When you make the decision to check into rehab, you may be concerned that your prescription medications will be taken away. We understand that we are checking in to treatment to get off of drugs and alcohol, but what about medications prescribed by a doctor? Will these be taken away when we go to rehab?
Every center has a different policy, but in general, these types of decisions are made on an individual basis. The list of approved prescription will vary from individual to individual.
Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in the United States. More doctors are prescribing narcotic medications, and many people view prescription drugs as “safe.” Because these medications are prescribed by doctors, they are more accepted than traditional street drugs. However, these medications can be highly addictive, and many people check into rehab due to prescription drug addiction.
As a general rule of thumb, addictive, habit-forming prescription medications, such as benzodiazepines, opioids, and amphetamines, are not allowed; non-addictive prescription medications, such as mood-stabilizers, SSRIs, and anti-depressants, are allowed. However, each patient is different, and these decisions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
You should bring all prescription medications with you when you come to rehab. That way each medicine will be checked for its relapse potential as well as its safety by the medical team to determine whether or not you should continue to take it. In problematic cases, an alternative, safer treatment can be prescribed.
Make sure all of your medications are in their original bottles. “Loose” prescription medications without prescribing information will be taken away. Also, you cannot bring sample medication, even if you got the samples from your doctor. Prescription medication must be in a prescription bottle with a label. Liquid medications must be new and sealed.
It is essential to explain your medication needs to your doctor when you check into rehab. Once you and your doctor establish a medication procedure for your detoxification and daily maintenance, all your prescribed medications will be kept in a safe and administered and monitored daily.
Many times, when we are drinking and using illicit drugs, we neglect to take the medications we have been prescribed by the doctor. Make sure you tell your rehab doctor about any medications your [at home] doctor has prescribed, whether or not you are taking them at the time of check in. It is important that the doctors at rehab have all of your medical information so they can design the best plan for your treatment.
If you take any over-the-counter medications or supplements on a daily basis, you may bring these as well, but the packaging must be new and unopened. Over the counter medications must also be approved, since some of these medications can be abused.
The doctor will consider your case carefully before making a decision regarding over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, or vitamins/herbal supplements. This is important for your safety and the safety of those around you.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-821-9584.