Suboxone use and the Boards of Nursing - page 3

by imfree 14,692 Views | 27 Comments

Does anyone here know, with any degree of certainty, how the various State Boards of Nursing view the use of Buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex) for opiate dependence and/or addiction? Do they allow nurses who are in... Read More


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    wow..glad I found this site. I am a RN who surrendered my license abt. 10 years ago because of a terrible addiction to pain pills that has almost cost me my life on more than one occasion, I am talking abt. coding in the ER. I have been on suboxin for a second time for a little over a year now, down to 1 mg a day plus a butrans 10mcg/hr patch. I am wanting to go back to nursing really bad and I feel like it is time. But suboxin has saved my life and I don't want to give it up. I live in Wisconsin, anyone know abt. the Wisconsin BON? I am scared to even call them, should I be honest or be quiet and take a chance on a positive screen ruining me?
  2. 0
    Quote from Gina Renee
    should I...be quiet and take a chance on a positive screen ruining me?
    No no no no NO.

    Sure, there's a chance you could get away with it. But if you tested positive, first you may not get the opportunity to explain your innocence. Second, if they do let you explain it...if you don't disclose the suboxone use and then try to address a positive test after the fact, you have to convince them that you have not relapsed...and unfortunately, as a nurse in recovery your credibility is often shaky to begin with. It's not always fair but that's how it is

    I would call them and ask. If you are too scared to call, send them an e-mail...and if you're really scared, send then an anonymous e-mail. After all, the worst they can tell you is "No"...which is a lot better than gambling on a UDS.

    You've worked this hard in your recovery...you've done a lot harder things in recovery than making a phone call. You can do it

    Best of luck!
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    thanks so much for the info and advice! I am gonna do this! not sure how yet! will keep you posted.
  4. 0
    Quote from Gina Renee
    thanks so much for the info and advice! I am gonna do this! not sure how yet! will keep you posted.
    http://www.drl.state.wi.us/

    Specially, the BON site is here: http://drl.wi.gov/board_detail.asp?boardid=42&locid=0

    I vote for the anonymous e-mail route. If you need to, get a free gmail or yahoo account to do it with.
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    faithnow, may i ask the vincinity in VA where you were able to find employment. I am having a horrible time trying to find employment now that I am involved with the VRP program in PA. I am also not sure how to approach the subjuct with perspective employers? Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated......thank you
    Last edit by RNinPA1 on Dec 10, '11 : Reason: misspellings
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    I have been and addict since 1999. I was given a dx of fibromyalgia (this is not a fake disease, it is however an over used dx by many lazy physicians) after extensive testing in 1995 and initially treated with pain meds, which I did not abuse. Over the course of 4 years I was lucky enough to get hooked up with a doc who did not believe in narcs for fibromyalgia but physiotherapy instead. He weaned me to Tramadol (later also found to be addictive :<). Then in mid 1999 I broke two ribs, had a partial collapsed lung and bruised my kidney. Did I mention I'm very type A? I was supervisor of three cardiac units at the time, a 40 bed Telemetry unit, a 15 bed CCU and a 10 bed CVICU (Cardio Vascular ICU - which was also my home unit). I refused a chest tube and I refused to take time off. So the next day I'm back to work doped up on Percocet. Little did I know I that my brain has the disease of addiction, inherited from my father who was maintained on narcs for many years due to injuries obtained in Korea and toward the end of his life added alcohol to the mix for better effect. So....I felt so great and powerful on the narcs that I did not want to give them up. In 1999 I was finally busted for diverting pills. Now it's 2013....after relapses in 2001, 2003 and 2010; 3 outpt. recovery groups, 2 inpt. stays, one psych hospital after an attempted suicide in 2010 I was placed on Suboxone (at the psych hospital) and my life today is better than it has been since 1994 (the beginning of my fibromyalgia pain). Yes I still have some pain which I take advil for, no I'm not all dopey and sleepy and angry. The Suboxone has completely removed any cravings (and if it did not for others it's because the dosing was too low). This med literally saved my life because my suicide attempt was because I was sure I could never be an RN again because I would never lose the cravings that had been a part of my life since 1999, even though I had thrown myself whole heartedly into recovery. I had a great sponsor, I was super active in a 12 step group, I did my steps twice very thoroughly, I went to meetings every day for five years!!! Now, 3 years later, between the Suboxone and extensive talk therapy (I also have PTSD from a rape at 5 yrs. old) I have a great life and want my Nurses license back but our Board of Nursing is just considering it this year. I've read your comments and some I agree with while others I find ignorant, especially from RN's who should not only be more educated but more empathetic. Yes, it's a synthetic narcotic that you will have withdrawal from (duh) but it's the way it works that makes it perfect for addicts and/or those with chronic pain. It doesn't give you a euphoric effect like narcotics and three tabs a day is the max dose because at that point all of the receptors are covered and taking anymore is like drinking water. When all the receptors are covered your addict brain says "Oh, OK..I feel great." and you don't have cravings!!! The withdrawal is worse than other opioids because of it's long half life. Suboxone also has Naloxone in it which blocks opioids (come on people, do your homework). Does it get abused, what doesn't? Jeez, kids are swallowing teaspoons of cinnamon for a high. But, the majority of people are like me who do this thing right and deserve to do what we think is our life's mission and that is to care for people who are sick and injured and need the care of a Type A RN with a boatload of empathy and infinite love for her patient's and her profession.
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    epocrates: best of luck to you!!! i have absolutely no idea what your BON will say or do- but i hope it works out for you!!
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    FYI-the Naloxone in Suboxone is not absorbed into the system. It is simply in the combination drug to keep people for shooting it up. Otherwise you actually absorb little to none. It's the Buprenorphine itself that has such an affinity for the mu receptor it can't be bumped off by 99.9% of opiates. So, the naloxone doesn't keep you from feeling the effects of opiates, or make you sick, it's the affinity of the buprenorphine to hold tight. If you were to take buprenorphine without naloxone whilst having opiates on board it would kick whatever opiate you've taken off the receptor and take it's place. that's why you cannot start someone on Subutex, or Suboxone until they are in full withdrawal.


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