One of the most important questions discussed in the sobriety community today is, are you still sober if you take prescribed medications that have a psychoactive effect?
There are a lot of different opinions on this matter. Some people believe that if you take any kind of medication, even if it is prescribed by a doctor, then you are no longer sober. Others believe that as long as the medication is taken in accordance with the doctor’s orders and does not interfere with your sobriety, then it is perfectly OK.
The bottom line is that sobriety is a very personal journey and what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to talk to your doctor, sponsor, or addiction treatment center about any medications you are taking and how they may affect your sobriety.
Can Medications and Sobriety Mix?
This question gets to the root of what it means to actually be “sober.” When most people think about sobriety, they think about abstinence from psychoactive drugs as well as any mind-altering drug. For the more dogmatic follower, that means all drugs are avoided, including:
- Depression medication
- Anxiety medication
- Bipolar disorder medication
- Methadone, buprenorphine
- Opiate pain medication
But what if the medication is exactly what the doctor prescribes? Is there a safe way to take prescription medications while in addiction recovery?
If certain medications are necessary, seek non- to low-addictive alternatives. Keep your physician informed about your substance use disorder and look for programs that hold you accountable. Discuss pretreatment agreements that include periods of drug screening while taking or transitioning off the medication. Stay active in the sober community. Support can mean the difference between recovery and relapse.
Some Recovering Addicts Speak Against Medications
In the 12-step community, many people believe psychological disorders treatment in FL benefits with a further dedication to the support program and trust in the higher power.
Anecdotes of this way of thinking are not hard to come by. Some people have been known to break up with their sponsors over a disagreement of what constitutes true sobriety. The conflict has become so pervasive that Alcoholics Anonymous has publicly addressed the issue in their pamphlet The AA Member – Medications and Other Drugs.
The viewpoint that people should not take psychoactive medication while in recovery seems to be an extension of faith in the 12-step program. Most addicts probably believed at some point that they could never get sober. They believed that they would be an addict for the rest of their lives. After getting sober through the 12-step program, some are inclined to believe it possible to treat depression or bipolar disorder the same way one treats addiction–discipline, faith, and community.
However, the mindset that using psychoactive medications negates your sobriety can also be problematic for people with medical conditions. For instance, some have committed suicide while in recovery after refusing doctor-ordered depression medicine.
Alcoholics Anonymous Advocates Safety and Treatment
The ruling on the matter from AA seems clearly laid out in The AA Member – Medications and Other Drugs. “It becomes clear that just as it is wrong to enable or support any alcoholic to become re-addicted to any drug, it’s equally wrong to deprive any alcoholic of medication which can alleviate or control other disabling physical and/or emotional problems.”
If you are unsure about a new medication, contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery to discuss accountability and any alternatives.
Medical Detox Treats Addiction and Other Disorders
If you have given up your medications for the sake of sobriety, good for you. You were one of the lucky ones. But for those who have thought about giving up their medication, it may not be worth the price. If a prescribed medication leads to relapse, know that the following programs are always available:
- Inpatient drug detox program in FL: This program is the most intensive form of detox. It is also the most expensive and requires a stay in a treatment center.
- Prescription drug detox: This type of detox is the first step in most addiction treatment programs. It helps you safely stop taking drugs while under medical supervision.
- Addiction counseling in Ft. Lauderdale: Counseling is a type of therapy that helps people addicted to drugs or alcohol by teaching them how to live sober. Counselors work with patients to develop coping and life skills, as well as provide support and guidance through the recovery process.
- Meditation therapy: In this therapy, you will learn how to focus on the present and clear your mind. This is a great option for those who have a hard time sitting still.
- Dual diagnosis therapy treatment in FL: If you have a mental disorder in addition to addiction, this type of therapy can help address both.
Are you still living in active addiction? Medical detox can help you get the best start to your recovery process. Give Serenity House Detox & Recovery a call at 866.294.5306 to reinforce sobriety.