When Should I Tell My Doctor that I’m Addicted?

When Should I Tell My Doctor that I'm Addicted?If you are addicted to drugs, alcohol or a behavior, you must explain this to your doctor, because she can help you recover. She can avoid medications that will encourage relapse, and she can connect you with resources that will strengthen your recovery in significant ways. Also, if you want to find addiction treatment, your doctor can connect you with the help you need. In other words, you should tell your doctor about your addiction as soon as possible, because this will help you get and stay clean.

How Addiction Affects the Brain

Addiction influences people so strongly, because it changes the way the brain works. In fact, it often causes addicts to exude the following behaviors:

  • Denial of a problem
  • Avoiding addiction treatment
  • Blaming others for their problems
  • Hiding symptoms

If you have avoided talking to your doctor about substance abuse, there is a good chance that your addiction has become advanced. The time to talk about your problem is now, because it will only worsen with time.

Psychological Effects of Addiction

Drugs and alcohol affect the same part of the brain that manages the following functions:

  • Impulse control
  • Emotional responses
  • Forming and recalling memories
  • Forming habits

Because drugs affect this area and its corresponding functions, they can affect people deeply. In fact, because they affect this area, drugs and alcohol seem to relieve the symptoms of psychological issues such as depression, anxiety disorders or posttraumatic stress disorder. The brain then craves this relief in ways that are much more powerful than rational thought or will, meaning people will do anything to take drugs. As addicts only know that using a substance feels good, they may continue using despite the harm it causes, which means they will be the last to know that they have a problem. They may even struggle to admit to their disease and to seek help. Psychological addiction is powerful, which is what often keeps people from recovery.

How to Talk About Addiction with a Doctor

Addiction encourages people to deny their problem, so the first step to healing comes from talking about the disease and how it affects you. Once you understand that addiction is, a disease, talking about it with your doctor might be much easier. Most patients easily talk with their doctors about other health issues, so the disease of addiction should be no different. Don’t let shame, fear, pride or over-confidence prevent you from getting the help you need.

Medical Help for Addiction

If you cannot talk with your doctor about your addiction, then call our toll-free helpline immediately. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to refer you to the best recovery resources. Whether you are just about to begin recovery or have been clean for some time, they can help you; call now for professional, confidential support.