One of the many myths associated with addiction recovery is that using medication to maintain your sobriety means you aren’t actually in recovery. That’s not only not true, it’s an incredibly harmful. Believing that medication invalidates the journey promotes shame and exclusion in a community that thrives on communication and unity. Understanding what medical maintenance is and what it isn’t will help to put your mind at ease so you can focus on the more important aspect of your sobriety.
Medical maintenance is the long-term use of medication to enforce your commitment to life beyond drugs and alcohol. These medications are not used to extend any high or other desired effect; in fact, most medications used for maintenance work as inhibitors that block addictive effects of substance abuse. Without the temptation of those effects, it easier to stay steady and focused on your goals.
Medical maintenance does not mean relying on drugs to keep you sober for the rest of your life. For some who experience co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, medical maintenance may involve correcting hormone imbalances which require long-term medication. For most people, medical maintenance allows you to reach a mental and emotional place for self-exploration and development.