Since so many substances carry the risk of addiction, needing medication can be seriously dangerous for recovering addicts. This problem first appears during rehab patients’ five to fourteen-day detoxifications, when pharmaceuticals are often required to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. As addicts continue on to inpatient programs or other treatment plans, they may still need medications. At this point, clinic staff can monitor patients’ dosages and make sure they don’t develop new addictions. Once a treatment program is over, however, addicts must manage their own prescription drug intake. This can be extremely difficult for people who have had so much trouble controlling their use of other substances, and understanding how to manage prescription drug intake can be vital for long-term sobriety.

With Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and other debilitating post-rehab conditions, it is unrealistic for recovering addicts to abstain from all drugs for the rest of their lives. They commonly require Valium, Xanax, and other drugs designed to deal with intense emotional stress and mental imbalances. Aside from dealing with their addictions, substance abusers must also use medication in the same scenarios as non-drug users. If they suffer an accident or become sick, they may need medications to recover – medications which can be habit-forming. Vicodin and Morphine work well for pain relief, but they are also some of the most addictive drugs on the market.

If recovering addicts take prescription drugs, they may develop new addictions to those substances. This can happen even in cases of highly successful, long-term recoveries. The lifestyle changes substance abusers make during their rehab treatments don’t change the ways their brains develop tolerances and dependencies, so they must be ever-vigilant against new addictions.

To properly control prescription drug intake, addicts must maintain close relationships with their doctors. Since painkillers, anti-depressants, and other pharmaceuticals are so habit-forming, many physicians have become well-versed in carefully managing their use. There are two primary methods for controlling pain in addicts:

1. Non-psychotropic drugs such a Tramdol

2. Psychotropic drug treatment paired with constant monitoring. Doctors administer painkillers while carefully assessing whether their patients are developing new dependencies.

Overall, the goals of pain treatment in addicts are the same as in other patients – maximizing function and minimizing pain. For addicted patients, this usually means minimum dosages, especially where opiates are required. It is also helpful to ensure consistency by having only one doctor providing prescriptions and assessment.

Some patients can successfully manage their pain medications with the help of a spouse, parent, or other trusted person. This person controls the pharmaceuticals and administers them strictly according to the physician’s directions. Even in these cases, patients usually have regular appointments with their doctors, who make sure new dependencies are not forming.

To find out more about how recovering addicts can successfully and safely use pharmaceuticals, read part 2 of this article series. If you need help now, use the links below. Addiction to illegal drugs and prescription medications is a gravely serious matter, and you can’t afford to wait. Our addiction specialists are standing by now to give you a toll-free, no-obligation consultation.

For more information about getting the right help right now, click here for drug treatment centers in Florida that can help you no matter where you live.

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Author's Bio: 

Meerston is a gifted writer who has done little else her entire life. As a child she won numerous awards for her poetry and fiction. As an adult she has made a living as one of the most sought-after freelance writers in the U.S.