Prescribed Medications; Prescription Pills in Recovery
Just like the mountain of problems created in the sloth of one’s addiction, there are the foothills of physical issues ignored or barely dealt with. You may have been prescribed different medications to address some of the damage occurring during active addiction, but without abstinence, those are merely stop-gap solutions – much like plugging a hole in a dike. So now that you’re not snorting coke, do you need the sinus meds you may have been prescribed? Maybe smoking the stuff has affected your lungs, but now that your system is cleaning out and reacclimating, the inhalers may be needed less and less. Maybe your asthma is much less severe now. How about the high blood pressure stuff? It could be your blood pressure is no longer high once you’ve stopped speeding yourself up on a daily basis! A recheck may be in order after three months or so. Cholesterol issues may not be affected, but diabetes issues are.
I’m in Pain, Can I Take Prescription Pills in Recovery
Pain medications are in a whole different category and absolutely should be reevaluated by a physician knowledgeable in pain management and addictions. The backlash of coming out of an opioid addiction is that you may expect extra pain for awhile as your systems own pain killing chemicals struggle to normalize. There should be alternatives that will keep you from engaging the addiction all over again. Some of the prescribed meds may also be unneeded once detoxing is complete and you start taking care of your body. Patience and persistence will pay off as you maneuver into your new, clean, lifestyle. Trust the experts to know what they’re doing. There may be supplements available that won’t engage your addiction.
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In the case of sudden accidents or surgery, there may be strong pain medicine needed at first. You couldn’t imagine being cut open from stem to stern and toughing out post-surgery pain without anything stronger than aspirin for relief. In those instances, it is still necessary to be honest with the surgeon, so he can prescribe pain meds judiciously. Maybe you need an extra day in the hospital where the med intake can be carefully monitored by staff. Once home, take the meds only as prescribed, and enlist the help of someone in your support system to hold the prescription for you and dole it out as prescribed, keeping the temptation to over medicate at bay. Take only the mildest dose for the shortest time necessary, and enlist help in tapering off. This may also require the addict to diligently use his support group and aftercare (if applicable) to resist relapse. Whatever you do, don’t appoint yourself doctor and do it your way. Many who have been there know where that can lead.
Antidepressant Prescription Pills in Recovery
This can be a really touchy area, since regulating those brain chemicals is a tricky without the addiction component on top of it. If they knew more exactly how these systems work, it would be much easier to prescribe exactly what ‘s needed for the individual. Scientists and physicians are still learning more and more, however, and as they do, new medications are always coming up. It is somewhat common for an alcoholic to get sober and by nine months feel so depressed he can’t even function. An antidepressant may be called for, but figuring out which type and within that which specific one to take is still a trial and error process.
If the alcoholic was prescribed an antidepressant while still active in his addiction, he could end up wildly out of whack on the same prescription and dose while abstinent. That is of course because in addiction one fills his serotonin receptors with the by product of his substance, leaving the brain making very little of it’s own chemicals. Once the natural production begins again in abstinence, the whole picture changes. You may need less. You may need more of this and less of that. You may not need anything any more for depression, but now you’ve identified that you have overamped anxiety that needs to be addressed.
Psychiatric Prescription Pills in Recovery
Then there are the absolutely organic conditions like bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, which no amount of psychotherapy and support can mend. These psychosis naturally occur in some people and are usually inherited. Organically born psychosis need to be treated to keep sufferers in some state of normalcy, as hallucinations and paranoia meld into rational thought to the extent that harm may come to themselves or others if not treated. In some cases, psychosis can be induced by drug use such as LSD, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and even large amounts of alcohol. Abstinence may abate that type of psychosis, but not the organic type.
Because psychosis need to be treated to keep sufferers in touch with reality, the theory of “don’t take nuthin’ no matter what!” shouldn’t apply here. It has happened that well meaning sobriety advocates have talked the bi-polar recovering alcoholic out of taking his meds and disaster, hospitalization and relapse follow these well-meaning efforts. He may wish for an excuse not to take psych meds, anyway, since bi-polar patients tend to resist medications. The highs may be enjoyable until they cross into non reality realms. But the unpredictability of one’s manic phases should be reason enough to stick to the psychiatrist’s orders. The psychiatrist may also wish to closely monitor these patients in early sobriety, because the ingestion of recreational chemicals or alcohol could vastly affect or alter the results of his treatment. The extra monitoring should prove well worth it in the end if recovery is to be successful.
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