In a word, YES, you can be on medication in recovery.
There are some die hard “old school” recovery groups that can be overly critical of people being on medication and still considering them to be sober. There are also some die hard “new school” recovery groups that believe people shouldn’t take medication to treat symptoms. On the other hand, there are also some treatment professionals that feel everyone should be on medication of some type to address various symptoms medically.
In reality, these are all extremes, and while there are definitely people who fit into each category successfully, the truth is that the majority of people fall somewhere in the middle. Every person’s situation is unique, and medication may be perfectly appropriate or even necessary, during various parts of the treatment and recovery process. Some people rely on medication early on and then wean off when they find they no longer need it to address those symptoms. Many treatment professionals believe that a combination of medication and other therapies are standard for producing the best recovery results.
What Types of Medications are Common?
With the current opioid situation, some of the most common medications used in recovery include buprenorphine (Suboxone) and methadone for opioid replacement therapy. There are also medications that are anti-craving, such as naltrexone, including the injectable form under the brand name Vivitrol.
Other common medications in recovery include antidepressants such as SSRIs and antipsychotics. There are many brand names in these categories.
One of the more controversial types of medications for people in recovery include those for anxiety symptoms. This class, called benzodiazepines, are also among the most highly misused prescription drugs, which is why there is a lot of caution prescribing them to people with a history of substance use disorders.
Which Way Should You Go?
Even though you may get differing opinions, you should consult a qualified medical practitioner, and get all the evidence you can to find out which path or paths will help you the most in your long term recovery plan.