I never heard of "fit for duty". What a croc!!!! Why is that not a HIPPA? If the dr. states that it does not impair you than that should be sufficient.
I am not an addict, but I have a daughter in recovery. She was in methadone treatment for years. She kept trying to wean. The withdrawal lasts really long from methadone. I think that suboxone is slightly shorter withdrawal. She weaned over to suboxone a few years ago. Then, she relapsed and told me that suboxone did not work for her. She told me that she needed the structure of daily dosing at clinic.
She got a DUI, after pulling out of parking lot of clinic. Cop was watching her and followed her. She was guilty of speeding. Anyways, she admitted to dosing at the clinic. Took her to hospital for lab draws. She was only positive for methadone, but was still charged with DUI.
My daughter was involuntarily detoxed while being in jail just two months ago. She was cited for driving while license was suspended. She was given a sentence of 60 days house arrest with work release. Unfortunately, she could not refrain from the pot. When she went to report for house arrest, she was positive for THC. She did not stop to think they may drug test her. Silly girl!
The blessing in disguise was that she was sentenced to do her time in jail until she tested clean. It took 30 days. During that time she went through awful withdrawal. I am proud of her for making decision to not to return to the clinic, once released from jail. She served the rest of time on house arrest. She said that she never wants to go through the hell of methadone withdrawal again.
That is why people remain on it for so long. They can not live a functional, productive life without it. People need to work, and can't go through withdrawal and function. Methadone withdrawal lasts a long time. The long half life makes it hell to get off the drug.
I always wondered why people were on it for years, too.
I just found out that my son is an IV heroin addict. My daughter is in recovery, and my son is a heroin addict. My ex was an opiate addict. Actually, a heroin IV addict, too. He had liver cancer. He had a liver transplant and is doing okay for the liver. It breaks my heart that my son is following his dad's footsteps. Drug addiction is bad enough, but IV use is just adding a whole new list of complications.
Kudos to all of you in recovery!!!
And, FWIW, I don't think methadone impairs a person. It helps people live a functional life. OTOH, it is hard on the body, as any drug is. And, it is hell to get off of it.