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Friday, March 3, 2017

Trading Opioids for Alcohol

Programs of addiction recovery are built upon abstaining from drugs, alcohol or any other mind-altering substance that can be habit-forming. It makes sense. While many have gone into Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) thinking that they can still use drugs or sought help from the program of Narcotics Anonymous thinking they can still drink alcohol, it is a line of thinking that almost always ends with one going back to their substance of choice.

If you meet the criteria for addiction of any kind, then you are susceptible to the lures of any mind-altering substance. Deluding one’s self otherwise is a dangerous course. It is not uncommon for someone to stop using one substance, only to develop an unhealthy relationship with another. If you are new to recovery and have attended a 12-Step meeting where somebody mentioned something about that occurrence, do yourself a favor and heed those words. It could save you a lot of future heartache.

While total abstinence is oft considered the best course of action for living a healthy productive life, not everyone is receptive to the program and the thought of never using anything, ever again, is often to hard a pill to swallow. Some addicts who want to be free from a certain substance, but are not willing to take the steps necessary as prescribed in the tenets of 12-Step recovery, will sometimes turn to doctors or clinics for assistance. For opioid addicts, that often involves being prescribed certain drugs to be free of painkillers and/or heroin, such as buprenorphine or methadone.

Addiction assistance by way of medication can be quite effective at keeping people from using illicit drugs. But without a program of recovery there is a good chance of either going back to one’s drug of choice or forming an unhealthy relationship with another substance. A course that can bring about new problems in one’s life. A new long-term study showed that while people undergoing methadone maintenance use fewer illegal drugs, their alcohol intake often becomes harmful, according to a University of Zurich news release. The findings were published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.

To be sure, opioid-maintenance programs can improve the quality of one’s life. Yet, if such improvements are offset by an alcohol-related illness then the subject is moot. The researchers point out that previous studies have shown a correlation between opioid addicts dying from liver disease, according to the article. Important findings, to say the least.

"They reveal that there is still a major therapeutic need for treatment with regard to frequent alcohol consumption," said Marcus Herdener, study head and chief physician at the University Psychiatric Hospital.

Opioid addiction recovery is possible, even without the aid of drugs, like methadone. You can find your way in life free from all potentially harmful substances. Please contact Whiteside Manor to begin the life-saving journey of recovery. We can show you the “way.”

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