way for now.
We still don't know if they are discharging her or transferring her. The whole thing is a mess. Let me get an opinion on this.
When she went to the clinic years ago they gave her a counselor. She had the same counselor for a long time but about 9 months ago or so her counselor left the clinic and took a job at another clinic somewhere. When they were "investigating" if my wife had " official permission" to get mail at the clinic. The director of the program sent emails back and forth with this counselor who doesn't work at the clinic anymore. Apparently the counselor and the director are friends. So since my wife never gave permission for them to speak or email to each other nor did she sign a release form or anything. Is this breaking confidentiality? If so who can we report this to?
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Oops,

i forgot i wanted to ask you what is the regional office? The clinic is in philadelphia, pennsylvania.

Who would the regional office be?
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi there. That is a really terrible situation and it definitely sounds as if more is going on than what they are telling you. It makes no sense to discharge someone, and thrust them into unexpected withdrawals, over something so meaningless.

I would urge you to write everything very plainly and copy it and then hand deliver it to them. Make them give a written reason why they are doing this. I have heard that they do have a lot of bureaucratic b.s. and can follow their own rules but they must prove that your wife in some way broke the rules, knowingly, willingly and caused some harm to the clinic. My guess is they can't.

Maybe you could try to call or visit other clinics in your area, or even in another large city and ask them for advice. You don't have to name any names but you could ask if they maybe had some understanding of why/how this could happen.

I am really sorry you are having to go through this and that it has caused your wife to relapse. It can be so frustrating to feel like those of us who struggle with addiction can just be tossed around and thrown out like this. It is not right.

One other suggestion--could your wife try going on suboxone instead? Usually that is obtained through an individual doctor rather than a clinic and they don't have all of the crazy rules and regulations, they are often a lot more humane. You can look up a list of suboxone providers at Home.

Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you for your advice. Things here are just getting worse and worse. One good thing i found out is they are going to transfer my wife to another clinic instead of detoxing her further. I am worried about her dice and what will happen until the new clinic gets her stable. they began a 14 day detox and she was on 230mg. we are already 7 or 8 days into the detox so shes already down to half her dose or less and believe me she is feeling the detox. I looked into the clinic they are transferring her to and its going to be very hard for her and our family to get used to. she will have to do iop, that is three hours a day Monday to Friday as well as seeing a therapist for 2 hours a week. on top of a bus,train, bus ride that will take about 1 1/2 hours each way to and from the clinic. this is going to be an uphill battle. I am doing all i can to fight this clinic and file all the complaints i can, i still plan to continue even after they transfer her. I can't just sit back and let this happen, i need to try to fight for my wife and my family not over a magazine.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am so glad that your wife is going to be able to continue on with the methadone though I am sorry it is going to be so difficult. I truly hope you can get some resolution with the clinic over what they did to her, it's not right and hopefully they will try to fix it. Take care and keep letting us know how it goes.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you for your reply. I will continue to frequent this site. I have learned quite a bit in the past week reading the posts and i know once my wife gets back on track she would like to be involved with this site too. It is nice to be able to speak to other people who know where your coming from without having any stigma about being on methadone and without anybody judging me or my wife. I appreciate all the posts and replys. Thank you everybody.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I just read the new posts and this is a very trying time for you and your daughters. I'm very sorry for the struggle you are having with a heroin addict whom you love. I'm sorry I haven't been on in a while because of unexpected life issues.

1) I am not sure if all clinics have a regional office. Mine did. You can Google the clinic's name and see if there is an official site linking to other states or cities. If so there should be a phone # you can call.

2) I agree with Lyoness, there is more than meets the eye when referring to her discharge. When I first started going to the clinic, there were long lines and about of people. Then they started cracking down on those who had dirty UAs threatening quick detox and discharge. About 6-9 months in they started taking things away so us junkies couldn't take advantage. Example: they removed the trash cans out of the room, after giving the little stack of cups to the nurses behind a window for them to give us. Finally, the pure water dispenser was moved behind the window as well for them to dispense cups, water and our dose. After the dirty UA folks were discharged, they remodeled and it became much more clean and shorter lines. But still it's a bureaucratic place. We had to play the game.

3) As long as a dope addict is addicted, they will lie to get their fix. I'm quite sure you are painfully aware of this fact but the reason I say that is perhaps there are truths your wife isn't telling you about her discharge. Please forgive my bluntness I only want you be aware she may be telling lies to get high, little by little. Also forgive me if this isn't the case.

4) There is a very fine line between enabling and loving. Many times, the line in the sand gets pushed further and further because it becomes the drug who is talking, taking, pushing and needing. I understand you not wanting to fight. this is a slippery slope.

5) Has your wife done her intake at this further away clinic? I'm praying for you, your wife and family. If your wife ever decides to come to this forum, please let her know I can offer my whole hearted help. I've been clean of methadone since 3/5/13, and clean from shooting up heroin since 4/29/13 (almost a year). It can be done. My family and I are still healing and growing from this mess. I'm still with my husband, who used heroin as well. He's detoxing from 160mg, he's at 10mg going down a couple mg or 1 per week or every 10 days. I was at 150mgs.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Edit: clean of shooting heroin since 4/29/12
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Smile Omg!! This week

Please forgive me this computer is stuck in caps lock again.

Well the clinic my wife goes to was planning on transferring her and discharging her. Those of you following my post know that the clinic said they were sending her to another clinic. Well all the research i did paid off. I found someone who is from the state who over sees licensing and policy and she got all my wife's records and saw that the clinic has no grounds to discharge, transfer or detox her for these reasons. This women really got involved and stopped the whole thing. In the past three days she got the clinic to give my wife an apology, a new counselor, re-instated her to the clinic and raised her dose to where it was before they began detoxing her. I am so very happy. She is already a whole new person so different form how she was last week. I don't care what anyone says this methadone is a miracle medication. I know therapy and other resources are also involved but this medication truly is what my wife needs and what our family needs. I believe it is the exact same thing as a diabetic needing insulin. I am soooo happy my wife is back and my kids are smiling from ear to ear..
My advice to everyone else
if the clinics are doing something that doesn't make sense, if it doesn't seem or feel right,or if every time you tell the story to someone they say threes got to be more, then something is wrong and you have to find a way to fight.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm really glad to hear that she's back in! I commend you for pulling the strings using the person@ the state licensing of methadone clinics. Methadone saved my life, quite literally! Great news!
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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That is wonderful news steph! Kudos to you for pursuing this and finding out the truth and actually having a positive and just outcome--and a life saved! Your actions will inspire others who might find themselves in a similar situation.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Me too!!

I'm also having trouble with a clinic here in PA. Who was it you talked to from the state that was able to help? Please send me their contact info. It's an emergency at this point. Thank you so much for sharing your story... if I wouldn't have found this site, I don't know what I would have done...
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Lovetotravel it's been awhile since I've seen this poster. So sorry about your situation! If you post your story in the sub abuse forum too, you might get a few more replies. It's a little busier than this one. The op probably solved the problem but hasn't been on to update his thread. There might be someone else from PA that can help you! Good luck and I hope you find some help!
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow. So if I want to screw with someone all I have to do is order a magazine and have it sent to their clinic and they are hosed?!? Sounds a bit like a god complex with these lower than life scum wads. If I had the cash not only would
I sue the clinic I would personally sue everyone involved in hopes that I would cause them a financial burden. If I had friends in the IRS I would be sure each of them were audited. I would then find a way to get their cell phone numbers and sign up for every sleazy siding and time share promo I could come up with. To make those kinds of trouble for someone that is truely trying to fight for their life is low.

I would do everything legal to make their life not worth living.
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