If you’re already sober, then there’s a good chance that you’ve already worked closely with a doctor. At the start of addiction treatment, for example, you likely worked with a medical doctor to ensure that your period of detoxification was successful. However, there is good reason to continue to involve your doctor throughout your recovery, especially if you have health concerns as a result of your addiction.
However, at the start of your recovery, even before you enter treatment, a medical doctor can assess your current physical condition. He or she may assess that hospitalization is required in order to be prepared for detox. Furthermore, a doctor is often included in the discussion among service providers about the various factors in a person’s life that may be contributing to the continued use of alcohol or drugs. Of course, in order for addiction treatment to be successful, it has to address all of these factors.
A doctor may begin with an assessment, which is often a self-report of your experience to assess the severity of your addiction. Along with family mental health history, and other essential information gathered, an assessment can be crucial tool in diagnosing and treating addiction. Later in your recovery, a medical doctor can also provide valuable information on how to help restore and repair your body from the effects of addiction.
However, throughout early recovery and even up to a year or two later, a physician should be involved in your healing, especially for the following addictions:
Alcohol – With excessive drinking many organs of the body, especially the liver, is at risk for being damaged. One of the most common illnesses of alcoholism is disease of the liver, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis. Involving a doctor throughout recovery from alcohol addiction can help heal the liver and other organs that have been damaged due to excessive drinking.
Opiates – Less than 25% of people who quit the use of opiates (painkillers and/or heroin) can remain sober for a full year. For this reason, treatment for an opiate addiction (heroin or pain prescription medication) is commonly medically administered. Physicians and substance abuse treatment centers have used medication assisted treatment options such as methadone, naltrexone, and suboxone to treat opiate addiction. These federally approved treatment drugs help reduce the side effects of withdrawal and curb cravings which can lead to relapse. These medications are not just for detox, but for long-term use in order to sustain sober living.
Methamphetamines – Crystal meth and other types of methamphetamines are dangerous drugs and can severely affect the brain and the body. Healing from these addictions may require a physician to monitor progress and setbacks. This is especially true if someone wanted to help restore the damage to the brain that methamphetamines can cause.
Ideally, a person should involve a whole crew of service providers in their recovery. Attending an addiction treatment center can often provide what a person needs to recover. For instance, you’ll likely work with a doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, and if you’re attending AA meetings, then possibly a sponsor as well. Having this kind of support is frequently what it takes create a life that is alcohol and drug free.
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