Suboxone use and the Boards of Nursing

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    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 diversion/alternative to discipline programs for addicted nurses to use buprenorphine as part of their treatment plan? My first reaction would be that they would not approve of it and would actually state that if a nurse is using Suboxone/Subutex they would be practicing in violation of their Nurse Practice Act. But I don't know that for a fact. I believe that buprenorphine is saving many lives right now of opiate addicted them a much better chance at sustained recovery over the long term. It does not affect the mood, produces no euphoria and in fact, in my opinion, provides a good safety net against relapse. While on bupe, the opiate receptors are loaded and taking a full agonist opiate will provide no high to the user, thereby taking away the obsession to use. There are just so many good things about this treatment modality that I cannot believe it is not more widely accepted amongst the Boards of Nursing. I have heard that most if not all, BONs prohibit its use, but I'd like to know if anyone knows that to be a fact, either by their own experience or by reading about it somewhere. I'd appreciate any responses. Thanks a lot!

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  2. 27 Comments...

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    I know for a fact that the Florida Board and likewise, the Fl IPN does NOT allow the use of Suboxone or any derivative of buprenorphine.

    This is substituting one addictive drug for another...if you don't believe it is addictive, try stopping it and see what happens.........

    I have passionate feelings about Suboxone-I have written extensively on the subject of my own experience with it. If interested, see the thread on "Suboxone-why are so many people against it"--or something like that.

    Again, this is my personal experience, not conjecture.

    I do not believe that you can be in recovery if using suboxone and the withdrawal from it was far worse than withdrawal from MS or Oxycontin.

    I do not want to reiterate what I have already written about-on several threads-all in this forum.
    Again, if interested-you can easily find them and I hope you do.

    I am sorry, but I don't think that you "are free" re: your name after you read about what I went through, maybe you will rethink that.

    LilRedRN1973 likes this.
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    Thank you for your reply SWS. In fact, I had read your other posts about bupe before posting my question, so I understand your feelings about the drug. I'm glad you are doing well in your recovery....congrats on all your progress! It's a rough road indeed. As far as my username, it really has little to do with what medications I may or may not be taking. Rather it has to do with the freedom I feel in my personal journey of recovery.
    I didn't open this thread to begin a debate about buprenophine. There are plenty of other places online to do that. I probably should have left my opinions about it out of my post. My real goal was to gather information about whether or not the BONs would accept its use in recovery.
    I thank you letting me know Florida's stance. Hopefully some others will chime in about their states.
    Thanks again and all the best to you!
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    Sorry guys...I haven't used this forum much and apparently I'm not allowed to PM members yet because I don't have enough posts. I just wanted to let 'smitty' know I got his PM and that I appreciate it. I read a few of your other posts on the forum and I'd like to have an opportunity to talk with you more. It sounds like you've got quite a history, as most of us in recovery do! Anyway...mostly just wanted you to know I got your PM and say thanks. (hopefully you'll see this post!)
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    I am not a believer in Suboxone, only because I was placed on it and had a bad reaction to it. But with that said.

    I do know of 2 nurse's that are on Suboxone, in the Florida IPN program and currently working as a Nurse. The Suboxone was written into their contracts along with a Quarterly Medical Management check ups. Both of these nurse's have been on Suboxone for a year or so now. Both of these nurse's also had major addiction issue's and had been using for a great period of time.

    In all honest the only person who can really answer this question with a 100% for sure would be DOH, FBON, or IPN.

    That is where I would start.
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    I was allowed to use Suboxone while in Michigan's HPRP. I don't recommend it. At the time I thought they were doing me a favor, but in all honesty they were only prolonging my dependence on pain meds.
    LilRedRN1973, lifeistweet, and SWS RN like this.
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    Thank you very much for your reply. I hope the replies keep coming in as this is of interest to me. How are you doing now, All Over Again? I hope you've done well in your recovery. Actually, that's all I wish for anyone who has battled addiction. It's a tough road whether you use medication-assisted recovery or abstinence-based recovery, that's for sure.
    Anyway, thank you again for your reply.
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    I know that in Texas the program has a strict abstinance from all substances that have or might even be slightly related to having any kind of mood altering affect. Even Immodium is on the list of drugs not to take, because .. well,, it is a very distant cousin to a narcotic antidiarrhea. I think. No benadryl, no nyquil, no diet pills, .. you name it and it is probably a no no. SO, I KNOW that suboxone is on that No list.
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    Thank you so much for your reply, Mag! I'm not far from you.....Oklahoma! Yeah our BON has lots and lots of meds on the NO list too. Only a few are on the YES list....Tylenol, Advil and Aleve.....pretty much that's it!! Not even Benedryl or Imodium or Sudafed either! Real sticklers us OKies! A complete adstinence program with very few exceptions.
    I'm so glad to be getting a few replies. Would love to see more. Thanks everybody!
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    New Mexico Board of Nursing allows it. Truthfully I don't know why anyone wouldn't allow it. It's safer than working with someone who is active in their addiction. It's sometimes not the known you have to worry about but the unknown. The NM BON cannot prescribe, diagnose, or treat. If you are on suboxone or other prescriptions they may require compliance monitoring if not already in a diversion program but they don't prohibit it.

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