If you are recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction, the topic of medication is sure to come up sooner or later.There are two extreme paths here that we want to avoid:
Extreme situation #1: Absolute blind faith in doctors (taking whatever medications they prescribe to you without any question)
Extreme situation #2: Refusal to take any Medications whatsoever (in order to be truly “clean”).
Both of these extreme attitudes towards medications can be dangerous.
Having blind faith in the medical community is dangerous and can lead to relapse.It would be nice to think that we could always leave these types of decisions entirely up to medical professionals and doctors, but there is danger in doing so, because we play such a strong role in our own medical treatment and diagnosis.For example, doctors basically have to rely on the patient to inform them of how much pain or anxiety they are experiencing.In this way, we have the ability to manipulate doctors to prescribe us the type of medications that we want.Telling our doctor that we are a drug addict or alcoholic is no guarantee that they will prescribe us safe medications.It is unbelievable how many doctors are not aware of the nature of addiction, nor do some of them recognize the potential for addiction.
The other extreme of refusing to take any medications at all can be just as dangerous to those in recovery. It is absolutely ridiculous that people in recovery have stopped taking antidepressant medication in order to be “clean,” only to later commit suicide because of it. This is tragic and ridiculous.Most antidepressants don’t even have any abuse potential and can’t really be “abused” at all.There are certain people who have a chemical imbalance in their brain, and medications are necessary to treat these types of conditions.For some, the alternative to medication is suicide or flat out insanity.Clearly, in some cases, medication is truly necessary.
So how can we avoid these two extremes when we are facing this situation in recovery?The safest way is to follow the advice of medical professionals, but only after you have been completely honest and open with them.On the one hand, we are our own best doctors, but on the other hand, we have the ability to fool ourselves and manipulate doctors if we are not careful.So it is absolutely critical that we communicate honestly and openly with our doctors.Disclose everything about your addiction, and urge them to prescribe the safest medications that they can in any given situation.If necessary, find a doctor who is knowledgeable about addiction and alcoholism and who will work with you on it.
Disclaimer: This does not constitute medical advice.My message for you is to be honest and open with medical professionals and to follow their advice.
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