Many people engaged in holistic recovery wonder if they should use medication as part of their treatment. While it isn’t uncommon for those in drug recovery to receive medication, there are still many risks to consider. Therefore, the question, “how can medication help my recovery?” is a valid one in holistic treatment centers.
How is Addiction Defined?
When addiction occurs, a substance becomes an individual’s number one priority. This could mean alcohol for some and narcotics for others. The “C.A.G.E.” test can help people determine if addiction is a problem.
- C: can the individual cut back?
- A: do they become annoyed when their peers express concerns regarding the substances they’re using?
- G: do they have feelings of guilt about their substance use?
- E: have they had any eye-opening experiences related to their substance use?
How Can Medication Be Helpful for Addiction?
One underlying question in holistic treatment is, is it counterproductive for medication to be prescribed to a person in recovery? When is this method helpful and not harmful? For many years, medications were not available for addiction treatment. This made the addiction almost as difficult to kick as living with it, and specialized treatment requirements became necessary. In the past, visiting your doctor to discuss and begin treatment wasn’t an option. This is not the case anymore.
There are now many medications used for recovery from substance abuse. Suboxone (Buprenorphine HCL) is used for treating addiction to heroin, and is growing in popularity with an 88% success rate following a six-month treatment period. Topomax (topiramate) and Baclofen are each undergoing testing for the treatment of opiates like heroin and cocaine. Naloxone and Campral (Acamprosate calcium) are both used to treat alcoholism.
Will These Medications Cause a Relapse?
Those who undergo holistic treatment will likely have this question, and with good reason. The answer is entirely dependent on the person. While some people can safely take medications, others are unable to do so during their holistic recovery. For example, if someone in recovery doesn’t feel comfortable taking painkillers following surgery, this is their personal preference, and should be respected out of concerns for relapse. Others in recovery with no history of abusing painkillers, may have no issue with taking them if prescribed
Taking medication as a means of helping addiction recovery should be an individual decision. Many experts, as well as those who have gone through recovery, have noted that these medications do not cause a relapse. Instead, they typically help individuals manage their cravings and withdrawal symptoms.