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Some people in recovery must take prescribed medication for medical problems. However, it is generally accepted that the misuse of prescription medication and other drugs can threaten the achievement and maintenance of sobriety.
AA provides some suggestions regarding sobriety and use of medicines.
+No A.A. member should “play doctor”;
?Active participation in the A.A. program of recovery is a safeguard against relapse.
?Be honest with your doctor and yourself about your medicine.
?Tell your doctor that you are an alcoholic.
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What are you thoughts on the council to :
don’t play doctor,
go to meetings, and
be honest with your doctor?
Have you heard any other suggestions?
The topic tonight is recovery and medicine.
For me there are different classes of medicine as it relates to the alcoholic.
Let’s start with how we manage medications for minor illnesses and pain.
Minor illness such as colds and flus or and pain management related to dental work and minor surgeries.
What is your experience with medicines for these types of situations, how do you manage a cold?
What about cold meds?
How do you manage cold and flu symptoms?
What about nyquil?
How about pain meds, what is your philosophy regarding these medicines?
Have you taken pain meds?
How did you manage the dosing?
Did you self administer or did you have someone else manage the dosing?
Let’s now move into other medical problems such as mental health care.
Now, a different class of medications.
Medicines for mental health
Feeling miserable isn’t uncommon in early sobriety. Withdrawing from any substance to which you are addicted may produce symptoms of depression, such as changes in sleep patterns, feelings of helplessness, and appetite or weight changes.
In trying to picture the relationship between addiction and depression, it’s important to understand four things:
Not everyone with addiction has a depressive disorder.
Not everyone with a depressive disorder has an addiction.
People with a dual diagnosis have two separate conditions, each requiring different treatments.
Despite this, the state of your recovery from one frequently impacts your recovery from the other.
People who are in addiction recovery are far more likely to relapse if they are depressed. And according to one disturbing estimate, “suicide is the cause of death for an estimated 25 percent of treated alcoholics.”
Have you taken anti depressants?
What was our experience?
“studies suggest that for individuals with repeated depressive episodes, a combination of therapy and antidepressants are the most effective course of treatment.”
What about therapy and medicine?
Most recovery programs cite abstinence from drugs and alcohol as the best?indeed the only?way to overcome addiction. As a result, stigma often surrounds the use of medication to help with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
What is your experience with stigma and taking prescription medicine within the recovering community?
Now, let’s move into another territory, the medicines that are far riskier in my estimation.
Let’s focus on opioids and benzos
Addictive drugs such as opioids and benzodiazepines have a few things in common. The user feels the effect of the drug soon after taking it and feels high for a period of time. When someone who is addicted “comes down,” they want more. Eventually, the same amount of a drug produces a less effective high, and more of the drug will be required to achieve the desired effect.
Antidepressants, on the other hand, take weeks, and sometimes months to take effect. Further, They do not really make people feel ‘high,’ they are not abused in a pattern of escalating doses and they have little black-market value.” The bottom line? “In general, antidepressants do not pose substantial risk to people in recovery.”
What are your opinions on the differences between these two classes of meds?
Drugs are not the solution to addiction. But for people who struggle with addiction as well as a depressive disorder, antidepressants can be a key ingredient of lifelong recovery.
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