If you have spent time completing programmes of detox and rehabilitation, you will probably be working hard to maintain your sobriety now that you are back in the real world. You will obviously be staying away from alcohol or drugs and will be doing all that you can to avoid any triggers that could put your sobriety at risk.
It is important, therefore, as a recovering alcohol or drug addict, that you exercise caution when taking any medication in recovery. It is essential that you check every pill you are about to take because even an innocent cold remedy could put your recovery at risk and set you up for a relapse if you are not careful.
You are probably aware that you need to avoid all mood-altering substances. When it comes to over-the-counter and prescription medications, they will either be mood-altering or non-mood-altering. However, you need to be aware that it is not just strong prescription medication that you should be wary of. Even medications such as antihistamines can be risky for someone in recovery.
Any drug that impairs the ability to think clearly and prevent a person from recognising potential temptations and triggers is risky. Medication can change your behaviour and can lower your ability to resist the fleeting compulsions to drink or take drugs. After all your hard work, it would be a real shame to let one innocent pill put it all at risk.
Any medication you take can trigger addictive behaviour and can be potentially hazardous to your recovery, so it is vital that you are alert to the danger at all times. It is a good idea to make sure that any medication you take is in a different form to the drug that you were once addicted. For example, if you were addicted to prescription pills, you should check if a patch is available. If you snorted cocaine, then avoid using nasal sprays.
Most Dangerous Medications for Those in Recovery
There are a number of prescription medications that, while safe for those with no history of addiction, can be dangerous to those in recovery. Below are a few examples of medications to avoid:
- Sedatives sedatives are sleeping pills that can be highly addictive if abused. They should be avoided by recovering alcoholics or drug addicts.
- Opioids opioids are strong painkillers that are often prescribed to patients after surgery or for those who suffer from chronic pain.
- Tranquilizers often used to treat anxiety, these pills are addictive when abused.
- Stimulants stimulants such as antidepressants should never be taken by those with a history of addiction.
If you are unsure about a medication, it would be a good idea to speak with your doctor before taking it. Alternatively, call us here at Rehab Helper for advice and information regarding the risk to your sobriety.
When It Is Necessary to Take Mood-Altering Drugs
In an ideal world, recovering drug addicts and alcoholics would never take any mood-altering substances and would live happily ever after. However, this is not always possible. There will be times when certain medications must be prescribed when the benefit outweighs the risk.
For some people, mental health disorders must be treated with certain medications and to avoid doing so could put the patient at risk. Individuals with conditions such as schizophrenia and psychosis may not be able to function without medication, and preventing them from taking it could lead to them harming themselves or others.
There may also be a need to prescribe mood-altering medication to a recovering addict in the case of a medical emergency or to ease pain after an operation.