Is it Okay to Take Prescribed Medication in Recovery?

There are many different opinions in the recovery community regarding prescription medication. Each person’s medical needs are different, and coming to the decision of whether or not to take prescribed medications depends on a variety of factors—namely, the specific medication, our need for it, and an honest evaluation of how strong we are in our recovery to minimize the potential for abuse.
Our health is of upmost importance. There is no reason to needlessly suffer when we can manage our medical issues with medication. However, some medications, like opioids, anxiolytics, and stimulants, can be a major threat to our recovery and we can usually find less risky alternatives. Narcotics Anonymous, a 12 Step fellowship dedicated to recovery from drug addiction, addressed the question of medication directly in their informational pamphlet, NA Groups and Medication, “When NA groups consider the topic of medication, including the use of prescribed medication for surgery, injury, illness, and medication for mental health, we can begin by acknowledging the complexity of the situation,” and, “the choice to take prescribed medication is a personal decision between a member, his or her sponsor, physician, and a higher power. It is a decision many members struggle through. It is not an issue for groups to enforce.” Certainly, when we involve our sponsor, doctor, and higher power in the decision, we are not likely to make a choice that would put our sobriety in jeopardy. Many recovery fellowship members have dealt with medical issues themselves or know someone else in the community who has. We can find advice on the topic from the collective experience of recovery fellowship members and draw on their knowledge to come to the best possible decision. Sometimes people find themselves in a situation where they must take a mind or mood-altering chemical to manage their medical symptoms. In this case, a member may have a trusted friend or their sponsor manage the dispensing of the medication if we feel that we may not be able to control our use. As men and women suffering from the disease of addiction, we must maintain an awareness of how the disease affects us and its potential to bring us back into substance abuse. In the case of prescription medication, we must rely on open communication to come to an answer that does not pose a risk to our sobriety.

You story can be one of hope, faith, and courage in sobriety. You can make the decision to change your life and build a better future by seeking help today. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals who can guide you through the process of complete recovery from addiction and alcoholism. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777