Whenever you have a medical problem, you’re asked about your medical history. It doesn’t matter whether you go to the hospital, emergency room or your primary healthcare physician. It turns out your medical history is incredibly important for your treating doctor.
Some topics questioned include your surgical history, medications taken, smoking history, sexual activity, etc. While some of these questions may seem unimportant, your doctor needs to understand your medical history to prescribe the best possible treatment plan for you.
For example, your family and medical history may inform your doctor that you have a higher-than-usual chance of having heart disease than someone else. Not only does this help your doctor; it also tells you to take practical steps to reduce your risk.
Of course, heart disease isn’t going to be the only part of your medical history that your physician asks about. In many cases, you may be asked if you have a history of addiction.
This question isn’t meant to pry information out of you. It’s a question that can save your life.
Pain Meds for Addicts in the Hospital
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to worry about relapse after formal addiction treatment. And you definitely shouldn’t have to worry about it in a healthcare environment.
Unfortunately, life likes to throw many curveballs.
Let’s say you’re injured and require surgery. Or perhaps you’re experiencing chronic pain with age. One of the things your physician might want to do is prescribe opioid painkiller medication to take away the pain.
As someone in addiction recovery, you will (and should) have worries in regards to the medical use of opiate analgesia during surgery. If you were addicted to opiates, there’s a possibility that the substance will trigger a relapse. This is a reasonable concern, because even people who have never had a substance abuse problem have developed addiction after taking prescribed opiate medication.
Here are steps you can take to reduce risk:
- Be honest with your healthcare provider. Honest communication is critical as you provide your medical history. Whether you’re filling out paperwork or answering questions verbally, don’t hide any part of your medical past. Addiction is a chronic disease, just like diabetes and heart disease, so it’s important to report it as such.
- Ask questions if you feel uncertain about something. There are many people that assume that if a physician prescribes something, it must be safe. This isn’t true. Many addictions are “accidental.” Generally speaking, no one intends to become addicted. Opiate addictions are often the result of a legitimate prescription for a legitimate medical need.
- Stay connected. One of the leading predictors of relapse is how connected you are to a support community. It’s vital to follow your aftercare plan and surround yourself with people that are supportive of your journey. Friends, family and recovery coaches can hold you accountable and provide the support and resources you need to remain sober.
Are you looking for a solution to stay connected in recovery? The JourneyPure Coaching app can help and is available for download here.
Contact us to learn more information.