Restorations Therapy Blog

Medications That Recovering Addicts Should Not Take

by on Sunday, August 30th, 2020

Medications That Recovering Addicts Should Not Take

Recovering addicts make the commitment to stay sober each and every day. Addiction is a chronic disease that could cause recovering addicts to relapse and fall back into old habits. No matter how long you have been clean and sober, relapse is always a risk. You must actively make the decision to stay sober every day.

Stay Alert

Certain prescription drugs can cause cross-addiction, resulting in a patient returning to their original drug of choice. Recovering addicts may need a medication for a health issue, but should be aware of prescription drugs that can tempt them to use or abuse substances again.

Many doctors have had experience with addicts and recovering addicts, so don’t be afraid to ask for an alternative treatment plan, if you find yourself in this kind of situation.

The prescription drugs that you should try to avoid are those that impair your judgment or produce sedative effects. You should try non-pharmacologic treatments first to avoid addictive medications. Talk to your doctor about these options.

What Is Cross-Addiction?

Cross addiction occurs when a past addict has exposed their hypothalamus or mesolimbic system to a new chemical. This, in turn, causes the person to end up returning to their original drug of choice in their addiction.

For example, a recovered alcoholic cannot have any kind of alcohol. However, if a doctor is unaware of the patient’s past addiction, they could unknowingly prescribe the patient an addictive medicine, such as a narcotic, to treat the patient’s pain. This could lead the patient back to alcohol due to the chemical makeup of a narcotic and its effects on the brain.

Specific Medications to Avoid

In general, prescription drugs for pain management, stimulants, muscle relaxants, sedatives, and antidiarrheals should be avoided by those with past substance abuse problems.

Pain Medication

Narcotics and psychoactive medications should be especially avoided because they are derived from opium. The following are others that should also be avoided:

  • Soma
  • Darvocet
  • Darvon
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Demerol
  • Oxycodone
  • Opium
  • Percocet
  • Ultram
  • Morphine sulfate
  • Codeine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Fioricet
  • Fioinal

Allergy/Cold Medication

Dextromethorphan should be avoided since it is a weak narcotic. However, it can be used in place of Hydrocodone or Codeine in small doses. Zyrtec should also be avoided because of its mood-altering abilities and sedative effects.

Other medications to avoid:

  • Ambenyl
  • Ah-Chew D
  • Endal HD
  • Efidac
  • Hycomine
  • Temaril
  • Pyrilamine Maleate
  • Periactin
  • Phenergan (with codeine)
  • Propagest
  • Tussionex
  • Teldrin
  • Polaramine
  • Nucofed
  • PBZ

Antidiarrheals/Gastrointestinal Upsets

Motofen and Lomotil should especially be avoided because they contain atropine, difenoxin, and diphenoxylate. Diphenoxylate is in the opioid class of drugs and can lead to psychological and physical dependence.

OTC Medications

These over the counter medications should also be avoided if you have a history of substance abuse.

  • Actifed
  • Allegra-D
  • Benadryl Allergy Relief
  • Afrin Nasal Spray
  • Cough and Cold Medications
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold and Cough
  • Benadryl
  • Bayer Children’s Cough Syrup
  • Chloraseptic Total
  • Claritin-D
  • Sudafed
  • Demitapp
  • Chloraseptic Sore Throat Max
  • Comtrex
  • Sucrets DM Cough Formula
  • Benylin Cough
  • Amberlyn Cheracol Plus
  • Nyquil
  • Tylenol Cold

Addiction recovery can be a long and difficult road, but the results are worth it. Learning to heal your body and stay committed to recovery is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing. Being open and honest with your doctor can help you stay on track.To get help in finding doctors that understand your situation or how to discuss substance abuse issues with your doctor, contact Restorations Therapy today at (720) 446-6585.

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