December #66 : Between A Recovery And A Hard Place

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents

The Viral Lowdown: Can You Believe What She Says?

The Viral Lowdown: Say What

The Viral Lowdown: Word Is Out For New HIVers

The Viral Lowdown: Dishing Out the Denial

The Viral Lowdown: Pharma Flubs Phase IV

The Viral Lowdown: Lack of Leadership Leaves Latinos In Lethal Lurch

The Viral Lowdown: Mystery: Partially Positive

The Viral Lowdown: Prison Death Prompts Probe

The Viral Lowdown: African AIDS Under a TAC

The Viral Lowdown: All Dolled Up: Rx Abuse High Among Gay HIVers

THE VIRAL LOWDOWN: WORLD AIDS DAY 2000

The Viral Lowdown: If Not Now, When? If Not Us, Who?

The Viral Lowdown: News Flash: The Sky Isn't Falling!

The Viral Lowdown: HIVers in Hock to Homophobia

Tales of the (Safer Sex) City

Clean, Sober...and Medicated?

The Secret Plot to Destroy African Americans

Mailbox

The Art Of Living

Summit, Some More

Channel Surfing

Shout Out

Lights! Camera! Handcuffs?

Quick Picks

Life Is Sweet

Packing Meat, Just Barely

A Cell of One’s Own

Milestones

Doing AIDS Justice

Petal Pusher

Carry On, MP

Milk Got You?

Comfort Zone

Big Science Kicker

Herb Of The Month

Protease Progeny

It Takes Guts

Between A Recovery And A Hard Place



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


email print

December 2000

Between A Recovery And A Hard Place

For sober HIVers with problem meds like pot, here’s the dope.

It can be scary for HIVers in recovery from addiction to consider taking potentially mood-altering or habit-forming medications—from marijuana for wasting to painkillers for neuropathy—even when they are your last resort. Here, RICHARD ELOVICH(see “Clean, Sober...and Medicated?” ), in consultation with therapist Michael Lipson, PhD, and HIV doc Howard Grossman, MD, offers some sobering advice:

  1. Find a doctor or therapist who you can talk with honestly about your substance use history and recovery process—before you start the med.
  2. Talk it through with someone else in recovery before making the med decision. Discuss your expectations about how the med might draw you into an old pattern of thinking or threaten your sobriety. Be specific: Are you likely to take more when less would suffice?
  3. Set clear limits before you start the new medication. The crucial distinction is between what was prescribed by a doctor and what you self-prescribe. Identify what the med’s prescribed use is, including defining the vague term “take as needed.” Spell out where you will use it, with whom and what you will or won’t do while under its effect (for example, no parties). Some people find it helpful to “bookend” doses by checking in with someone else in recovery before and after taking the med.
  4. Know the warning signs, which can include breaking your routine, isolating yourself, keeping a change in medication or dosage a secret, or using the medication impulsively.
  5. Be kind to yourself. You’re not taking the meds to feel high, but if that happens, how will you deal? Will you feel guilty? Can you be comfortable with the high without succumbing to the urge for more? Avoid places and activities that you associate with drug use.
  6. Avoid isolation. Secrecy is a fertile breeding ground for drug abuse. Shine a light on troubling thoughts by talking regularly with a friend who is also in recovery and giving him or her explicit permission to check in with you often, ask you probing questions and provide you with feedback. Join or start a support group whose members are taking similarly problematic meds. Get together at regular times, create rituals, and set rules that allow people to speak without cross-talk.
  7. Integrate. Keep counting your days in sobriety right through the time you’re following the prescribed med regimen. If you pray or meditate, bring your medication issues into this practice. Faced with new challenges brought on by meds, renew your commitment to sobriety: Volunteer to do service at a meeting, become a sponsor, or make a list of things you’re grateful for. Stay involved with the program that helped to get you sober.
  8. What if I slip? A slip need not become a slide. Get on the phone to your sponsor or recovery network or get to a meeting and discuss it. Talk through what psychologist Alan Marlatt calls “SUDS”—seemingly unimportant decisions—that led to the slip. You may want to talk with doc about the possibility of going off the problem med for a while, or for good. Get back on track by adding more meetings or seeking out the types of honest conversations you might have avoided before.




[Go to top]

Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV 101
HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ TV
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Women
African American
Latino
Providers
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    charliehunter
    San Francisco
    California


    slimcuteguy
    Asheville
    North Carolina


    sefarady
    Palm Springs
    California


    donnyp
    liberty
    Kentucky
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Can social media help stop HIV stigma?
Yes
No

Survey
Mind Matters

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.