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What Should I Do if a Doctor Prescribes Medication?

What Should I Do if a Doctor Prescribes Medication?

Addiction often begins with legally prescribed medications such as opioids, amphetamines, or benzodiazepines. When we enter into a life of sobriety, we must be careful about the medications we are prescribed. There may be times when we face a medical situation and are suggested to take mind or mood-altering medications which could cause a potential risk to our sobriety. Ultimately, our decision to take or abstain from a prescribed medication depends on the substance, the potential for abuse, and the possibility of alternatives that do not involve mind or mood-altering chemicals.

If we are facing a medical situation that could lead to us being prescribed medications that could be a threat to our sobriety, it is incredibly important that we are fully open and honest with our doctor. We must explain to our doctor that we are in recovery from addiction or alcoholism. Many doctors will understand and seek out alternative treatments that do not require the use of mind or mood-altering chemicals.

If our physician does not offer non-medication alternatives, it may be helpful to seek a second opinion from another doctor. According to the Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet, The AA Member- Medications and Other Drugs, “If you feel that your doctor does not understand your problems, consider making an appointment with a physician who has experience in the treatment of alcoholism.” We may, however, find that there are no non-medication treatment alternatives. In cases such as these, we should be willing to listen to our doctor and take preemptive steps to prevent the possibility of abuse. We may find it helpful to speak with our sponsor or trusted friends in the recovery community. We should look honestly at our motivation for taking the medication, whether it is truly necessary, and evaluate where we are on our journey of recovery.

Narcotics Anonymous, in Times of Illness, explains, “Ideally, working closely with healthcare professionals and a sponsor can help us keep our illness and treatment in perspective. Reaching out and sharing honestly with those we trust and respect is vital. We may want to seek out the experience of NA friends who have faced similar situations in their recovery. Maintaining rigorous honesty and remaining open to the suggestions of other addicts allows us to avoid self-deception or secrecy.” We may ask for a limited supply of medication, speak with our sponsor before filling a prescription, and confide in our trusted friends in sobriety to make decisions based in the principles of recovery.

Treatment should be more than a program. When you joined Anchored Recovery, you join a community of individuals committed to sobriety. Our full continuum of care can help you seamlessly transition from detox through every phase of treatment you need to ensure lifelong sobriety. Call us today for information: 800.848.6168

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