Addiction professionals disagree about whether sobriety requires a patient to stop using all drugs or alcohol or just those substances that are not prescribed by their clinical team. Whether a particular drug rehab program supports total abstinence or something else is a factor that should be considered when choosing the right program.
Psychological Addiction Treatment is Necessary When Suffering with Mental Illness
To be clear, being in drug rehab does not necessarily mean that all patients will be completely free of all medications. For some, physical or mental issues other than addiction may require pharmaceutical intervention, and ongoing psychological addiction treatment. Without which, meaningful participation in addiction treatment would be problematic or impossible. An example would be treating someone with lithium for bipolar disorder; failure to do so would likely cause the patient to suffer bouts of mania or depression and disrupt treatment for himself and others.
Patients who show signs of clinical depression may be more prone to relapse if they are not properly prescribed an SSRI, nonaddictive antidepressant medication, or other medication for drug addiction and depression. For some patients, the drug rehab may come up with a plan to move the patient from addictive drugs to nonaddictive drugs, especially in the case of chronic pain. This plan may also include alternative therapies to improve quality of life without leaving the person medicated on debilitating addictive drugs.
Withdrawal Symptom Medication for Drug Addiction
For other recovering addicts, withdrawal symptoms are so intense that they are unable to focus on addiction treatment unless the symptoms are managed via administration of other drugs. The threshold at which patients consider the pain to be unbearable will, of course, vary from person to person. An example of this situation is when heroin addicts are administered methadone while undergoing psychological addiction treatment. Although the methadone does allow the patient to engage in treatment, care should be taken to ensure that full abstinence from psychotropic substances is the ultimate goal of treatment. Programs vary as to what level of craving or withdrawal management it will tolerate in its patient population, as clinical professionals differ with regard to whether they consider discomfort to be a viable treatment motivator.
Addiction and Psychological Treatment Assessment
In many cases, patients are examined by a physician and a psychiatrist during the treatment stay to assess which drugs are necessary and what alternatives there might be to treat any specific issues with nonaddictive drugs.
If you are considering drug rehab treatment, discuss with an intake adviser every drug you are currently taking so the treatment team will understand and assess your ongoing needs.