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4 Reasons Discussing Your Addiction with Your Doctor Can Maintain Your Sobriety

4 Reasons Discussing Your Addiction with Your Doctor Can Maintain Your Sobriety

Addicts can begin and maintain their recoveries if they disclose their struggle with a doctor or healthcare provider.

For your doctor to give you the best possible care, she needs to know your complete medical history, which includes any struggles and secrets. For example, it can be difficult to come clean about drug or alcohol abuse, especially if you have lied about it in the past to her and/or your San Diego family. However, the following thoughts may help you push past those fears to get thorough, professional help.

#1 Lying Hurts You the Most

A survey of 1,500 respondents conducted by WebMD found that 13 percent of them admitted to lying to their physicians. In other words, through sins of omission or outright lies, many people hide the truth about substance abuse from their doctors. For instance, they may not be ready to face their addictions and get sober. Other people could be reticent to cut off a source of prescription medications. Additionally, shame and fear of judgment motivate some San Diego drug addicts to steer clear of the topic altogether. Individuals who fall into this camp typically view doctors as authority figures, so, hoping to avoid a lecture, they revert to adolescent responses of telling their physicians what they want to hear rather than the truth.

Additionally, according to a study published by the American Medical Association, nearly one in 25 adults between the ages of 57-85 is putting himself at risk for major drug interactions by mixing prescription drugs, such as a commonly prescribed blood thinners and over-the-counter medications like aspirin, vitamins and supplements. For instance, combining even small amounts of alcohol with certain drugs raises the risk for breast cancer. Additionally, greater alcohol intake can compromise your liver, stomach, brain and many other organs; cocaine can cause a heart attack even among casual users. Take these risks seriously and open up to your doctor to safeguard your health.

Telling the Truth Improves Your Care

The more your doctor knows, the more he can educate you about how to keep your body healthy. If a frank discussion seems too difficult, then consider writing a letter to take with you to your next appointment. Read it in your doctor’s presence so he can match your face to the disease of addiction. Make sure to include the following information:

  • The exact nature of your addiction
  • Your current sobriety status
  • What sort of help you think would be most beneficial

By working with a doctor, San Diego drug addicts can increase their chances of long-term sobriety and avoiding relapse. Medical professionals can provide emotional support during recovery, and they can treat any medical problems that might arise along the way. With the right help, full addiction recovery is possible.

Your Doctor Can Join Your Support System

Researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration say that recovering addicts are less likely to return to drug and alcohol abuse if they feel supported and accepted by people around them. This thought means that San Diego residents who include their doctors in their support networks can only strengthen their efforts with an additional source of accountability and encouragement. That said, not every doctor will be comfortable addressing your condition. If you feel unduly anxious about talking with your doctor, then you could switch practitioners to find a clinician who specializes in addiction.

You Are Your Own Best Advocate

When it comes to avoiding accidental addiction and relapse, honesty is the best policy. Never assume that your doctor will spot a nascent addiction or protect you from developing one. You must be your own advocate at the doctor, so be sure to provide her with the following information about any medication she gives you:

  • How the medication affects you
  • How you take the medication
  • Family history of substance abuse

You could also take the following actions to stay safe while take medication:

  • Start low, go slow – Begin taking new medications at a low dose, and only increase the dose as needed
  • Provide full disclosure – Make sure all of your doctors know your complete regimen of pills and supplements
  • Make sure medicine is what you need – Many emotional problems can be treated with social support and counseling, so do not assume you need medication for every psychological problem
  • Get rid of old medication – Do not keep medications once you stop using them, because you can always obtain them again later with a new prescription
  • Be accountable – Make sure at least one other trusted person knows about the medications you are taking

Watch out for additional signs that you are becoming addicted. San Diego residents might be addicts if they take the medication differently than prescribed to achieve a pleasurable effect. They may also be dependent if they have a growing tolerance to the drug. If you suspect that you may be in danger, then seek help as soon as possible. People who receive professional assistance before physical and psychological dependence grow improve their chances of making a full recovery.

Help for San Diego Drug Addicts

If you or a San Diego loved one is struggling with addiction, then know that help is available. Admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can guide you to wellness, so do not go it alone when support is just one phone call away. Please call today to find out how you can begin the road to recovery.