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Medication in recovery from substance abuse

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Bongo   
Bongo

Hi. I'm an old member who actually forgot all about this forum, until I received an email last week. Going to jump right in as I'd like to kick this topic around a bit, and it's not appropriate for other forums I'm a member of.

 

I am in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for over 30 years. I am enjoying complete recovery from severe depression, anxiety, agoraphobia and substance abuse because I feel I was lucky in being led to a holistic as opposed to medical path. I am part of a recovery group that I still participate in several times a month, and I'm becoming very concerned about the current state of things. I want desperately to open my mouth and be vocal about my "opinions" to others in this group, but I feel too it would be both dangerous, and irresponsible. The last thing I'd ever want to do is have someone hurt themselves because something I said scared (or convinced) them off of their medication.

 

My concern is this: After talking with many people and volunteering in a rehab, I'm learning that the medical community (in my area at least) is now convincing newly sober people that the reason they drank and took drugs in the first place was because they were self treating underlying issues and illnesses. Duh!!! Not sure why this is a surprise to anyone... but that's not the point. They go on to convince these newcomers that they have chemical imbalances, are fighting a battle they'll never win, and need to be chemically treated in order to truly enjoy recovery. They're then even further encouraged by group members to trust their doctors, as their doctors know best. And the cycle begins.

 

I see those people sometimes getting better quickly, though temporarily - and then 90% of the time winding up in worse shape than when they entered recovery. Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes many years, but it almost always happens. The people don't ever recover, they only switch substances to a medically monitored and managed substance.

 

I could go on and on regarding this, but will leave it with adding one more note. A good friend of mine had the above experience with a therapist who recommended a psychiatrist. My friend found a psychiatrist that came highly recommended who was one of the very few to say, "Yes. You're suffering and struggling horribly in early sobriety. Follow the suggestions and advice given to you by the people in your self-help group, and come back to me in a year if you're still struggling." Those weren't the Dr.'s exact words, but that was the sentiment. That person is now many years sober, no longer suffering, and has no dependency on any chemicals.

 

I have no specific questions regarding any of this. I guess I'm just curious about others feelings around the topic. Also curious if people are aware that it's going on in the recovery community...

 

[edit] Was only able to view my previous posts on this forum after posting this. I posted pretty much about the same thing 3 yrs back :). I could view that as failure to resolve my issues with this, or determination to succeed with some sort of action! I'm choosing the latter :).

Edited by Bongo
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powerback   
powerback
11 hours ago, Bongo said:

Hi. I'm an old member who actually forgot all about this forum, until I received an email last week. Going to jump right in as I'd like to kick this topic around a bit, and it's not appropriate for other forums I'm a member of.

 

I am in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for over 30 years. I am enjoying complete recovery from severe depression, anxiety, agoraphobia and substance abuse because I feel I was lucky in being led to a holistic as opposed to medical path. I am part of a recovery group that I still participate in several times a month, and I'm becoming very concerned about the current state of things. I want desperately to open my mouth and be vocal about my "opinions" to others in this group, but I feel too it would be both dangerous, and irresponsible. The last thing I'd ever want to do is have someone hurt themselves because something I said scared (or convinced) them off of their medication.

 

My concern is this: After talking with many people and volunteering in a rehab, I'm learning that the medical community (in my area at least) is now convincing newly sober people that the reason they drank and took drugs in the first place was because they were self treating underlying issues and illnesses. Duh!!! Not sure why this is a surprise to anyone... but that's not the point. They go on to convince these newcomers that they have chemical imbalances, are fighting a battle they'll never win, and need to be chemically treated in order to truly enjoy recovery. They're then even further encouraged by group members to trust their doctors, as their doctors know best. And the cycle begins.

 

I see those people sometimes getting better quickly, though temporarily - and then 90% of the time winding up in worse shape than when they entered recovery. Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes many years, but it almost always happens. The people don't ever recover, they only switch substances to a medically monitored and managed substance.

 

I could go on and on regarding this, but will leave it with adding one more note. A good friend of mine had the above experience with a therapist who recommended a psychiatrist. My friend found a psychiatrist that came highly recommended who was one of the very few to say, "Yes. You're suffering and struggling horribly in early sobriety. Follow the suggestions and advice given to you by the people in your self-help group, and come back to me in a year if you're still struggling." Those weren't the Dr.'s exact words, but that was the sentiment. That person is now many years sober, no longer suffering, and has no dependency on any chemicals.

 

I have no specific questions regarding any of this. I guess I'm just curious about others feelings around the topic. Also curious if people are aware that it's going on in the recovery community...

 

[edit] Was only able to view my previous posts on this forum after posting this. I posted pretty much about the same thing 3 yrs back :). I could view that as failure to resolve my issues with this, or determination to succeed with some sort of action! I'm choosing the latter :).

Hi bongo sadly this wouldn't turn out well in your favour ,the world is dealing with a huge monster when it comes to doctors/medication, you see they have government and policy in there favour ,its not that long ago you could just make some illness up and have your wife committed to a psychiatric hospital .

A gigantic industry has been developed on the back of so called conditions that cant even be tested for [questioners at best ].there's a TED talk that explains psychiatry is the only field that doesn't even scan/xray the part of the body they claim to be experts on .

when an industry is settling out of court all the time on cases just shows us what there about [sheer profit ].this isn't the altruistic protection of humanity .

 

I hung on every word of my doctors until  2 years ago and I tell you never again in my life will I .holistic is the way ,a hundred years ago the  holistic approach was buried by the powers that be to make the way for the medical model that's here today .

They have  medicalised human suffering/pain and emotion .

In my opinion all you can do is point them in the direction of this site when the side affect  symptoms develop .

 

Good on ye for thinking outside the box ,but be careful putting yourself in harms way .

I think you can lead by example by showing the route you took .

 

I read that the NHS in the UK had to look at all the prescriptions for ADs being handed out ,in my opinion this isn't an epidemic of people getting sick ,its an epidemic of over prescribing and prescribing more drugs to people when they come back with side affects of the medication they giving in the first place ,its truly nuts .

 

What you say is correct ,they will end up on a dependency on chemicals not that they actually fix a so called problem .

Good on you for being sober ,I'm 2.5 years sober myself ,I suppose my real journey begins when I get off these disgusting drugs and you can be guaranteed it will be holistic not medical .

Take care .

PB

 

 

 

 

 

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manymoretodays   
manymoretodays
On 8/22/2017 at 3:22 PM, Bongo said:

Hi. I'm an old member who actually forgot all about this forum, until I received an email last week. Going to jump right in as I'd like to kick this topic around a bit, and it's not appropriate for other forums I'm a member of.

 

I am in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for over 30 years. I am enjoying complete recovery from severe depression, anxiety, agoraphobia and substance abuse because I feel I was lucky in being led to a holistic as opposed to medical path. I am part of a recovery group that I still participate in several times a month, and I'm becoming very concerned about the current state of things. I want desperately to open my mouth and be vocal about my "opinions" to others in this group, but I feel too it would be both dangerous, and irresponsible. The last thing I'd ever want to do is have someone hurt themselves because something I said scared (or convinced) them off of their medication.

 

My concern is this: After talking with many people and volunteering in a rehab, I'm learning that the medical community (in my area at least) is now convincing newly sober people that the reason they drank and took drugs in the first place was because they were self treating underlying issues and illnesses. Duh!!! Not sure why this is a surprise to anyone... but that's not the point. They go on to convince these newcomers that they have chemical imbalances, are fighting a battle they'll never win, and need to be chemically treated in order to truly enjoy recovery. They're then even further encouraged by group members to trust their doctors, as their doctors know best. And the cycle begins.

 

I see those people sometimes getting better quickly, though temporarily - and then 90% of the time winding up in worse shape than when they entered recovery. Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes many years, but it almost always happens. The people don't ever recover, they only switch substances to a medically monitored and managed substance.

 

I could go on and on regarding this, but will leave it with adding one more note. A good friend of mine had the above experience with a therapist who recommended a psychiatrist. My friend found a psychiatrist that came highly recommended who was one of the very few to say, "Yes. You're suffering and struggling horribly in early sobriety. Follow the suggestions and advice given to you by the people in your self-help group, and come back to me in a year if you're still struggling." Those weren't the Dr.'s exact words, but that was the sentiment. That person is now many years sober, no longer suffering, and has no dependency on any chemicals.

 

I have no specific questions regarding any of this. I guess I'm just curious about others feelings around the topic. Also curious if people are aware that it's going on in the recovery community...

 

[edit] Was only able to view my previous posts on this forum after posting this. I posted pretty much about the same thing 3 yrs back :). I could view that as failure to resolve my issues with this, or determination to succeed with some sort of action! I'm choosing the latter :).

 

Hey Bongo,

I'm an alcoholic too.......come to find out, after my dear adult son got a DUI about 2 years ago.  It was then that I landed myself a chair in the local AA meetings.  A gift really......as I was pretty darn sick and desperate at that point.  I had become really dependent on weed to help me while getting off Seroquel.........one of the many drugs prescribed to me during my psychiatric patient career spanning nearly 3 decades.  At first it was pretty good weed.......grown in a legal state.......and then, for the first and last time ever.......I had to resort to "using my dear son" to get me some from his friend.  Weed isn't my sons thing........just alcohol for him.  While on the "street weed"........well.......I guess you could say I reached a new level of isolation and then desperation which was where I was at when gifted with AA..........and I can see, historically, in my own life, just how I really am an alcoholic.

 

Anyway.......sober now for 15 mos. and working my program.  I am also now off all of my many, many prescribed drugs for bogus diagnoses(I just don't believe in this current medical/mental health model of care at all anymore.........long time coming).  And so I am still very much in that stage of healing/recovery from mental health care..........hoping for the best.........lots of progress............as far as my recovering mind, body, and spirit.  I essentially pretty much C/T off most of my meds. or did the doctor recommend C/T..........which is not in line with what I now know to be a better, safer way..........with the exception of my last medication(Trileptal)............yet I still expect a full recovery and sometimes am living a full recovery.  Recently.......just too much stress and perhaps not enough action has got me into a bit of a setback/wave.........nothing like it once was though........thankfully.

 

I, for one, yes, am aware of what is going on in the "substance use communities of recovery" and it does sometimes make me downright sick.  I as well, would like to, like you, find a way to advocate for a change.........in the now what is called "medically assisted treatment" for substance use.  I especially need to do further research on the use of suboxone and the low dose naltroxene being used(and forgive my spelling, etc. as I am trying to get on out of the house today rather late) as opposed to the diagnosing people while in early recovery from street drugs and alcohol.......then medicating.........all while the people in treatment remain in the dark about the meds. they are given and diagnoses they are given, etc.  Full disclosure just is not happening.........yet.  And alternative treatment is just not available for many.

 

There is a difference though too, at least for me............the dependencies created by all the medications prescribed to me for nearly 3 decades and the recovery from that is different.......not without some overlap into what "just" recovering alcoholics or street drug users experience.........but there is a difference.  As well as overlap.

 

Enough said......:blink:  I am none too concise right now with words.  I did want to respond however and I did read your other posts and gained a lot.  AA has really helped me find meaning as well.  My higher power is also not like what I used to imagine G-D was at all.  AA has also helped me greatly in my healing process to date and given me a belief that I can be well enough, good enough, etc. and some great rewards await.  I too, like you........find I do have to censor myself at meetings and sometimes after meetings and really can just share what parts and parcel of my experiences may help another..........growing in this every day still..........I do hear you and have some good ideas and encourage you to look around the site and copy or share some of the articles and information you find..........or even join in our movement for change.

 

Love, Peace, Healing/Recovery, and Growth, 

 

manymoretodays(mmt)

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