Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I go to detox before I start going to meetings about my drug abuse?"
I'm quitting doing drugs. I've been addicted to pain killers for a year now and I'm going to start going to AA and NA meetings for it. Should I go to detox first? Is it important to detoxify before you try to quit something you're addicted to?
First of all, congratulations on deciding that you have a dependence problem on pain kills and for making a decision to do something about it! This decision is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle! I highly recommend that you seek professional help for this step. Group meetings like AA and NA are very helpful for many people, but success rates are much higher if you also have the help of professional psychiatric and addiction support. If you do not know of any psychiatric or addiction resources in your community, you could start by talking to your primary care doctor who can help you connect with the necessary people. It is not always necessary to 'detox' from pain killers, but this is a decision that depends a lot on what your use habits are like and what other medical problems you may have. An addiction specialist or psychiatrist will be able to help you make this decision. Even if you do not need to 'detox' it may be helpful for you to participate in an intensive outpatient addiction treatment program, and your psychiatrist or addition specialist will be able to set you up with this programming. Good luck as you embark on this important journey!
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