During residential treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, there is no need to manage your own medication. At an inpatient level of care, trained and certified nurses manage your medication every day. Once your transition into lower levels of care, your role in managing your medication changes. Initially, you do not touch or see your medications. You are given a cup or just the medications at your indicated dosing times, with a cup of water to take them. Though it seems like a small responsibility, medication management can be a challenge after treatment. Creating the habits which are essential for medication management takes time. Unfortunately, too many errors can result in missing medications for many days, which can have complicated effects. Necessary skills for medication management after treatment include:
- Routinely setting appointments with doctors
- Taking prescriptions to the pharmacy
- Picking up prescriptions on time
- Managing dosage amounts
- Calling in refills ahead of time
- Picking up refills in time to avoid lapse in medication
- Remembering to take medication every day
Not all clients who attend inpatient residential treatment will be prescribed medication or need medication long term. Medications for sleep, mood stabilization, or pain relief might be prescribed during treatment to treat short term issues. For clients who have co-occurring mental health disorders, medications might be permanent or long term. Some clients may take only one or two medications while others may take five or six or more. These are some of the best practices for medication management.
- Keep an up to date list of your medications: this is easier than ever to do because of app technology on your favorite digital devices. You can take a picture of a prescription label or manually input the information about your medication. When you stop taking a medication, you simply delete it from the app, or move it to a file of past medications.
- Ask the pharmacist questions: utilize the pharmacists to gain information on your medication. Working regularly with medications, they are often aware of interactions or side effects doctors might not realize.
- Stay informed about side effects: pharmaceutical companies are required to publish those long lists of side effects for a reason- side effects happen. It is important to be informed about the potential side effects of your various medications. When side effects are severe, they can impair your ability to think clearly and ask for help.
Cypress Lakes Lodge offers excellence in addiction treatment. Our residential treatment programs for substance use and mental health disorders offer treatment in three phrases for mind, body, and spirit. We strive to restore balance, confidence, and rejuvenate each client’s wellbeing. For information, call us today at 409-331-2204.