Recovery Information Overload – Can I Just Take a Pill?


Okay people, do I take a pill to end the alcohol cravings and life becomes a joyride forever? Or do maintenance drugs work only when coupled with therapy and an earnest attempt at lifelong abstinence? Does “connection” stop me from becoming addicted to heroin? Or is anything I take for back pain a gateway to street drugs? Am I building my sobriety house of bricks for naught? Do I even need to know why I used in the first place? Or do I get an implant to stop me from even thinking of drinking and forget about the whys and wherefores?

Lately the news and social media has been full of conversation about the wonder drugs that quell the yen for addictive substances. Is anyone else confused by the influx of conflicting information? Am I asking too many questions? Remember, I have an inquiring mind. I have asked these questions of addiction specialists, folks in long term recovery, therapists, psychotherapists, nurses, treatment counselors, treatment center founders, those who have faltered in their sobriety and those who are in treatment centers for a variety of reasons.

Everyone I have spoken with says basically the same thing: the treatment of substance use disorders is complicated and individualized. In the year 2016, no one should have to suffer unnecessarily (and we should all stay current when it comes to medical breakthroughs), but therapy, a doctor’s care, family support, maintenance drugs, rigorous exercise, healthy nutrition, 12-step meetings, rewiring the brain and soul searching are all part of the mix.

There is no quick fix.

What works for you might not work for me…

The US Library of Medicine says, “Further work is needed to compare directly each [addiction maintenance] medication and determine individual factors that can assist in medication selection. Until such time, selection of medication should be based on informed choice following a discussion of outcomes, risks, and benefits of each medication.”

Today I’m not drinking because I am doing what it takes to make my sobriety stick…

How come you’re not drinking?