In this day and age, it is extremely commonplace for doctors to jot down and hand out prescription medication – often without any questions or knowledge of the patient’s history of drug abuse. Xanax, Vicodin, Valium – you name it – these drugs can be readily available at your closest Family Practice Physician. Say the right things, and you can walk out with a script to your drug of choice. Sounds insanely ridiculous and easy? Well, it is, and this is why you need to be completely upfront about your history of drug and/or alcohol abuse whenever you see a new doctor if you want to stay sober.
Don’t Accidentally Create a Drug Dealer Out of Your Physician
According to one statistic, over 52 million people in the U.S. Alone have used prescription pills non-medically. Where do they get these pills? Doctors, often more than one, or friends and family. Pills are so easy to obtain for a plethora of reasons: some doctors tend to overprescribe, it is a societal norm for people in America to “put a bandaid on” disorders with pills instead of treating the root cause, and unfortunately, many doctors and patients alike are unaware of the dangers lurking in those sleek orange pill bottles.
Drug Addiction is a Slippery Slope
In recovery, we learn that we must maintain an all-or-nothing attitude. Once substances are introduced back into our lives it is an incredibly fast, slippery slope, and even the most innocent of gestures can bring us right back into full-fledged addiction before we can even recognize what is happening.
Being upfront with doctors about our medical history is incredibly important. Alternatives are available for nearly every drug out there – pain relief, anxiety, muscle relaxers – whatever your ailment, modern medicine likely has a non-narcotic fix for it. Go into your doctor’s appointment with a plan and allow yourself to be an open book about your history. Your doctor will be happy about your honesty and it will save you any temptation of mood-altering substances.
Think you can handle prescription pills? Don’t be so sure, and to err on the cautious side, don’t even think about trying it out. Even if pills weren’t your drug of choice, as addicts we don’t have a healthy sense of moderation. As they teach in rehab, play the whole tape through. This means, when you think about picking up a drink or substance, no matter how innocent it may seem, think about all of the events that happened leading up to you coming to treatment. You undoubtedly started drinking or dabbling with drugs in an innocent way – say for a little weekend or social fun – and had no idea how much it was going to destroy your life and ultimately take control.
Stop a Relapse Before it Starts
Going to your next doctor’s appointment or procedure with this knowledge can help save you months or years of battling a relapse, or it may even save your life. You have spent so much time and money rebuilding your life back to normal, so why even risk putting it back on the line when there are alternatives out there. Don’t be shy about discussing your addiction with your doctor – they are professionals who have seen and heard it all – they too will be happy for your upfront honesty and commitment to maintaining a completely sober lifestyle.