Addictions – We would be covering Alcohol,Drugs,Tobacco,and Other Substances
Addictions-Alcohol Points to be covered are
- Doctor’s Role In Alcohol Or Drug…
- Alcohol Abuse: How to Recognize…
- Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
- Naltrexone for Alcoholism
- Drinking: It Can Spin Your World..
Doctor’s Role in Alcohol or Drug Abuse Recovery
Your doctor plays an important role in your recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. The decision to stop using alcohol or other drugs is of utmost importance to your health. So, is it not advisable to work in close cooperation with your doctor who can not only treat any medical problems during your recovery, but can also give you emotional support and increase your chances of having long term sobriety?
SIGNS OF ADDICTION
The uncontrollable need/urge to have a drug or a substance is the most obvious sign of addiction in an individual. Psychological signs of addiction may include use of drugs or alcohol to forget problems or to relax, being withdrawn and keeping secrets from family and friends, loss of interest in activities considered important in the past, anxiety/ anger/depression or mood swings. Physical signs of addiction may include changes in the sleeping habits, changes in eating habits (weight loss/gain), feeling sick or shaky while attempting to stop the habit of abuse. Medical problems such as stomach and heart problems, high blood pressure, and psychological illnesses such as depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and sexual dysfunctions could indicate alcohol or substance abuse in an individual.
HELP FROM THE FAMILY DOCTOR
It is very common for individuals to not be honest with their family doctor regarding information such as duration and frequency of alcohol intake or drug abuse. Also, he/she may be uncomfortable revealing the truth on abuse of prescription medicines in the past. It is always advisable for an individual to inform the family doctor of his/her decision to stop alcohol intake or use of other drugs. No matter what the past relationship with the doctor, the individual needs to be open and honest in his future relationship once he/she has decided to stop alcohol or drug abuse. This is important as the individual needs to work together with the doctor to ensure long-term recovery. The doctor can then provide the much needed emotional support and also help treat any medical problems the individual may suffer from during the period of recovery.
NEED TO INFORM
The doctor can help the individual deal with mood changes such as irritability, anger, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and sexual problems that are very common during the first few months of recovery. An individual may need help from the doctor during the recovery period in adjusting doses of blood pressure medicines that he/she was taking while on the habit of alcohol intake or drug abuse. Also if the individual has been abusing prescription medications in ways that were not intended, the doctor can exercise caution while in prescribing them if ever needed.
SAFETY OF MEDICINES DURING RECOVERY
It is recommended that during recovery from alcohol or drug abuse, an individual should try treatment options such as physical therapy, ice or heat therapy, or massage therapy for relief from pain, anxiety, or insomnia. Use of relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help in the relief of feelings of stress and anxiety. However, the doctor may prescribe non opiate pain medicines that are not addictive for relief of pain, if the other methods mentioned earlier do not work. However as a rule intake of medicines for anxiety or pain is discouraged as they can increase the risk of a relapse. Tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates and meprobamate, narcotic medicines (pain killers, analgesics and opiates) should be all avoided, especially if the individual has previously abused a narcotic such as heroin, codeine, morphine or oxycodone.
SAFETY OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS
Depression is one of the major issues an individual faces during recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. Major depression is a serious medical condition that requires appropriate treatment with an antidepressant. However, intake of antidepressants in an individual recovering from alcohol or drug abuse can be a matter of concern. It is therefore important that the individual seeks the advice of his/her doctor who will decide if the individual needs an antidepressant based on his/her recovery status. Intake of an antidepressant when appropriately prescribed does not carry a risk of relapse. However, it is recommended that before restoring to antidepressants an individual may participate in self help support group programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to help with his/her feelings of depression during the first few months of recovery.
Substance abuse gradually paves the way for addiction, be it physical, psychological or both. While defining an addiction can be tricky handling it and recovering out of it is even harder. Overcoming an addiction may feel impossible, but it is not. Recovery starts when the person admits that he/she has a problem. In addition to the treatment programs available it is better to seek professional help from the family doctor. In the process of recovery honesty and strict attention to the process of recovery are among the keys to long-term success. The individual needs to be open with the doctor about how much, how often and how long he/she used alcohol or other drugs. The doctor can help the individual with any medical or psychological illnesses that he/she may face during the process of recovery. The individual needs to work together and in close cooperation with the family doctor who can not only provide medical support but can also give the emotional support and understanding needed for long-term recovery.