During detox, you might be prescribed medications to help you beat a drug or alcohol addiction. While this may seem counterintuitive, using a prescription drug properly can help you beat your addiction – without forming a new one.
Although the answers to whether or not people substitute addictions, and even whether or not addiction lasts a lifetime, vary from case to case, there are certain situations where one drug is better than another.
Medically Assisted Opioid Detox
Suboxone, for example, can help people overcome opioid addictions, even though the drug is an opiate itself. As long as you are using suboxone with a prescription and under medical supervision, the potential for abuse is much lower than it is with an opioid like heroin or fentanyl. Suboxone is also much less dangerous than other opiates, as it is very difficult to overdose on the drug.
Recovery Makes You Stronger
Having a previous substance use disorder (SUD) is a risk factor for developing a new one, but many people are able to use certain substances, like alcohol (or another class of drug than the one they were previously addicted to), in a healthy manner and without forming a new addiction. At the beginning of the recovery movement, many people subscribed to a view of absolute sobriety or abstinence-only recovery, but modern thinking recognizes that overcoming a substance use disorder is different for every individual.
Additionally, some people build skills in recovery that decrease their likelihood of developing another addiction.
“As compared with those who do not recover from an SUD, people who recover have less than half the risk of developing a new SUD. Contrary to clinical lore, achieving remission does not typically lead to drug substitution, but rather is associated with a lower risk of new SUD onset.”
Once you detox and recover from one substance, you may be less likely to fall prey to another. This is because good recovery programs teach you helpful coping mechanisms. After recovery, instead of turning to a substance, you might call a friend or exercise instead.
Addiction and Recovery Are Personal
Ultimately, your journey is unique and only you will know whether the risk of trading one addiction for another applies in your situation. Nevertheless, you should not be afraid of medically assisted detox nor detox of any kind.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as medical advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a doctor-patient relationship.