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Are Any Drugs Okay?

Many people seem to have trouble sparsing what is and what is not okay to take in sobriety. We attempt to avoid all mind and mood altering substances, however, we must take into account where we draw the line. For example, many people in recovery still smoke cigarettes even though nicotine is a psychoactive substance. It can be difficult to understand what substances must be avoided and what substances are safe to take in addiction recovery.

To understand what is and is not safe in recovery requires that one understand the allergy of addiction and alcoholism. The main text of Alcoholics Anonymous, referred to as the “Big Book”, explains, “We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol in these chronic alcoholics is the manifestation of an allergy; the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker.” In short, when we consume a drug that is mind or mood altering, we develop insatiable cravings for more. We entirely lose the ability to moderate our intake. When we look at substances that could be harmful to our sobriety, we look at whether or not they will trigger our physical allergy.

In this manner, aspirin and many over-the-counter medications are safe, so long as they do not trigger the allergy. Caffeine and nicotine, while not good for our bodies, also do not cause the phenomenon of craving. However, it is important to examine our motivations when it comes to taking a substance like caffeine or nicotine. If we are abusing any substance, whether it is caffeine, nicotine, cough medicine, or medication, we must think about why we are doing so.

We must also keep in mind that necessary medication use does not constitute a relapse, as long as we are not abusing the medication. Alcoholics Anonymous,  in The A.A. Member– Medications and Other Drugs, explains, “We recognize that alcoholics are not immune
to other diseases. Some of us have had to cope with depressions that can be suicidal; schizophrenia that sometimes requires hospitalization; bipolar disorder, and other mental and biological illnesses.” When it comes to medications like antidepressants, which clearly are mind and mood altering, we must always listen to our doctors to ensure safety. We may find it helpful to explore non-pharmacological options, but we should never “play doctor” when it comes to our health and happiness.

Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addiction specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help you heal from addiction and alcoholism. The health and happiness of clients is the number one priority of the staff at Resilient House. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction, you know all too well how this disorder can wreak havoc in the life of the individual as well as family and friends. Get the help you need today by calling Resilient House at (833) 242-6431