***********WARNING WARNING -- OPINION OPINION OPINION NOT MEDICAL FACT********
A few thoughts.
Are you as an addict, clean if you are on methadone (MMT) or suboxone, or Vivitrol?
They do keep (allegedly) you from using opiate of choice, so in that respect, you aren't out shooting up or snorting, so you are clean right?
It certainly IS better than using. No doubt about it. But, does it mean you are clean?
Let's compare it to a number of other addictions and treatments then.
I smoke. They have four primary means of quitting nicotine
1. Cold Turkey - you stop smoking. You no longer smoke. You don't start smoking again. Clean
2. Chantix- You take pills, continue to smoke. Not clean
a. Chantix. You take pills, set a quit date and keep it. Continue taking Chantix for a year to keep you from starting up again. Not a non smoker yet.
b. Chantix. You take pills, set a quit date, keep it, continue Chantix for a year to keep you from going back, and then quit Chantix and do not start to smoke again. Clean. Non Smoker.
3. Wellbutrin - They put you on Wellbutrin. You slowly stop smoking. You continue to take Wellbutrin, but you do not smoke. Still a smoker.......not clean, just not smoking. Better than smoking, but not a non smoker yet.
a. Wellbutrin. You take it, quit smoking, quit the Wellbutrin, do not start up smoking again. Clean, non smoker.
4. Nicotine replacment therapy. Either patch, gum or whatever. To ease the cravings from nicotine, you use a patch, or chew gum. You do not smoke, but you continue to use the patch while stepping down, and after the patch, you chew the gum. Not clean. Traded one addiction (the actual smoking process) for another addiction, nicotine in chemical form.
a. You use the step down patches to quit, do quit, chew the gum for three or four months, quit the gum. No more nicotine going into your body or brain. Clean. Non smoker.
You quit cold turkey, go through excrutiating withdrawals, don't drink anymore. Clean
You use naltrexone to stop you from drinking, it makes you wicked sick if you drink, or makes the drinks taste bad or whatever it does. Still an alcoholic.
You use naltrexone to stop drinking, use it for a year to make sure, then no longer use Naltrexone. CLEAN. Still an alcoholic, but a NON DRINKING alcoholic.
Cold turkey. You stop, one year later you are still not using. Clean, still addicted, will be for life, but CLEAN.
you use methadone, do not shoot up, pass all your tests. Not clean.
methadone to quit, stay on it for one year, stepping down, weaning off. One year later, no methadone for a year, no relapses, CLEAN, still addicted but non using.
Suboxone. Same as methadone.
Vivitrol. easier, one injection a month. still the same as the other two.
As long as you are using SOMETHING to keep you from using SOMETHING else, you are not considered to be CLEAN.
Any of the above, and you still smoke weed. NOT CLEAN.
Sober is sober.
Just a note so that anyone posting on MY blog who says they are an MMT or suboxone patient and are CLEAN, you are not. you are on medication that keeps you from using.
Splitting hairs? Maybe. But, this is MY blog, so it's MY opinion that counts ;)
I am not against MMT, Suboxone, Vivitrol or anything that keeps you from shooting or snorting. I just want other parents to realize, it is not clean. The opiate receptors in your brain are still being tickled, they just are being tickled by something legal and that doesn't (allegedly) make you high.