Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

What If I Medically Need Prescription Drugs After Addiction Recovery?

What If I Medically Need Prescription Drugs After Addiction Recovery?The last thing a person who has successfully navigated the difficult path of recovery wants to do is relapse back into addiction. Those who have been addicted to prescription painkillers or psychotropic drugs may allow the fear of relapse to keep them from getting the medical attention they may desperately need. Concern for relapse is good, but with careful management and transparency it can be avoided.

How Relapse Happens with Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs create both physical and psychological addictions when abused. While the physical addiction usually runs its course in as little as one week after recovery efforts begin, psychological cravings can last for years. The euphoria brought on by these drugs provides relief from emotional and physical pain and may mask underlying psychological disorders. Once an addiction is established, neural pathways in the brain are chemically rewired around the need for the drug. Recovery requires detox from the drug and thorough rehab of the mind from the psychological effects of addiction and any co-occurring illness. Even after years of recovery the addictive patterns remain programmed in the brain. The reintroduction of certain drugs can trigger the return of an addiction.

Communication Is Key to Avoiding Prescription Drug Relapse

The most important way to prevent relapse is to be completely honest with all of your health care providers about your history of addiction. Transparency is crucial. Medical records should include your addiction history in the same way you would include allergies. In many cases there is more than one drug that can be used, and only with a full understanding of your history can your doctor choose the best prescription. In cases where certain addictive drug use cannot be avoided, doctors can control dosage and create the best possible environment for you to avoid relapse. It is understandable that some people will be ashamed of their past addiction, but full disclosure is essential to preventing relapse.

Call for Prescription Drug Help Today

If you are concerned about relapsing back into prescription drug addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. We are here 24 hours a day to answer your questions about addictive drugs, recovery and relapse.

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