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Are there benefits of walking to Suboxone Clinics rather than driving?

There are benefits to walking to your appointment.

When you have made the commitment to start medication-assisted treatment with Suboxone, or a related medication, it is time to find a nearby clinic where the doctor prescribes Suboxone. While the choices may be limited in some regions, many areas of the country have enough Suboxone providers to allow you to choose the best fit for your particular situation.

While there may be many factors involved in making your decision, distance is a significant consideration. But, is it important to find a clinic so close that you can walk to it? 

Of course, there are many walking benefits. The benefits of walking include, getting fresh air, being in the outdoors, seeing other people and not isolating, and getting exercise. Walking outside every day is a good way to stay healthy. 

And, when it comes to recovering from opioid addiction, getting daily exercise is an important cornerstone to overcoming your addiction successfully. I doubt that anyone ever complained that they relapsed because of walking too much.

For some people, the benefits of walking can mean less walking on eggshells.

What does it mean to walk on eggshells? Part of the condition of having an addiction can be related to having a particular personality type. Being a kind, empathetic person can make you a victim for people with a variety of unpleasant personality disorders. 

You may find yourself sharing your life with someone with narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. If you live with someone who suffers from one of these conditions, you know exactly how it feels to walk on eggshells. 

Sharing your life with such a person means being careful what you say and what you do, and even the expression on your face or making eye contact for too long or in the wrong way. While it is often not practical to suddenly start cutting off people in your life when you are trying to recover from addiction, you sometimes need a break.

Taking a walk can do wonders for getting some peace and quiet where you can enjoy the state of simply existing in the world. You can practice mindfulness, deep breathing, and a state of meditation. Sometimes, to appreciate life and feel gratitude requires going outdoors and seeing the natural world around you.

Taking a walk through the city streets can be just as refreshing as a nature walk or a walk through the countryside.

Even if you live in the big city, you can still enjoy a walk, seeing the sights and hearing the surrounding sounds. You may even enjoy a motivational or inspirational audiobook while you walk. You can enjoy the time to be introspective and think about why you should forgive yourself and not beat yourself up over what you have been through.

So, while the many walking benefits are clear, why would you want to walk to your Suboxone doctor?

If you are able to walk to your MAT clinic, that means that your treatment is nearby, in your local community. This is a good thing. Keeping your recovery support network close to home can be very helpful in making it easier for you to continue in recovery without problems or excuses related to the difficulty of traveling distances. 

In addition to going to a nearby Suboxone doctor and pharmacy, you can also choose to go to recovery meetings in the neighborhood. Meetings such as AA or NA have such a widespread presence, you will be able to find meetings at all times of day, every day. You will also be able to find meetings nearby in your neighborhood.

Even if you go to a daily clinic where they provide your daily Suboxone dose on site, you may find that being able to walk to and from the clinic gives you a reason for getting important daily exercise. Of course, if you are in an area with a high crime rate, or if the clinic you attend is in an unsafe area, then walking may not be a good idea.

Suboxone treatment clinics nearby may be as close as the next room.

While there is not doubt that the benefits of walking outside for some distance each day are important, what if you didn’t have to drive or walk to your Suboxone doctor? What if you could simply walk to the next room and turn on your computer or cell phone?

Suboxone telehealth is a new trend that has been pushed forward by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, even before the pandemic, MAT telemedicine was already being used to a limited degree and lawmakers were working out ways to make it more accessible.

So, while you still may like to walk to a 12-step meeting to work steps and meet with your sponsor and recovering friends, or to a non-12-step meeting, such as SMART Recovery or LifeRing, your Suboxone appointment can be handled in the privacy of your home.

In fact, you will be happy to learn that it is also possible to have your medication discretely shipped to your door so you do not have to stand in line at a pharmacy. How pleasant to not have to get those suspicious looks from pharmacy staff that can kill your spirit when you are just trying to get better.

Pharmacies that deliver and ship to your home can help relieve the stress of facing the pharmacy line.

There are compounding pharmacies and independent pharmacies that are more understanding when it comes to addiction recovery and medication-assisted treatment. You can make arrangements with your pharmacist to deliver or ship your medication, making the entire process private and more personalized.

So, what about drug testing? Do you have a shy bladder when having to pee in the Suboxone clinic in front of a nurse? Why do they think people can pee on demand and on display?

Instead of worrying about how to make yourself pee for a drug test with the pressure of having a doctor or nurse watching and listening, you can also do your drug test at home. There is an innovative new way of doing drug testing where the test is DNA linked between patient and urine, by doing a simple cheek swab test with the first drug test.

Home drug testing with this novel technology is now a possibility.

This new drug test can be performed at home while still giving the doctor confidence that the test was performed properly. Having doctor visits, prescription delivery, and drug testing all at home adds a quiet dignity to the addiction treatment process.

While it is important for you not to isolate after quitting opioids, there is no special reason why you should sit in a busy clinic waiting room or stand in line at an unfriendly chain pharmacy. You can find friends in recovery and get important recovery messages from group meetings. You can even attend  a SMART Recovery online meeting, or you can choose to go in person.

As you are probably aware, buprenorphine is the main active ingredient in Suboxone. When you first start out with medication-assisted treatment, your Suboxone doctor may start you with the buprenorphine mono product, often called Subutex. 

Buprenorphine is the main active ingredient in both Suboxone and Subutex.

This means that you will get a buprenorphine tablet to place under your tongue to dissolve. During the beginning of treatment, known as induction, your doctor will determine your ideal buprenorphine dosage. In a short time, the cravings will subside, and you will start to feel like yourself again.

While on Suboxone, you will find that you can feel almost as if you were never addicted to opioids in the first place. Suboxone treatment gives your brain a chance to heal. You can truly start to enjoy the simple things in life, including the benefits of walking.

So, even if your walks outdoors are not to walk to your Suboxone clinic or to get away from a toxic person in your home, you can still find time to get out and walk every day and enjoy the peacefulness and solitude of a nice long walk.

When you are in recovery, you will have the peace of mind to start planning for new creative endeavors, such as starting your own buprenorphine podcast.

If you have your smart phone with you, you might even consider starting a podcast or a YouTube video channel. You can share your experience and strength with an audience who is out there online looking for hope and inspiration. 

It’s not easy to make the decision to get help and move forward with addiction recovery and treatment, but you have made significant progress which you should be proud of. Why not start a movement and be the host of your own Suboxone podcast? 

You can record episodes on a regular basis as you walk along outside. Sharing the benefits of prescribed Suboxone use may reach others who desperately need to hear that message.

Of course, it is your decision and you also have a right to your privacy if you choose not to tell anyone about your medical treatment and how it is changing your life. So, whether you decide to only share information about your treatment with your closest loved ones, or if you choose to reach out and share with others, it is your decision.

Be aware that some recovery meetings are not Suboxone friendly.

One thing to be careful about is that some recovery support meetings are not in favor of Suboxone treatment. While you may take pride in your success in treatment, members of the public who you come in contact with in meetings can have negative opinions about Suboxone therapy. 

Anyone can have an opinion, but anti-Suboxone sentiment in meetings goes against scientifically proven, evidence based therapies that work. There is no reason why you should avoid meetings, but support meetings may be a place where you do not want to talk about your medical therapy.

While you are out on the local nature path, listening to the birds and breeze through the trees, while you enjoy the benefits of walking, you may start to think about what is going on in the world around you. What about celebrities with drug addictions? Do they take Suboxone also?

What is the connection between Suboxone, opioid addiction, and celebrities?

There have been tragic opioid overdoses in recent years involving celebrities where Suboxone may have helped. You may have heard about how Prince died and his issues with fentanyl patch abuse. Prince overdosed just before getting Suboxone treatment. 

For some reason, a doctor in California was called to treat Prince in Minnesota. The doctor’s son flew to visit with the musical genius and, unfortunately found the music star dead in an elevator. The story goes that the son had Suboxone in his possession, maybe to get Prince started on MAT.

Why didn’t Prince use Suboxone telemedicine? When he overdosed, Suboxone telehealth services were not readily available like they are today. Why did he not go to a nearby clinic within walking distance? The benefits of walking to the Suboxone clinic nearby would have been clearly evident in this case.

Of course, we do not have all the facts in this case and it is probably not as simple as Prince not wanting to line up at a clinic for treatment. Possibly, he was not interested in treatment, and people around him were arranging for the doctor in California to provide private Suboxone therapy if Prince agreed.

Entertainers with political connections can do even more in moving national public health initiatives forward.

Another case I always wondered about is Rush Limbaugh, the well-known conservative talk show host. Years ago, Mr. Limbaugh admitted to having an opioid addiction problem. He took a month off from broadcasting to go to rehab. When he came back to the air, he was back to his old self again in a short time.

How did he recover so quickly and successfully? With abstinence-only treatment, where a person goes to rehab and does not get Suboxone, the success rate is low. Patients suffer through a difficult prolonged withdrawal syndrome and often develop Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, where cravings and withdrawal symptoms persist for months after quitting pain pills, heroin, or fentanyl.

While it is definitely possible that Mr. Limbaugh went to a month of rehab and overcame his opioid addiction in that short time, I always imagined that he might have been a Suboxone success story. Being the broadcasting entertainment personality that he is, with a large radio audience, it would have been great if he had promoted the benefits of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. 

MAT saves lives from the deadly consequences of opioid addiction.

Putting politics and political differences aside, MAT saves lives, and we could use all the help we can get in getting the message out. In fact, with Mr. Limbaugh’s political influences, he could possibly help in getting legislation through that supports funding accessible MAT programs.

So, wherever you are now in the recovery process, whether you are not ready yet and depending on harm reduction strategies, or if you are well along on the journey of addiction treatment and addiction recovery, I hope that you are able to get outside and enjoy a good walk.

In conclusion, I would like to point out two suggestions for success from Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple Inc. Mr. Jobs once gave a talk in which he explained that asking for help is one of the most important ways to succeed in life. 

Asking for help is one of the most important keys to success.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Getting help in recovering from opioid addiction can help to propel you forward into a life of success in recovery and fulfillment.

Another great suggestion from Mr. Jobs was that you should take walks. Some of his greatest inspirations and most successful business deals occurred during long nature walks. CEOs and top tech visionaries describe that when they met Steve Jobs, he often asked them to take a walk with him.

So, if you don’t want to take it from me, take it from one of the greatest tech visionaries in history. The benefits of walking and the benefits of asking for help can make all the difference. 

If a Suboxone clinic is what it takes for you to get better and find success in life, then ask your doctor how to get started. And, don’t forget to put aside your problems for a while and take a nice, relaxing walk.

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