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Schoppy

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Posts: 3 Member Since: 09/19/14

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Sep 19 14 9:22 AM

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Hello everyone.

I am a French student who just returned in University to study philosophy at 35 years old, after a rather chaotic path. I am medicated with methadone and Alprazolam at rather high dosages (120 mg/day methadone and 3mg/ day Alprazolam) since almost 10 years, and I am very stable. One could say I'm a "functioning addict". Currently in my second year at University (I successfully graduated my first year with mention), I have the opportunity to go study in the USA during my third year, normally in Boston.

My question is about methadone delivery protocol in the US.
As you can guess from what I said above, it is absolutely out of the question for me to quit next year; my treatment is a medical necessity.

Here in France, I have to go search a new Rx at my doctor's every 14 days, and the Pharmacy then gives me 14 days of methadone treatment (that is, 28 x 60mg vials).
I wanted to know about the usual protocol for getting my methadone while in the US.Of course, my doctor, and, if needed, my pharmacist, can provide every needed paperwork / Rx / declaration / proof that I need this treatment.
However, as I will be studying, that is, lead an extremely busy life, I really cannot allow myself to go and take my treatment in a "methadone center" every day like I saw in many videos. So I need to know if it is possible, with any needed paperwork or doctor habilitation, to get my treatment like I get it now in France, that is, to have the doctor and the pharmacist allowing me to go and search my treatment every two weeks or so, because I just won't have the time to go in a methadone center daily before going to College every day. I absolutely need to have my treatment regularly, as I will be extremely busy.

I realize it may greatly vary from state to state, but I will probably go for Boston, or perhaps Nebraska, Texas or Kansas.
Any information you may have, as a user or as a practicioner or anyone, whatever your state is, will help me a lot.


Thanks in advance to everyone.

Last Edited By: Schoppy Sep 19 14 10:29 AM. Edited 1 time

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sapphire76

Posts: 3,678 Member Since:02/22/10

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Sep 20 14 3:56 AM

Ok, firstly, in the US you cannot get a regular GP to prescribe methadone for you for addiction treatment, that is not allowed for anyone, US citizen or not. Secondly, as you would likely have to join a methadone clinic as a brand new patient, they would mostly likely want you to go daily to dose. I know that you could provide history from your doctor in France that you have been giving drug free screens, but as you'd be a new patient in the US, I think that they would probably insist on you dosing on a daily basis to start with.

The dose that you're currently on (120mg) is not considered a high dose in the US, so you should have no problem with getting a clinic to give you that.

You would have to register with either a GpP or psychiatrist in the US to get the Alprazolam (and a US doctor or psychiatrist might consider 3mg of Alprazolam a day a large dose and be unwilling to prescribe that amount), as the clinic would not prescribe that.
The problem you might have here, is that in the US, some clinics will not allow you to be on any form of benzodiazepine and methadone. The clinics that do allow you to stay on both medications often have the rule that if you want to stay on both, that you have to always daily dose, you would not get take home doses.

I think that your best way forward would be to decide exactly where in the US you are going to be going, so that you can find out what the state rules are regarding methadone and take home doses when a patient is also prescribed a benzodiazepine (Alprazolam).

Then you would need to contact clinics in that area, and fnd out firstly if they would even accept you as a patient (some have waiting lists, so you may not be able to get in straight away) and also contacting doctors in that area to see if they would take you on as a patient whilst you're in the US to continue your Alprazolam prescription.

You will also need to take into acount that in some states, methadone treatment can cost as much as $400 a month which is about 312 Euros each month, plus you'd have to pay the doctor each month for the prescribing of the Alprazolam.

So, once you've decided which state that you wish to go to, I suggest doing the above, and then possibly doing something like contacting NAMA, a national US advocacy agency for patients in MMT, as they will be able to help in detail with the state guidelines.

This is a link to their webpage, and the directory of contact details;  http://methadone.org/chapters_and_affiliates.html

 

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