Many people who have made the decision to treat their alcohol or drug dependence prefer to keep that information to themselves. Because of the stigmas that are unfortunately associated with substance abuse and addiction, some people feel embarrassed, or are worried about what others will say or think.
Though you have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, keeping your treatment a secret is understandable. One person, however, who should know about your recovery is your doctor. As a health professional, your doctor is uniquely qualified to offer both emotional and medical support.
Sharing your recovery with your doctor is especially important if you’ve been taking prescribed medications.
As your body purges drugs or alcohol from its system, it will likely begin responding differently — and your doctor may need to adjust your existing medications to either ensure that they’re still effective or to prevent you from overdosing.
In addition, if you’re recovering from a drug addiction, your doctor needs to know. Otherwise, he may prescribe something that causes you to relapse.
In the first few months of recovery, mood changes like depression, anxiety or irritability can occur. Your doctor can help by either prescribing medication or suggesting natural treatments. Your doctor is likely to have at least a basic understanding of the recovery process, and can talk you through difficult stages in addition to addressing any concerns you may have.
Though some recovering addicts view their doctors as potential sources of embarrassment or trouble, they are actually wonderful allies during recovery.
- Even if you haven’t been honest with your doctor in the past, now is the time to be completely upfront.
- Tell your doctor the full extent of your drug or alcohol abuse, and where you’re at in your recovery.
Having your doctor on your side greatly increases your chances of living an addiction-free life.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse