When people come to rehab, they bring with them their entire health history, and it is common for many people to take medications that are important for their health. For this reason, one of the first questions that people tend to ask our counselors is whether or not they can still take non-addictive medications while in rehab. While the answer to this question varies according to many different factors, the short answer is typically that you can. However, there do tend to be rules and stipulations in place that are designed to protect not just you but everyone who stays in the facility.
It is also important to clarify that many medications still have addictive qualities. Most people associate opioid painkillers as being addictive, but you can also become physically or psychologically dependent upon a variety of other prescription medications. For this reason, you may find that a rehab program rejects certain medications, or they may choose to monitor your use of it more closely than they would something such as vitamins. Since the entire goal of a drug treatment program is to help you regain your health, you can expect them to carefully weigh the benefits and potential consequences of allowing certain medications to be used within the facility’s walls.
Check the Rules at Your Preferred Treatment Center
Your first step to find out what you can take in rehab is to check with your preferred program. Most programs have a basic list of medications that are already approved for use in the treatment center, and you may find that yours is already listed. For instance, your treatment center may allow certain over-the-counter medications to be brought to the center if they are necessary for your comfort or health. There are also common health conditions that people treat with medications that are known to be non-habit forming. For instance, most rehabs will allow you to bring prescription medications for high blood pressure and diabetes since these are necessary for your continued health.
In the event that your medication is not on the list of already-approved medications, then you may need to seek approval prior to your stay. This is especially important if you are on a medication that you are not allowed to stop abruptly. For instance, certain medications for mood disorders or pain require you to be weaned off slowly. Make sure to be honest about any medications that you take when you speak to members of the treatment program’s staff. Keep in mind that they do not judge, and their only goal is to make sure that you do not take anything that could interfere with your recovery. They also know that certain medications may be beneficial for your recovery, and they may allow you to continue to use them. For example, continuing to take medications that are prescribed for your depression or anxiety can help make the first stages of your recovery easier.
Make Sure That You are Prepared for Your Stay
The preparations that you need to make regarding your medications will depend upon whether or not they are approved. If a medication is not immediately approved, then you will need to discuss the safety of stopping it temporarily with your physician. In some cases, your physician may be able to recommend rehab-safe alternatives such as using a non-addictive form of the medication that provides similar results. If it is not safe for you to stop using a drug, then your physician may also be able to communicate this to the staff at the detox center so that they can develop a plan that helps you get treatment and stay on your medication.
In most cases, your medications should be approved if they are safe and deemed to be non-addictive. However, you still need to do some prep work to make sure that you can take it correctly. Start by making sure to refill any prescriptions that may run out during your stay in rehab. Typically, you are allowed to bring as much of the medication as you need for the entire stay, so you may need to request a new 30-day supply of the prescription if you are going for a longer stay. Keep in mind that it is always best for your recovery to continue without any interruptions. Having to leave rehab to seek a refill disrupts your treatment so be sure that you have everything you need when you show up for your admission.
Understand How Medication is Administered at Rehab
The majority of drug rehab centers require you to bring all prescription medications in their original bottle with the label attached. This helps to prove that the medication is actually prescribed for you, and it helps the staff know how it is to be administered. Liquid medications are also preferred to be in a sealed container upon your arrival, and over-the-counter medications should be in unopened containers that clearly label what is inside.
As part of the intake process, the medications that you bring to the center will be examined and inventoried. They will then be carefully stored in a location that is only accessible to members of the staff who need access to administer it to you. When it is time for your medication, someone will help you get it out and take the correct dose. Keep in mind that you are responsible for reporting how any medications affect you as you progress through the program. For example, you need to self-report if you suspect that you are becoming dependent upon a medication that is prescribed so that the staff can take proper precautions to make sure that you do not transfer addictions. In most instances, however, you should not have a problem taking your normal medications in your treatment program.
Are you worried about whether or not you can continue to take your medication while you work on your recovery? Give our counselors a call today at (866) 840-6411 so that we can help you find the right answers for your questions.