'Pharmacology' And Its Role In Recovery
Addiction today is different than what it was a decade ago, and so are the methods used to recover from addiction. Today, although addiction to prescription medication is the most serious drug problem faced by many communities in need of treatment nationwide, alcoholism, heroin, cocaine, and synthetic drugs are also posing problems for all walks of life. However, with many types of these drugs, pharmacology has played a crucial medical role in helping recovering addicts progress through rehab treatment.In addiction treatment, 'pharmacology' means using alternative medications (with medical assistance and supervision) to counter the symptoms of a drug or alcohol addiction after a person quits using them.
Considering the nature of an addict, which is to abuse a mind-altering substance, the use of other prescriptions during recovering is often seen as a shady ordeal. How can one drug help treat an addiction to another drug? Nonetheless, with correct prescriptions and proper dosages, which should be taken explicitly as the doctor instructed, medications can greatly aid in the recovery process. For the most part, pharmacology in addiction treatment is used in combination with other treatment therapies as a supplement, not as treatment itself. For example, detoxification for opioid addiction sometimes includes an 'anti-additive; drug called methadone to help the recovering addict wean off from the opioids, rather than stopping cold turkey. It helps manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce overbearing cravings during the detoxification process. Without it, recovering opioid addicts will fall into the deepest depression, physical pain, and psychological distress they have ever felt in their lives, which often also results in relapse or an overdose if they use the drug again.
One of the most important prescription medications are those that fall into the class of stabilizers for individuals who are experiencing an overly painful detoxification process. Some addictions can cause withdrawal symptoms so powerful that an individual's life can actually be in danger if they are not monitored by a clinician who can monitor the level of chemicals in the blood stream. Some medications contain elements of the addict's previously abused substance (like Methadone). The medications are used to bring the urges down more gently, as opposed to allowing the client to crash. These prescriptions can be paramount in regards to how an addict recovers, and the way they perceive and receive the process.
One of the most popular prescriptions for recovering addicts may be anti-anxiety and depression medication. A staggering amount of addictions, once they are stopped, can cause overwhelming depression, fear, paranoia and stress. Considering that once an addict gets clean and begins recovering, they must face the problems in their life; it is plain to see how these circumstances cause too much strain and pressure on the recovering addict. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills for example, often do not cause an issue physiologically when monitored by medical professionals, making them very useful during treatment.
It is always important to remember that while medications do have various and important functions during addiction treatment, they are still very similar to the most rampant form of addiction today. Recovering addicts who take prescription medication after leaving a recovery facility should be extra wary of the practice of swallowing a pill, which they may be involved in more than once a day. Mindfulness and cautionary thinking are of the utmost importance in order for prescription medications to be effective in addiction treatment. The rule of thumb is to always follow the doctor's orders. Doctors will prescribe the medication with a dosage, a time frame in which to take the medication, and also whether food or drink should be consumed with it. If a medication begins to make an individual feel uncomfortable, or they begin feeling any adverse effects, their healthcare professional should be contacted first immediately in order for the prescription to be revised or taken away if necessary.
For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.