Why Can’t Suboxone Be Replaced if Lost?

We all lose things now and again. I know because I’ve lost my keys many times. People lose their medications. It happens. But, Suboxone isn’t a medication you want to lose.

If you are attempting to get sober from opiates, you know how difficult it is. The withdrawal stage can be physically and emotionally turbulent. This will be one of the most vulnerable times in a person’s life. It is a time when they attempt to part from the drug that they have likely been living for. They’ve been waking up every day in need of its effects. They dream about using it. This isn’t an easy stuff. In fact, it is extremely difficult stuff.

Suboxone is a part of a medically assisted treatment program (MAT) for opioid use disorders. Individuals use it in combination with extensive mental health and behavioral health supports such as individual and group therapy. They use it under the supervision of a certified physician who they must see regularly. That physician is responsible for the regular administration of the medication and the impact that it has. Ultimately, the person is responsible for using it correctly and staying sober from any other drugs or alcohol.

There are many life impacts that using drugs can have. Many people who abuse drugs, such as opiates, lose their employment, housing, and stable relationships. They may end up homeless or couch surfing. They may be living in shelters or other temporary housing situations. There is no denying that using drugs can take your life from you. Many people who used successful and functional humans have to start over when they decide to get sober because there was a great deal of loss as related to their substance use.

When these drugs impact our functional status so much, you can imagine that people may not be at their best when using Suboxone as a way to get sober. In fact, most people probably report this time is near their rock bottom. They are climbing their way back into recovery.

These difficult times mean that often a person could struggle to keep track of their life: their appointments, their things, and, their medication.
If a person loses their Suboxone, they are generally out of luck and cannot get it refilled until its plan refill date. Why?

This may seem cruel because it is so needed for ensuring sobriety, but doctor’s who are certified to give Suboxone cannot just replace lost or stolen Suboxone. There’s no way for them to guarantee that the individual isn’t attempting to take more than they should, selling it to other people, or giving it away. It is the responsibility of the individual using the Suboxone to keep it in their possession, take it at its scheduled times, and ensure proper use.

The doctors cannot ensure this. So, if they cannot guarantee it isn’t being misused, they cannot replace it. It is written into the contract when using Suboxone that the individual is responsible for safely storing the medication, ensuring nobody but the individual takes it and that they will not get a replacement if the physician refuses to offer one.
While this may seem harsh, it is necessary to ensure the proper use of Suboxone in medically assisted treatment programs.

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