Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

To provide a better understanding of the very important role methadone plays in the treatment of addiction.
 
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 Can I be fired for being on Methadone?

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Bacon24



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PostSubject: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:59 pm

I've been on methadone for a year now and the company I work for just hired a company to do all of our Ua's.
I was given a UA last week and today I received a call from a Dr. Teynor who was very curious and demanding actually.
He wanted to know all the facts.
I didn't really mind him asking general questions but he then asked me what my dose was.
I really don't think he has a right to ask that.
I refused to tell him, then he got rude.
He said if he decides I'm a danger at work then he will give me a "fail"
Now I'm a little worried.
Can anyone give me some facts about this?
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:32 pm

Good morning,
The amount of Methadone that you take should not have anything to do with this.
I can't say this enough, no two people are alike. I get really irritated when people judge people by the amount of Methadone they take. Some people require a higher doses than others.
Take me for example, before switching over to Suboxone I was taking 40mg of methadone for four years. 40mg a day was fine for me. I know people who are on much higher doses and people who are on lower doses. WE all do fine. The point is, you cannot judge someones ability by their dose. That is completely wrong.

Your clinic can write a letter providing information as to your successful and compliant participation in the program that you are attending.
The ADA requires employers to make individualized assessments about an individuals ability to do the job.
Private employers with 15 or more employees and State and Local Government employers must comply with the American with Disabilities Act. (ADA)
Please see the attached information below.







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knowurights.pdf
Know your Rights
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"I will let yesterday end so that today can begin"



Never take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider
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Bacon24



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Job/hobbies : Snow boarding, spending time with my children. They are the most important thing to me in the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:29 pm

Thank you for responding. I can't get a hold of anyone to talk to.
When it comes to my job I get really stressed because I have a small family to support.
I'm doing everything I'm suppose to be doing and someone wants to make me feel guilty for being on methadone.
I'm not going to lie, I feel ashamed to be on it.
It's because of things like this that make me feel that way.
I'm definitely grateful to not be using street drugs.
I'm a mess over it.
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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:43 pm

Bacon,
FIRST! you have NOTHING to be ashamed of. I know this is easier said than done, because I too feel shame at times, but you are doing something far better than you would be if you weren't on methadone. You are at least trying to help yourself and stay off the street drugs so try to remember that. I know it is easier to not bring it up than to try and justify yourself to other ppl (again, something we shouldn't have to do) but please don't beat yourself up about being on methadone.

Dee has given you the best advice and said exactly what I would have said also. All you need to do is get a letter from you clinic saying you are stable and have been stable and compliant.

I don't think the doc at your job has a right to know what dose you are on because whatever dose your clinic has you on is NOT going to affect your driving, working or any other activity.

I also think if they do keep hassling you over it after you provide them w/the necessary information from your clinic, then I would consider seeking legal action. Again, as Dee told you, it is against the Americans with Disablities Act (matter of fact, I just posted an article where a woman won her case........click this link http://methadone.forumotion.net/t789-company-to-pay-85000-over-rejected-applicant )
they can't do you like that.


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

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If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:48 pm

PS: In the attachment Dee gave you on "Know Your Rights" pay special attention to the bottom section on page 8. It says..........

• Employers may not fire or refuse to hire any job applicant
or employee solely because a drug test reveals the presence
of a lawfully used medication (such as methadone).


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
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Bacon24



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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:09 pm

Thanks again for the reply, it's good to know that there are people out there that understand what I'm dealing with.
I asked my HR department why my dosage was a concern.
Her reply to me was that the consulting firm they had contracted told her it was so they could "check my levels"
Can they check my methadone levels with one Urine sample? Can they even check my levels with a ua?
They want to be sure I'm not taking more than my prescribed dose.
Isn't tht what I pay the clinic to be sure of?
I guess they won't just take the word of my counsellor that I'm in compliant with the program.
I did in fact have my clinic write a letter stating I was currently enrolled in a methadone program.
I didn't have the clinic include my dosage.
My counsellor said and I agreed that it really isn't their business.
I may have to defend that stance.
I would just as soon disclose my dosage than get fired, but I want to at least try to fight for my privacy rights.
I don't really have the luxury of standing my ground.
I have two young children at home to think about.
What are your thoughts on this?
My dose could be perceived to be too high by someone uneducated in the matter.
I really don't want to give them the impression that I'm trying to hide something.
Thanks a bunch
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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:56 pm

I don't think it's their business at all what your dose is. Your clinic is the one who is keeping up w/your "compliance" and as to if they can tell how much methadone you are taking by a blood or urine sample the answer is NO! Each person metabolizes methadone differently. One person on 25mg may have the same amount of methadone in their blood or urine sample as one on 300mg. So that is BULL that your work needs to know your dose so they can "check if you are taking more than you are suppose to or not". And again, each person is different and they may show just as much methadone in their blood or urine sample as someone else who is on a different dose. Not to mention, depending on how long after your dose you take this "blood or urine" sample also has a lot to do with how much is showing up in the sample as well. That is what is shown in a peak and trough! At different times of the day your levels may be higher or lower so I don't know what they think they are going to be able to learn.

I would talk w/your clinic doc, (he or she seems like a really good doc and your clinic staff as well) and maybe he/she (or the clinic nurse) can call and explain this to whomever it is that is handling this.

I will also in the mean time do some more research for you and see what I can find out about how much info you do have to disclose to them. According to the link Dee gave you for the KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, it doesn't go into that much detail. However, it also give contact info of someone you may can call and ask these questions to.

Employment: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
(EEOC). Call (800) 669-4000 (voice) or (800) 669-6820
(TTY) or visit http://eeoc.gov/facts/howtofil.html

I would be willing to do it for you anonymously but they may ask questions that only you have the answers to. If it was me, I would call and ask them and speak off the record or anonymously until you decide how to proceed with things.


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
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Bacon24



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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:56 am

I would really appreciate any information about that as possible.
Like I said, I don't really have the luxury of testing my employers resolve when it comes to this, especially if I don't know what my rights are.
If I knew without a doubt I could refuse without reprisal I would.
I can't imagine the look on my son's face if I had to tell him I no longer work here.
I do have a ton of respect for what you people are accomplishing with this forum. It's like an entire support group has opened up for me. I'm not alone. At last.
Thanks again.
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:43 pm

You are DEFINATELY NOT alone anymore. No matter what, don't forget that.

I would call the EEOC number I gave you and ask them. I spoke w/my clinic this AM and I also have a person familiar with disability law who both say it is NONE of the employers business what your dose is. They have a right to know that you are on MMT and if you are stable or not and they have the right to keep drug testing you to make sure you stay clean of all other drugs, but they both said it is NONE of their business what your dose is. Even if they did test you to see how much methadone you have in your system, we all know that even MMT clinic docs have a hard time knowing how to read these types of test so the employers doc thinking that he would know better than your own MMT clinic is just crazy.

On the other hand, I also heard from another source that your employer can ask your dose and such. SO again, I think the best thing to do would be to contact the EEOC and start there asking your questions, if they can't tell you for sure, surely they can get you to the right agency or person who can tell you for sure.


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
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Bacon24



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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:17 pm

I had to tell him my dosage. Like I said I relly don't have the luxury to stand my ground. I can't go even one day without being unemployed.
He was very threatening and is clearly trying to intimidate me.
I'm hoping I can get help from some of you to find out if he just violated my rights. i'd love to have him brought before a medical review board.
The doctor at my clinic believes if he finds out my dose he'll be very biased toward me.
This A$$hole told me today that he wanted to know my dose to check my levels.
I told him that was a crock of sh**. He stood his ground and said that was exactly why he wante to know.
If that were really true then I'm ok with it because I don't take more than I should.
It doesn't sound right though because he doesn't know when I take my dose, When I gave my ua and how my body metabolizes it.
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:00 pm

Unfortunately, I can't tell you with any degree of certainty if he violated your rights or not, (You would THINK SO!) and I don't think anyone else here on the forum can tell you that with a 100% degree of certainty either. That's why I suggest you contact the EEOC, they can tell you if he did or not. This is their department and you can speak to them off the record and probably don't even have to give your name unless you find out that he did violate your rights and you want to persue a complaint. Either that or I would contact an attorney yourself, most don't charge for a consult. I would contact the EEOC first, that way you can hear it straight from the one who knows for certain if this is the case or not. You may can even check the website from the link I gave you above, you might could just email them and ask, but to maintain your anonymous status, a phone call may be best.

Employment: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
(EEOC). Call (800) 669-4000 (voice) or (800) 669-6820
(TTY) or visit http://eeoc.gov/facts/howtofil.html



Good luck and keep us posted.


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
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Digmon



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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:02 pm

Man I hope things work out for you. If you still don't have the answers u need try this web page, I've used it be4, that's how I know about it. It was a big help to me. O, and it's no way he can check the level of methadone in your body from a Ua, you can only check levels with blood. Even then it's not easy.

http://www.justanswer.com/
Employee Law
Ask a Question, Get an Answer ASAP!

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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:51 am

The just answer.com site is a pretty good site but I had an experience with them in the past when I was having issues with my clinic doc interpreting my peak and trough test and they were unable to help me because they didn't have anyone to deal with this type of methadone question. Not to mention it cost $18 bucks to use the site and all you have to do is call the EEOC and get the info you are seeking for free! lol!

Actually Digimon, there is a way to check methadone levels via a UA. In this situation they are looking to see how much of the methadone metabolites are showing up in your body via urine. This can be used as an indicator of how much methadone you have been taking and/or processing. Next time you get your UA results to sign off on at your clinic, check it out. There is a section marked methadone metabolites and it should show positive if you are taking your methadone properly and this a level of the metabolized methadone in your system. It isn't as accurate as lets say a peak and trough blood serum test, but you can get a methadone metabolite level in a UA.


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:48 am

Hi! We in general hide, that we to metaDon - therapies even if go to the simple doctor that of - that the normal attitude to you would be simple do not speak! In general very difficultly with work in fact every day with 9 till 11 mornings it is necessary to come to hospital for metaDon and to whom such worker is necessary! At us very strong discrimination of addicts if it
Learn that at once the attitude to the person accordingly bad! But I hope, that shortly all will change! There was a law where the president and the state guarantees and without прерывность both recipes and house reception and social protection of patients! I wish all to us only good and less problems connected with reception MetaDon! Respectfully Denis
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:26 am

Yes I understand metabolites and ua's. Lol but I still stand by that it's no way he can tell what your dose is by a ua. scratch was just trying to help...


Last edited by Digimon81 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:08 am

I just talked to my clinics DR. He said a Ua can show levels of metabolites but that's no indicator of what your dose is. Say The day of your Ua you had heart burn and you took a prilosec it's would change how your body metabolizes your dose , and your methadone metabolites level could be 3 times as high as the day be4. So No, it's no way of finding what a persons dose is from a Ua. Even with a P&T you can't tell what the pts dose is. I was talking about in a diff post that me and a friend both had a P&T test done at our clinic, the test showed my levels a lot lower then hers but my dose was 180 and hers was 100. So going by the test u would think of the two of us I was the one on a lower dose. But anyway, I really hope you can get to the bottom of this, and ur able to keep your job. Ive heard of Dr.'s Flat out lying to ppl about drug test just to get the answer they want. A friend was told one time by a boss that if she had done any drugs in the last year she should just go a head and walk out because the mouth swab drug test he was going to do on her would show al the drugs she had done in the last year. She didn't know that it was a lie and mouth swab drug test only shows drugs used in the last 24 to 48 hours. She didn't take the test, she just walked out and lost her job. Well I wish I could be of more help, wish I knew more about your rights and what the laws are on all of this. Good Luck
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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:30 am

Digimon, I wasn't contradicting you on that point at all. Smile in your post you said "O, and it's no way he can check the level of methadone in your body from a UA, you can only check levels with blood. Even then it's not easy." In my responding post I never said you could tell the dose a person was on (you can't even do that from a peak and trough. A person on 35mg may show the same "levels" as a person on 200mg)

What I said was basically the same thing you are saying your doctor told you. You most certainly can get a level of how much methadone is being metabolized in the system via a UA, (again, that is not an indicator of dosage!) but it does give you an idea of the levels of methadone in the system and/or the levels of methadone that have been metabolized. Just like the peak and trough these numbers are not a sure fire way of judging if a person is overmedicated, undermedicated or what have you. So many things can alter the level or amount of metabolized methadone that it reports such as when you took your last dose, other medications (and even some food substances such as vitamin C) can affect how fast or slow you metabolize the methadone and thus making the level a higher or lower number, but it can at least give you a general idea of what is going on.


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
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lilgirllost
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Number of posts : 863
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Location : live in Louisiana but attend MMT clinic in Tx
Job/hobbies : COUPONING & GEOCACHING are my favorite past times but I also love reading and spending time with my husband and kids
Humor : I don't have a sense of humor.............
Registration date : 2009-05-25

PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:55 am

BACON24, I forgot to mention in my last post that I went ahead and emailed the EEOC. They have referred me to the Dept of Labor so I contacted them via email and will let you know what they say about it when I hear back from them.


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:04 am

Hi! What all таки at you the wise country America! The most important and, that is pleasant it more as the social system and as human rights are protected works for you! Though also I read, that there are problems and at you, BUT!, it so is not essential in comparison with problems in sew to the country! I wish to wish all of you to solve and be терпимей and to be above developed
Problems! Success all of you! Den
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:03 pm

RuthAnn No I didn't think you was. Surprised And no you didn't say you could tell the dose a person was on,well not in those words. but you did say there is a way to check methadone levels via a Ua. In this situation they are looking to see how much of the methadone metabolites are showing up in your body via urine. This can be used as an indicator of how much methadone you have been taking. I just thought that was a lil misleading, really the only thing you can tell from the levels of metabolites is that someone is taken methadone. There are so many things that can change how a person metabolizes methadone that one Ua showing any level of metabolites could mean someone has taking 5mg or 500mg of methadone. Well I know you understand all this and I understand all this, but trying to explain it in a short post can be hard.lol I just would hate for anybody to be bullied into telling there employer what mg there dose is out of fear that they could tell from a Ua. And I think that's what it sounds like that Dr is trying to do, just bully him into telling him. As long as he is not overmedicated I think/hope everything will be ok.
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lilgirllost
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Female
Number of posts : 863
Age : 43
Location : live in Louisiana but attend MMT clinic in Tx
Job/hobbies : COUPONING & GEOCACHING are my favorite past times but I also love reading and spending time with my husband and kids
Humor : I don't have a sense of humor.............
Registration date : 2009-05-25

PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:56 am

The sad thing is, he actually has already told the doc what his dose was. He was worried about going against the employer so he went ahead and told them. Now he is wanting to find out if this violated his rights/privacy. I contacted the EEOC myself and they have referred me to the DOL (Dept of Labor) so I am waiting to hear back from them and see what they say.

Regardless if it's against the "law" or policies or whatever, they have not treated him fairly and are treating him this way because he is on methadone and that is what irks me! lol


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

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Digmon



Male
Number of posts : 17
Age : 35
Location : South East Virginia
Job/hobbies : sport photography / football / basketball / fishing / anything outside
Registration date : 2011-04-05

PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:59 pm

"Regardless" yes your so right!!! This could be anyone of us, at anytime.
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Bacon24



Male
Number of posts : 6
Age : 43
Location : Springville Utah
Job/hobbies : Snow boarding, spending time with my children. They are the most important thing to me in the world.
Registration date : 2011-04-05

PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:16 pm

Ok everybody, it's been a week and I haven't heard anything else from this "Medical Review Officer" I'm hoping I won't either.
The clinic Doc and I agree he wanted to know my dose because he knows that a high dose tends to prejudice people. That without even knowing how a person's body reacts to it.
Even my HR lady was obviously shocked when I told her. Her reaction was "per day?" and "is that milligrams?" I don't really want to disclose my dosag here in this forum but I will tell you it's less that 200.
I've seen people on higher doses in withdrawal and I've seen people on lower doses nodding off so you just can't tell. And there shouldn't be any sort of assumption about what someones dose will or will not do.
No one person is the same, we all metabolize methadone differently.
I'm hoping there will be some education about methadone for physicians and even the general public.
Anyay, thanks for your help and if anything more comes of this I will post it here.
Bacon-8-or-24
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PostSubject: Re: Can I be fired for being on Methadone?   Today at 11:04 pm

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Can I be fired for being on Methadone?
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