Medications to Avoid in Addiction Recovery

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Medications to Avoid in Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is a process — often paved with constant hindrances.

Staying sober and completely steering clear of the substance is the primary goal of every addiction recovery process. However, things, events, and circumstances may trigger a recovering addict to come crawling back to the cruel arms of addiction.

Another huge threat to a person’s hard-earned sobriety is medications. There are over-the-counter medications that may cause a person in recovery to spiral down the drain. When you know what causes relapse in drug addicts, you have better chances of avoiding them.

Keeping Sober

Organizations like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) believe that every addict has a chance to a brand-new life — one that is free from alcohol and drugs. When someone becomes wholly dependent on a substance, keeping away from it is a challenge. That’s why NA and AA point out that individuals must abstain from the substance to maintain sobriety.

Some people may find it easy to remain sober, but others may have difficulty doing it. One hit or one drink may put all their efforts to waste. It is vital to know that other things at home may derail addiction recovery, like OTC medications.

Role of Detoxification in Addiction Recovery

Detoxification is an essential part of your recovery. Although long and taxing, it eliminates traces of the substance in your system. The process gives your body the chance to readjust and heal itself. As someone who takes their recovery seriously, it would be disastrous if you relapse because of something as simple as OTC medications.

It would be best if you understood that there are medications to avoid in recovery. Nowadays, reaching your medicine cabinet is easy — when you have a cold, you want to sleep or relieve your pain. As a recovering addict, being aware of these things will help you avoid jeopardizing your sobriety.

Medications to Avoid in Recovery

To err on the side of caution, we advise you to do your research and consult a physician first. As you continue and keep on your recovery progress, there are certain medications you need to keep away from altogether. Here are some of them:

1. Prescription Drugs

When you visit your physician, mentioning your recovery from addiction is a must. A professional visit will allow your doctor to put it in your chart and prescribe medications accordingly. Your doctor may also coordinate with your counselor or treatment facility professional.

There are prescription antidepressants and mood stabilizers that may help manage your mood while in recovery, but here are the following prescription drugs to avoid:

  • Muscle relaxers
  • Sedatives
  • Pain relievers
  • Stimulants
  • Antidiarrheals

2. Colds/Allergies

You may be surprised, but some antihistamines and decongestants may affect your recovery journey. Some medications can alter your mood or sedate you. Your doctor will recommend alternatives. Here are some colds and allergy medications to avoid:

  • Loratadine
  • Cetirizine
  • Fexofenadine HCL and Pseudoephedrine HCL
  • Phenylpropanolamin-Hydrocodone
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Pseudoephedrine-Codeine

3. Sedatives

As someone who is on the path of addiction recovery, whether from drugs or alcohol, it is vital to keep away from sedatives, too. These medications interact with the body’s central nervous system, encouraging drug dependency and drug abuse. You may also experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them abruptly.

Here are some sedative-hypnotics to avoid:

  • Acetaminophen/Dichloralphenazone
  • Methaqualone
  • Carisoprodol
  • Ethchlorvynol
  • Zaleplon
  • Meprobamate

4. Pain Medications

Any medications for pain relief pose a high risk for recovering addicts. Overdose and relapse are life-threatening during addiction recovery. Psychoactive medications and narcotics usually consist of opium. However, not managing the pain will also drive a person to relapse. Pain medications are essential in lowering pain intensity and making it manageable.

Prescribing pain medication remains a challenge for physicians. Although they want to help manage a patient’s pain, advising them to take opiates and opium is out of the picture. There’s an increased possibility that you’ll walk out of the doctor’s office empty-handed. Your physician will have to determine whether you need it for pain or if you’re looking to get high.

Here are some of the muscle relaxers and pain relievers you should avoid:

  • Fentanyl
  • Pethidine
  • Opium
  • Oxycodone/paracetamol
  • Carisoprodol
  • Hydrocodone

5. Stimulants

When you take stimulants, you risk addiction both in the physical and psychological aspects. These medications will also impede your learning prowess, sight, hearing, problem-solving skills, and ability to process information quickly.

Here are some stimulants you should steer clear away from:

  • Methylphenidate
  • Phenmetrazine
  • Phentermine
  • Sibutramine
  • Pemoline

6. OTC Medications

The most accessible medications to avoid in recovery are over-the-counter drugs. OTC medication for illnesses like stomach flu, cough, allergies, and colds are safe for the general population but not for recovering addicts. OTC medicines have ingredients that may interfere with your progress. There may be chemical ingredients that have the same effects as addictive drugs.

Your brain may not be able to distinguish between drugs and medications – resulting in substance cravings you can’t shake off. Here are some OTC drugs to avoid as a recovering addict:

  • Dextromethorphan/Guaifenesin/Pseudoephedrine
  • Diphenhydramine HCL
  • Pseudoephed-DM-Acetaminophen
  • Oxymetazoline intranasal (nasal spray)
  • Pseudoephedrine

Note that this list is not comprehensive. We recommend consulting your doctor and staff from the rehab facility before taking any OTC medication.

Reach Out to Haven House Today

When you’re out of the rehab facility, the work continues in the real world.

It is necessary to be careful of taking medications to maintain your sobriety. They may seem harmless, but they may turn your world upside down.

If you’re looking for a drug rehab around Nashville to begin your journey to addiction recovery, Haven House is one of the best options. We follow a 12-step, Christian-based recovery program for men. Our staff is dedicated to providing a caring, loving, and nurturing environment. Call us today!

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