Our decision not to use mind or mood-altering substances is no reason to allow our health to suffer. Physicians have our best interest in mind, but it is our responsibility to openly communicate with them about our disease of addiction. Most medical professionals will be understanding and help guide us toward a solution with minimal harm to our recovery, but the responsibility is on us to inform them of the reality of our disease. We must be open and honest with medical professionals about the nature of our disease. We will be surprised by how understanding doctors are and how willing they will be to help us seek out alternatives to the standard course of treatment if it involves medications that could risk our sobriety. However, it is up to us to inform them of our past struggles with drugs and our decision not to take certain medications. Just as we would inform our physician of an allergy to penicillin, for example, we must inform them that we suffer from a physical allergy to mind or mood-altering substances. However, we cannot “play doctor,” we must trust that the physician will help guide us to the best solution for our medical situation with minimal risk to our sobriety. Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12 Step recovery fellowship, explains in their pamphlet, The AA Member—Medications & Other Drugs, “We have heard, too, from members with other conditions, including schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, epilepsy and others requiring medication, that well-meaning A.A. friends discourage them from taking any prescribed medication. Unfortunately, by following a layperson’s advice, the sufferers find that their conditions can return with all their previous intensity. On top of that, they feel guilty because they are convinced that ‘A.A. is against pills.’” There may even be situations where there are no alternatives that do not require us to take mind or mood-altering chemicals. We must remember that our health is of upmost importance, and refusal to take necessary medication could be harmful. If this is the case, we may find it helpful to discuss the situation with our sponsor or trusted friend in recovery. We can develop a plan to minimize the risk of relapse occurring from our use of certain medications. Medical advice and treatment should always come from a professional and we could do more harm by trying to handle our medical problem alone. If we are honest and effectively communicate with our doctor about our sobriety and disease of addiction, we will invariably come to a conclusion that will keep us happy, healthy, and safe from relapse.
Through the process of recovery, we will intuitively know how to handle any situation that may come our way. You can begin healing your mind, body, and spirit by making the decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with compassionate medical professionals dedicated to guiding you through the healing process of recovery. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777