Sunday, 26 June 2011

Government Cuts Hit Local Drug Services - Part Two

Govenment budget cuts hit local services...


So.... A little update on the situation at the SAU (Specialist Addiction Unit)

Since my psychiatrist left the service due to funding cuts things have gone from bad to worse!

All the clients now have 'key-workers', no one actually gets to see a doctor any more.
My 'key-worker' has taken a disliking to me because I dare to challenge and question the way things are done... Like I said before, and as people have confirmed in the comments to the previous post, drug services are set up for your stereotypical 'junkie' .... Take your methadone, jump through all the hoops, tick the boxes and shut up...

Well, I'm sorry but that's just not me!...

I was so happy when I was first referred to the SAU, and met Dr Crawford,... For the first time in fifteen years of counsellors, key-workers and doctors I actually felt like this doctor gave a shit about me and my treatment.

We had a great relationship, we kept in touch by text which meant I could get in contact any time I needed, and we developed a good treatment plan.. together.. (which is really bloody important)

So often, addicts are relegated to a life on methadone or subutex and drug services seem to exist solely to keep people alive....

Dr Crawford actually listened to me, we trusted each other and she gave me chances I wouldn't have got with any other NHS psychiatrist (MST for a start, she also spent money getting me music equipment, got me into one of the best music tech colleges in London, sent me to one of the most expensive rehabs in the country and has worked with me very step of the way when it comes to medication)

I would see her every two weeks, we would chat for an hour or so, and decide where to go from there.
Most recently I came with the suggestion of trying MST and amazingly she agreed.

I had to sign a contract stating I wouldn't take any other recreational or prescription drugs (diazepam, cannabis, crack cocaine etc)

When she asked what I had been taking I was always honest and it's never been a problem, until now!

Now my key-worker keeps bringing up the contract, testing my urine for 'illicit' drugs which when positive for cannabis and benzodiazepines she reminds me that I am breaching my agreement and risking my treatment.

I saw her for all of 4 minutes last week, she literally gave me my script, asked how I was doing and fucked me out the door.

The reason I smoke the odd spliff and take a valium a couple of times a week, is because I'm not stable and can't sleep when I'm sick! 

Now I'm struggling on 200mg MST twice daily. I'm ill, it's barely keeping me well, let alone helping with cravings. I was really hoping it would.
I'm also still stuck on daily pick up at the chemist which is incredibly difficult when your trying to hold down a job!

I need an increase, I wake up every day ill, and run to the chemist.. take my morning dose and then have to try and leave it as late as possible before taking my evening dose so I'm not too ill when I wake up.

I don't see the point, when I'm barely well I want to use! I might as well not be on anything!
I need a dose increase, and I need weekly pick up at the chemist.

Now if Dr Crawford was still at the service she would sort it out on the spot.
Now I have to ask, and my key-worker 'takes it to the team' ... The weekly meeting of key-workers and doctors... I've been waiting a week already for a decision.

I want to get on with my life! I want to work, I can't when I'm ill!

I hope this post doesn't come across as sounding arrogant or self centred.. I understand there are budget cuts and things are changing.. but the treatment I'm getting at the moment is no treatment..! I might as well use and not bother going to the SAU at all...

Who is this meant to help?

I thought the idea was to work with people to get them clean.. Not trying to fuck people over at every opportunity...

I want to write to the new doctor over-seeing the SAU but am scared if I stick my neck out it will get chopped off!

We're not meant to complain and challenge the doctors, they know best, they've been to medical school and learnt about addiction.. they know best! Who am I to dare have some input to my treatment?!

I actually don't even want to go to the SAU any more, the idea was to get me stabilised on a suitable dose of MST and then refer me back to my GP. I wish they would just do it now actually... At least with my GP we have quite a good relationship.

Anyway, moan over...


Gledwood said...

You're not allowed a choice. You're not allowed to be OK. Only off drugs. Doesn't MST show up on a standard drugs screen as "opiates"? I don't think zopiclone shows up as benzos by the way, and shitty Nytol is better than nothing. You could ask to get prescribed benzos. Always worth a shot. I haven't... so far.

I have a new drug worker. At a new clinic. Who I'm not at all sure about. If this bitch won't cut me down I'm insisting on seeing a dr. The dr offered to switch me from well over 100 mgs methadone straight to Subutex, so I'm glad to have someone who doesn't give a shit on my side. If I need extra juice I'd rather buy it on the street than have them controlling me. Know what I mean.

Gledwood said...

Remember that time u said 135 or 300 hits or however many it was came from me are you SURE???

Gledwood said...

It's me again. You're taking the MSTs twice a day. You could always try dosing every 6 hours, then you should theoretically have a pretty flat level going on... or is there some reason you wouldn't do that. I nearly always drink methadone in 2 goes. Then I got switched to a new clinic where they insist on supervised which is going to be fun. I will probably spend all day staring into space on the dose they're giving me. The old clinic only upped it past 100mg on the understanding I would drink it in 2. Now the new clinic insist it's all drunk in one shot (supervised). What a bunch of tossers.

They really couldn't believe by the state of me that I was only using gear on top of my script. The dr banged on and on about what other drugs I might be taking naming my exes one by one: cannabis (no fucking way), crack (no chance), speed (i grew out of my teens 20 years ago) etc etc. I am pretty determined not to use on top, but I'm expecting to buy juice on the street to achieve this.

I'm thinking of trying for MSTs too. Don't expect to get them, but I will ask.

Sid said...

Theres no way you could comfortably swap over from 100mls of gloop to sub.. thats crazy man!
See what I mean about these supposed keyworkers.. they dont know shit!

Yeah all the hits were from you, I think it was from your sidebar..

Aye the MST is meant to last 12 hours.. it doesnt though. For years I had to split dose my meth, It never held me 24 hours!

Im gonna comment on your meth taper post hang on..

Oh, I reckon your more likely to get MST than anyone else, purely for your mental health diagnosis..

Gledwood said...

I've had some problems with my Bitch Worker who it turns out is the titration nurse. So I'm pretty much fucked for someone else to "work" me...

... least she's cutting down my dose every week. I wanna come down down down. I don't care if the reductions are a bit steep: I'd rather make up the shortfall with juice I saved from before. Only a few mls but enough to tide me over for a week on top of a slightly short main script...

Sailor said...

The guy in that photo is shooting into his forearm at a 90 degree angle. Painful ;-S