Addiction isn’t something easy to talk about with friends and family. Many people are afraid of being judged about drug use, nervous about someone turning them in for using. They often worry the person may try to force them to stop using cold turkey. Stopping drug use cold turkey can be very difficult to do, mainly because of the withdrawal symptoms that often occur. If you have an addiction and are ready to quit, talk to your doctor to find out what form of treatment is best for you.
The following guide walks you through a few things you need to know about seeing the doctor. You’ll also learn a few ways to prepare for the visit so it’s as beneficial as it can possibly be.
Provide the Doctor with Accurate Information
The first thing you need to do is to know accurate information about your drug use. You need to know what types of drugs you think you have been using. You need to know how often you are using drugs. You need to know how much of the drug that you are using. The doctor needs to know this information to provide you with the right form of treatment based on the level of your addiction and what you are addicted to.
A great way to track your drug use is to use a calendar. Track which drugs you take, when you take them and how much of them you take. This can be done by keeping memos on your phone or in a journal. You may have to wait to write down the information until you are sober again. Even providing details that are as close to accurate as they can be will be helpful.
Be Upfront and Honest with the Doctor
The doctor is there to treat and help you. He or she cannot provide you with the appropriate care if they don’t know the truth about your situation. You shouldn’t downplay what you are using or how often you are using for fear that you will be judged. The doctor has been trained to provide care to someone regardless of the decisions that they make in life.
You More Than Likely Won’t be Reported to the Police
When you talk to a doctor about your drug addiction, it’s important to know that he or she will not call the police on you unless necessary. If you have children who are put in harm’s way, he or she may feel that they have to report you to protect the children. Doctor-patient confidentially keeps a doctor from being able to share their patients’ information without their knowledge unless of emergencies.
A Doctor’s Referral Can Make Getting Treatment Easier
When you are ready to get help for your addiction, having a doctor’s referral stating treatment is necessary can make things easier. Many health insurance companies cover drug treatment if it is recommended by a doctor and falls in their coverage area.
Talk to your insurance company to find out what information they need for your care to be covered. The agent should be able to provide you with detailed information about where you can go for treatment. They can also tell you what type of treatment is covered and how much your copay will be before you even enroll for care.
Your Doctor May be Able to Make Detoxing Easier
There are times when a doctor feels that a person can handle their recovery on their own. If they are licensed to prescribe methadone, the doctor may be able to prescribe it to you to make detoxing easier. Methadone is designed to change the way that your brain responds to pain. It minimizes the pain that comes with detoxing and makes it easier to stay clean for good.
Methadone use needs to be monitored to ensure that it is taken properly and effectively. There are many people who have to take methadone for months and sometimes years in order to get and stay clean. Having a doctor monitor your use ensures you know when to ween yourself off of the drug to decrease dependency.
Track and Monitor Your Recovery
Working with a doctor is ideal during your recovery because he or she can help you stay motivated when times get hard. There will be occasions when you will be tempted to relapse. Going to see the same doctor during your entire recovery allows you to be reminded of how far you have come along the way. This can serve as a great way to keep your motivation and maintain your sobriety.
Understand Long-Term Repercussions from Drug Use
Extended drug use can take a toll on your body when you are using and many years after you quit using. Working with a doctor consistently during active addiction and during your recovery is important. It ensures that he or she knows how to accurately monitor all of the potential issues that could arise along the way. This will help for potential issues to be identified and treated as quickly and possible to maximize your chances of living a healthy, happy life in the future.
If you are worried about talking to your doctor about your drug addiction, you may not have the right doctor. You may need to work with a few physicians until you find one that makes you feel comfortable enough to talk about your issues. Once you feel comfortable, it will be easier to talk about the things you did when you were in active addiction. This allows you to be properly tested for communicable diseases, potential organ damage and more.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.