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How Psychotropic Medication Can Influence Recovery

If you have an illness of some kind, then you likely have to take medication. This is true of a physical illness as well as a psychological illness. When someone has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or with depression, he or she might have to take psychotropic medication that helps to minimize the symptoms of that illness.

Psychotropic medication can alleviate many psychological symptoms, which is why they are commonly used not only for depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, but also to alleviate the discomforts of addiction treatment. They can help alleviate conditions such as an inability to concentrate, sleeplessness, paranoia, hallucinations, manic states, moodiness, or depression. These drugs can significantly improve mood, health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who suffer from certain conditions as well those who are having a challenging time with the beginning stages of their recovery.

Psychotropic medication mostly works by affecting certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can restore moods, thought patterns, and behavior. Medications adjust the chemicals in the brain. Antidepressants, for example, affect the levels of dopamine and serotonin, which influence mood stability. However, when a recovering addict is taking such medications, it can influence recovery in a few different ways.

The first is that recovery is a time to be substance free – that is, free of alcohol and recreational drugs. Just like psychotropic medication, however, drugs and alcohol also affect the brain’s ability to regulate mood, one’s perception of the environment, and the way the five senses function. Drugs interfere with the way the neurons in the brain communicate with each other. Because of this drugs and alcohol can interfere with the way that certain prescribed psychotropic medication work. They might become less effective or they may produce side effects that are more intense. If you’re in recovery and you’re also taking psychotropic medication, you might have already discovered that it’s a bad idea to drink or use drugs.

Secondly, as mentioned above, you might be taking psychotropic drugs to treat addiction. There are a variety of drugs one can take to alleviate the symptoms of the withdrawal period as well as throughout their recovery. For instance, some benzodiazepines have been very effective in treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Although benzodiazepines can be addictive, if taken as prescribed, they don’t pose the risk of addiction and instead, the medication greatly facilitates their alcohol detox process.

Whether you are taking psychotropic drugs as a way to treat a mental illness or as a means to treat your addiction, it’s important to discuss the effects of these medications with your doctor. In fact, it’s also just as important to communicate to your doctor whether your medication is working for you. Having an honest and open conversation with your psychiatrist or physician can help with finding a medication that works best for your body. With the wrong drug, you moods can be widely out of sorts, your perception off, and your behavior out of the ordinary.

If you’re a recovering addict and you also have a mental illness, it’s important to know the medication you take as well as its side effects. Furthermore, it’s healthy to stay away from drugs and alcohol, not only for your sobriety, but also to ensure that the medication you’re taking is effective.


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