How Can Your Primary Care Physician Help Before and After Rehab?

How Can Your Primary Care Physician Help Before and After RehabYour primary care physician can play a huge role in the diagnosis, treatment of, and recovery from an addiction problem. Many times, a primary care physician is the first one to identify that there is a serious problem and is the catalyst for a patient going to rehab.




So how exactly can your doctor help you before and after rehab?

Screening

During a regular physical or a visit for a specific medical issue, your primary care physician may give you a screening questionnaire, during which they ask questions like “Have you ever tried to cut down on your alcohol or drug use?” and “Do you get annoyed when people comment on your alcohol or drug use?” (JAMA Network) Answers to these types of questions can often help them determine whether you have an addiction problem, even if you yourself have not realized it yet. Laboratory work from a urine or blood test can also reveal a patient’s drug problem and can lead a primary care physician to a diagnosis.

Diagnosing the disorder

Many people still believe that addiction is a self-control issue or a choice and that they could quit if they really wanted to. Doctors can help their patients understand that substance abuse is actually a disease by diagnosing them with a substance abuse disorder.

Referring patients to a specialist

Sometimes primary care physicians will provide treatment for a substance abuse disorder themselves, especially if resources for this type of disorder are limited in your geographic area, but oftentimes they will refer their patients to a drug abuse specialist and maybe even recommend that they go to an in-patient rehab facility.

Prescribing medications

After a patient completes rehab, a primary care physician may prescribe certain medications to help them manage pain and prevent a relapse. Buprenorphine is frequently prescribed for opioid addiction, acamprosate is often prescribed for alcohol addiction, and extended-release naltrexone can be prescribed for both alcohol and opioid addiction. All these medications have been proven to be safe and effective treatment methods. (SAMSHA)

Treating comorbid (multiple) health problems

Substance abusers often have higher rates of other medical issues than patients that have never been substance abusers, so primary care physicians should be prepared to diagnose and treat any issues that come up after rehab, such as pneumonia, lung disease, and hepatitis. (SAMSHA)

If you know that you have a substance abuse problem but don’t know where to turn for help, make an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can provide you with the resources and medical help that you need to successfully recover.

Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!

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