Being sick or injured is already stressful enough without having to be vigilant about what medications your doctor prescribes. In the past, your biggest fear might’ve been about taking time off of work or covering your health care. Now, you also need to worry about making sure that you don’t fall back into an addiction. Doctors and dentists often prescribe medications with the best of intentions for helping their patients stay comfortable. While they know that some are habit-forming, they tend to take a few preventative measures such as prescribing lightly to counteract the addictive effects. Still, that might not be enough to meet your needs for complete sobriety.
Ideally, you’re asking what I do if a doctor prescribes medication before you ever have this problem. Yet, you might already be in this situation. If you are, then immediately separate yourself from the pills or the prescription so that you can start working on maintaining your sobriety. If you are alone, then you might also need to call your support person as you work on the next steps of your recovery plan.
Can You Take Prescription Painkillers During Recovery?
People who aren’t prone to addiction can often take prescription painkillers sparingly without worrying too much. But, you might not fall into this category if you’ve ever dealt with addiction in the past. This also includes any type of addiction. For example, someone with an alcohol addiction may still choose not to take prescription painkillers out of the concern that they could transfer their addiction to a different substance.
Everyone has different goals for their sobriety, but most recovering addicts opt-out of taking prescriptions that are known to be habit-forming. If you’re recovering from a pain pill addiction, then you’ll need to be especially stringent about following this rule. Even a different type of prescription pain medication could cause you to fall off the tracks.
Practice Being Upfront About Your Addiction
There are tons of options out there to treat many common health conditions that are safe for people with addictions. Usually, a doctor writes an accidental prescription when they are unaware of a person’s past history with addiction. One of the best things you can do to avoid this problem is to make sure to update your physician and dentist about your new lifestyle as someone in recovery. You can often find questions on your medical paperwork when you first visit a doctor or dentist that lets them know that you are sober.
If you’re returning to an office, then you can let the person at the front desk know that you need to update your records. You can often do this by filling out a new form either in person or online. Disclosing your addiction to a doctor or dentist is protected by the same confidentiality laws as other health conditions. You can also rest assured that you likely aren’t the first patient your doctor or dentist has helped manage their addiction while receiving care.
Be Prepared to Take Action If a New Health Condition Threatens Your Sobriety
So, now you’re still staring at a prescription even though you might’ve taken those actions to tell your doctor about your addiction. The important thing is to resist the urge to fill it. You can tear it up and call your doctor right away to ask for a different type of treatment. Depending upon your health needs, they may be able to prescribe you a general over-the-counter painkiller to get you through your recovery. Or, they might recommend non-medication treatments that can also help. For instance, massage therapy is effective for managing chronic pain, and this might be worth trying as an alternative to strong medications.
You’ll also want to treat this moment as a potential trigger for a relapse. Even if you didn’t use the prescription today, it might’ve started the wheels turning in your head. Having thoughts such as that you can try taking just one pill is a sign that you could be heading for a relapse. The same is also true if you’ve filled the prescription and already started using it. Reaching out for help is the only way to stop yourself from falling back into your addiction.
Are you curious about which medications are safe for people in recovery? We can help you avoid going back to a prescription pill addiction. Give us a call now at 772-266-5320 to find a safer method for treating your health condition.