7 Things To Do Before Taking Prescription Drugs in Recovery
“But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons.”
There are a lot of opinions swirling around regarding the use of prescription medications while in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. The good news is that there is literature available for you to consult if you are in a situation that may call for the use of certain medication(s). Here’s a list of 7 things to do before taking prescription drugs in recovery.
#1. Consult only those who are qualified to prescribe and give medical advice
Don’t “play doctor” and don’t consult a fellow AA’er if they’re not a qualified physician – all medical advice and treatment should come from a qualified physician. If your doctor has prescribed you a medication and you have certain apprehensions, get a second and even a third opinion, again from licensed professionals. You can talk to your sponsor about the feelings you might be having about needing medication.
#2. Stay active in your program of recovery
Remaining active in the fellowship as well as in your personal recovery program is a major safeguard against relapse. Talk with your sponsor and reach out to your sober supports, even when you don’t want to.
#3. Be completely honest with your doctor and yourself about the way you take your medicine
Notice if you are taking the medication in ways other than how it’s been prescribed to you, such as skipping doses or taking more than you’re supposed to. And tell your doctor if you’re misusing your meds.
#4. Be honest and tell your physician that you’re in recovery for alcohol and other drugs
Make sure your doctor knows – and understands – what it means to you to be in recovery and that you choose to be sober. Your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative medication that has less potential for abuse and that is non-narcotic.
#5. Be self-aware and open to others’ input
When starting a new medication or when the dose is adjusted, your behaviors and actions might be affected. Stay aware of any warning signs or changes and be willing to listen to those who are close to you if they have concerns. Then discuss these concerns with your doctor.
#6. Be willing to change doctors
If your current doctor seems unfamiliar with addictions, recovery, and sobriety – not all doctors understand these well – then be willing to find a new health care provider – one who has experience in the treatment of alcoholism and other addictions.
#7. Give your doctor a copy of your fellowship’s literature
In AA, there’s the pamphlet “The AA Member – Medications and Other Drugs” that outlines things to do regarding the use of prescription meds in recovery.
The NA pamphlet “In Times Of Illness” as well as their 10th Tradition state that “The question of prescription medication should be decided between the member, their doctor, and the member’s Higher Power.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.