The right medications can be a vital component of care for many people who are working to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction, starting with detox and rehab and continuing into the early phases of recovery — helping to lay the foundation for successful long-term sobriety.
The nature and severity of your addiction, along with your individual mental health needs, help establish whether you’d benefit from one or both of the following:
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for an alcohol or opioid addiction
- Pharmaceutical therapy for a co-occurring mental health condition like depression
As mental health experts who specialize in helping people gain the upper hand over addiction and create a sustainable recovery, our team at EXIS Recovery, Inc. knows that medication requires meticulous management for it to be an effective and valuable part of any substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery plan.
Here’s how medication management supports the addiction treatment process and strengthens your chances of building a resilient and sustainable recovery.
Chronic, complex, and consuming
Addiction is a chronic disease that affects people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. While SUD is a highly individualized experience, most alcohol and drug problems develop through a complicated interplay between genetics, brain chemistry, environment, emotional and mental health circumstances, social interactions, and life experiences.
Given its persistence and complexity, addiction requires a thorough, multimodal treatment approach that considers and supports the whole person every step of the way — from the detoxification process during rehab to staying clean and sober in recovery.
The role of medication in recovery
Just as medication is an important element of chronic disease management, pharmaceutical therapy is indispensable in addiction treatment and recovery. Its primary function is to alleviate or eliminate problematic symptoms so that proactive treatment strategies, such as talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), are more effective.
We use two general categories of medication in recovery:
MAT uses FDA-approved prescription medications to help people detoxify safely from severe opioid or alcohol addiction. After detox, MAT can help sustain recovery by diminishing cravings, reducing relapse, and preventing accidental overdose.
Mental health medications
Many people in recovery also require medication to manage symptoms of a co-occurring (and often interrelated) mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a psychotic disorder.
How medication management works
Medication management involves carefully accounting and controlling every medication you take at a specific time — from prescription MAT and mental health medications to OTC pain relievers and vitamin supplements.
We consider each element of your medication plan in detail, including:
- Efficacy and dosage
- Experienced side effects
- Potential interactions
- Ease of administration
- Successful adherence
Medication management has three important and interrelated objectives: To ensure your pharmaceutical therapy plan is safe, effective, and appropriate for its duration, including as your needs change or evolve.
Medication management benefits
Medication management provides several invaluable benefits by routinely reevaluating the efficacy, dosage, side effects, potential interactions, and ease of administration of every medication in your health care and addiction recovery plan.
From the early days of detox and addiction treatment through the initial phases of recovery, medication management can:
- Ensure every medication in your plan remains safe and effective for you
- Adjust your dosage or switch to another medication to stop side effects
- Identify medication efficacy problems promptly, and correct them quickly
- Replace or eliminate any medication that’s no longer safe or beneficial
Perhaps most importantly, medication management is a proactive strategy that encourages you to be directly involved in your care — and keeps you engaged in your evolving treatment needs. It also helps build a solid foundation for better physical and mental health management as you move toward long-term sobriety.
If you struggle with an alcohol or drug addiction, we can help. To learn more about medication management or our SUD treatment and recovery approach, call or click online to schedule a visit at EXIS Recovery Inc. in West Los Angeles, California, today.