6 Things a Doctor Wants You to Know About Addiction Recovery
There are professionals who work every day with people in recovery.
They see the same patterns, the same pitfalls, and the same traits of successful recoveries. Have you ever wondered what advice a doctor who works with drug and alcohol rehabilitation gives? I recently spoke with a doctor at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who routinely works with addiction. I asked him some questions about recovery that I’ve always wanted to ask a doctor.
1. What is the first advice you would give to someone in recovery?
Learn about your deeper emotional pain, as most people with addiction disorders are suffering in some way. I cannot tell you the number of times I heard from people that they relapse due to stress in their life going out of control. In America, we unfortunately live in a society of instant gratification, which I think makes us vulnerable to substance use.
2. What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about stopping taking a substance “cold turkey”?
Please get adequate help with withdrawal. There are a lot of options, including medications that can make the process safe and more tolerable. If you are struggling with alcohol withdrawal and/or taking benzodiazepine, please get a proper evaluation before stopping ‘cold turkey,’ as withdraw can be lethal.
3. What are some of the most chilling statistics about drug and alcohol use?
Most people with opioid use disorder who use benzodiazepine/hypnotics/alcohol are about 6 times more likely to die. People are most vulnerable to an unintentional overdose after rehab. This is because people often go back to using their previous dose after being sober, but their opioid receptors are a lot more sensitive if they haven’t used in a while.
4. What advice would you give to the loved ones of someone in recovery?
I would say, for the loved ones, this is a long, tiring and difficult journey. Your support and love are invaluable to help your loved one’s motivation. At the same time, appropriate limit setting is needed. You can always encourage them to get treatment.
5. What would you tell someone who is unsure if they should go to a recovery center?
There are a lot of resources out there including detoxification programs for opioids and alcohol inpatient or outpatient. Most people are ambivalent about getting care, which is normal. Taking that first step is definitely the hardest, and it is never too late to get help.
6. And, finally, do you have any last words of wisdom?
This is a lifelong journey, and we as humans will likely fail at some points. Learn to reconcile with family who loves you, learn to forgive yourself, and learn to love yourself.
As stated above, it’s important to seek help if you or someone you know struggles with addiction. Victory Addiction Recovery Center is here to help. Victory’s holistic approach provides counseling for those in the recovery center. Licensed staff give support to individuals and families of those struggling with addiction and can help you address the deep issues of addiction recovery. If you, or someone you know is abusing substances, contact Victory Addiction Recovery Center and ask about how to get help.
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