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Author Topic: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?  (Read 11331 times)

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Offline Kat

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This dilemma has been an issue for addicts as long as there have been addicts. It can be particularly hard for those whose drug of choice was a prescribed medication.  Sometimes, we do need to take medication for a time, or long-term, even if we abused prescription medication in the past.  Making a decision to never take a medication again is not realistic for most of us.  That said, the following link will take you to helpful and insightful information from Narcotics Anonymous regarding taking medication in recovery:

In Times of Illness
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 06:41:10 PM by Kat »
"FAITH is when you have come to the edge of all the light that you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown... Faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly."

Offline ladyj / mabear

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ok here is my take on this yes addicts abuse drugs this said Nazis sit down love yall  :slapfight:
I  have major  health shit going on yes I take meds it is between ME SPONSOR DOCTOR (that knows im a addict) AND HP so I give you freedom to work with
your sponsor and dr yes some will lie you have to be honest
have plans tools in place to try to help keep you safe AND ACCOUNTABLE

1 hint after my wreck sponsor held pain meds gave me daily allotment if I took extra oh well I would of had to suffer


FOLKS YOU KNOW IF YOUR CLEAN OF ABUSEING THE MEDS DONT LET NAZIS MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE HAVE TO BE MARTER be honest you only hurt you otherwise
the reason I say this after my wreck someone double digits said I relapsed cause of all meds hospital gave me I was crushed and yes I wanted to use but talked with my sponsor and if I doubted I was clean when she got through with him I knew I was clean
thank god for great sponsors I love mine  :hugs:
NA
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unless you choose

Offline Kat

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 :hugs: Joyce.

For me, going back on prescription medicine was the first of many steps I took that ended in relapse.  I want to stress though, it was not the pills I had to take that made me go back out...it was the lack of recovery working in my life that allowed ME to take me back out.  Our lit tells us that relapse begins long before we actually pick up.  I believe that.  It begins when I quit doing the things I need to do to keep recovery foremost in my life, when I start to become complacent.  Another biggie for me was not talking about how I was feeling.  I knew I was in trouble long before I actually relapsed.  Who knows, I may have been able to avoid the relapse had I talked to my fellow addicts, and gotten honest with myself, my sponsor, my fellow addicts, and my HP. 

Basically, I have to keep my program in order, so that when faced with taking needed medication, I have the tools of recovery to use.  You are not relapsed just for taking meds.  You are relapsed when the motive for taking the meds is not about the medical issue anymore.

See In Times of Illness for NA's take on this, it is posted in the first post.
"FAITH is when you have come to the edge of all the light that you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown... Faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly."

Offline benana

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Re: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 10:29:20 AM »
I don't take medication. But from my understanding there was a time, long, long ago, when our addict society had barely stepped out of the caves and begun to learn how to live. Back then, our literature used to say that we shouldn't take medication. It also said homosexuality was a character defect, that there are no answers whatsoever in medicine or religion, etc. These old ideas- which had more to do with fashionable beliefs of the time than anything particular to NA- were incomplete and unsatisfactory, so our fellowship evolved. We're now much bigger and people have much more clean time than they did back then.

I find it's nice to know our old literature, because you can use it against the nazis. If someone says "You have to work the steps at this or that rate out of our historic literature... that's our program", and they take medication, you can kindly remind them what our historic literature used to say about that.

The only reason you're working a program is for yourself. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks of your clean time or your program. If someone ever says "You're not working an NA program", say "Then I'm glad, because you're an asshole". This is about getting your life back, not about being popular. It's about being able to lay down your head and get a full night's sleep, knowing you did nothing wrong that day or that you corrected any mistakes you did make.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 10:40:52 AM by benana »
"A spiritual understanding of self-acceptance is knowing that it is all right to find ourselves in pain, to have made mistakes, and to know that we are not perfect."
-IP #19, Self-Acceptance

Offline Sean_A

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Re: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 01:46:29 PM »
Basic \text plainly states as long as you take as prescribed by a physician it is not using. As far as what other addicts say about it, doesn't matter that section from Basic Text says it all. Thing to be careful about is that our bodies don't really know the difference between prescription and street drugs. This is why working with a sponsor is so important. Just my experience
"Narcotics Anonymous offers only one promise and that is freedom from active addiction, the solution that eluded us for so long." Basic Text, p.102

Offline benana

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Re: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 02:31:36 PM »
From the basic text:

Quote
This is a program of total abstinence. There are times, however, such as in cases of health problems involving surgery and/or extreme physical injury, when medication may be valid. This does not constitute a license to use. There is no safe use of drugs for us. Our bodies don’t know the difference between the drugs prescribed by a physician for pain and the drugs prescribed by ourselves to get high. As addicts, our skill at self-deception will be at its peak in such a situation. Often our minds will manufacture additional pain as an excuse to use. Turning it over to our Higher Power and getting the support of our sponsor and other members can prevent us from becoming our own worst enemies. Being alone during such times would give our disease an opportunity to take over. Honest sharing can dispel our fears of relapse...

To minimize the danger, there are a few specific options that we may consider. Using local anesthesia, avoiding our drug of choice, stopping drug use while we are still hurting, and spending extra days in the hospital in case withdrawal occurs are some of our options...

You’d be surprised how much pain we can handle without medication. In this program of total abstinence, however, we need to feel no guilt after having taken a minimum amount of medication prescribed by an informed professional for extreme physical pain.

There's also "In Times of Illness" and lots of other literature nowadays, though, as posted above.
"A spiritual understanding of self-acceptance is knowing that it is all right to find ourselves in pain, to have made mistakes, and to know that we are not perfect."
-IP #19, Self-Acceptance

Offline Gemm

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Re: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 07:55:29 AM »
Basic \text plainly states as long as you take as prescribed by a physician it is not using. As far as what other addicts say about it, doesn't matter that section from Basic Text says it all. Thing to be careful about is that our bodies don't really know the difference between prescription and street drugs. This is why working with a sponsor is so important. Just my experience

Actually, this is only partially what it says. The BT goes on to say that we need to be honest with ourselves and our doctors before and during taking any narcotic or med that can lead to a relapse. We also have to be honest with our sponsors and seek support from our fellow addicts when these times do arise. It is also suggested elsewhere in our literature that we try the best we can to have doctors that are knowledgeable about treating people with addictions, though that isn't always possible with insurance restrictions and some doctors that either don't care or will immediately label us a "pill seekers" or other related crap.

When I 1st had to take a narcotic I was very fortunate to have a doctor that was very knowledgeable about addictions. He was one of the "on call" doctors at the local rehab and also worked as "staff doctor" for our county drug/alcohol counseling center. He was the one who 1st showed me this chapter in our BT (all we had at that time other than the "In Times of Illness" booklet. He kept a copy of our BT in his office as does our current doctor. When I came to TN I needed to find a new doctor cause mine from PA just wouldn't come with me lmao.  The one we have didn't know anything when we 1st got to know him but was willing to learn and his 1st education was reading the BT we gave him as part of a community outreach from our PI committee. Since then he has gone on to find other education in this field and does on-going education in many different fields that affect his patients.

Bottom line, it is ultimately up to us to make the decision to take any medication that our or any other doctor may prescribe for us. We alone are responsible for our recovery no matter what. We alone know our motives for taking any medication. Nobody else is in our brain but us, but we can include others in our thinking and decision making - such as sponsor, doctor or other addicts that we know have been in the same or similar situations. Are we still clean??? In my opinion, as long as our motives are clear and legitimate, and we aren't misusing the medications - that also includes trying to second guess the doctor and taking less that s/he prescribes, then yes, we are still clean. I'd be up shit's creek with no paddle if not because I take about  8 different medications on a daily basis, though only 1 is considered even marginally narcotic-like, not true narcotic though is flagged as one that can cause cravings and relapses in some addicts if not taken with care.T hen there is my inhaler.  I've known people to use these to get high not for asthma or other breathing problems. When I 1st started using them I did see why as I got a bit of a momentary high feeling from it; just enough to make me very cautious with it lol. With my sleep problems right now, my doc has also suggested I use a sleep aid to help me sleep better (it does seem to be helping a bit) and those, even the OTCs, can be psychologically addictive to people like us so we do need to use them with care.

Again, honest with self, doctor, sponsor and other NA support people is key. What others outside that circle say is not important to me. I know why I take each and every medication that I put into my body and do so knowing full well all I can learn about that med as well as any interactions with other meds. Today there is absolutely no reason in my opinion for anyone to take a medication that they don't research what with the wealth of information that can be had through search engines on sites such as WebMD, Drugs.com, Medline, etc. I will generally search at least 2 sites and keep a profile on Drugs.com where I can list all my meds and get updates on new information about them as well as find out interactions with other meds that I take that may not be listed anywhere else. I would highly suggest anyone that takes multiple medications to do this as well - for safety as well as information. I had one interaction when I 1st started the profile that I was very concerned with and talked to my doctor and we ended up changing one medication to reduce the interaction potential.

Sorry for the long rant but this seemed like the place to do it. HUGS   :hugs: :hugs:
Unity begins with U-N-I; when one of us is missing both of us will die. Don't let the life NA gave you keep you from service to NA.

Offline Sean_A

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Re: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 01:51:54 PM »
ty ethel hugs n love
"Narcotics Anonymous offers only one promise and that is freedom from active addiction, the solution that eluded us for so long." Basic Text, p.102

Offline benana

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Re: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2013, 10:31:59 PM »
I don't take medication. But from my understanding there was a time, long, long ago, when our addict society had barely stepped out of the caves and begun to learn how to live. Back then, our literature used to say that we shouldn't take medication. It also said homosexuality was a character defect, that there are no answers whatsoever in medicine or religion, etc. These old ideas- which had more to do with fashionable beliefs of the time than anything particular to NA- were incomplete and unsatisfactory, so our fellowship evolved. We're now much bigger and people have much more clean time than they did back then.

I find it's nice to know our old literature, because you can use it against the nazis. If someone says "You have to work the steps at this or that rate out of our historic literature... that's our program", and they take medication, you can kindly remind them what our historic literature used to say about that.

The only reason you're working a program is for yourself. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks of your clean time or your program. If someone ever says "You're not working an NA program", say "Then I'm glad, because you're an asshole". This is about getting your life back, not about being popular. It's about being able to lay down your head and get a full night's sleep, knowing you did nothing wrong that day or that you corrected any mistakes you did make.

This was really cocky and self-righteous... and mostly wrong, too. And hurtful. What I was writing about had nothing to do with the question, just with my anger at another addict at my face-to-face meetings. Plus I took forever to admit I was wrong.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 10:44:21 PM by benana »
"A spiritual understanding of self-acceptance is knowing that it is all right to find ourselves in pain, to have made mistakes, and to know that we are not perfect."
-IP #19, Self-Acceptance

Offline alchemist_881

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Re: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2016, 04:12:44 PM »
I think that this is a sticky subject and that it varies from person to person. i think only you know if you are going to be able to handle taking prescription medication. read the basic text, it will tell you all you need to know, it is ok to use prescribed medication when it is REALLY NEEDED. we are babies as addicts and we tend to maximize pain, anxiety and so on. only you know if you using a certain or any chemical is going to set you off, here is what i think
Never use to change the way you feel (emotionally) or for pain just as an excuse, but dont get it twisted
if its not pain medeication and you made it through without it until now especially being in jails or institutions, try not to even get back on it. ive been on anxiety medications all my life and it is rough for me without them. however, i know that whe i start taking those i start taking more than prescribed or i take one when i really dont need it. then your toleranced builds then your wall gets let down. next thing you know your making all of these excuses that you tend to get caught up in and next thing you know you are off to the races before you know it. i would just try to stay away from it unless completely neccessary. if you know you are gonna be on something, especially for pain there are many ways to prevent yourself from setting yourself up. staying in the hospital for extra days while your in pain and on meds, giving your meds to a trusted family member or friend to dispense to you. notify your doctor of your addiction. you have to tell on yourself and cancel all reservations in order to make it clean. and all of this is in the basic text. i highly suggest reading the baisc text to anyone who is new and even if you are not. the answers are all right there, you must open your mind and let that willingness go and then you are on your way to working the rest of the steps. because thats what the first 3 steps is all about, hopefully this helps someone, ive been clean for two and a half months and ever since ive read the basic text and used the steps anbd principles in my daily life and do what the program suggests, things have been so much easier and i am really grateful. i dont have the answers to everything but when a situation arrises i know what to do a lot of the time. thanks, alchemist_881
alchemist_881

Offline holseyj

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Re: If I take legitimately needed prescribed medication, am I still clean?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2016, 06:58:38 AM »
I also experienced relapse after being prescribed pain meds because of a severe car accidet. I knew at some point that "as needed", was becoming more an. more frequent and ignored it. Please be careful. This happened to me with 11 yrs clean.Relapse begins long. efore the incident. Remember, the disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful.