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jca's avatar

Are there any statistics available showing the percentage of patients who are prescribed anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medications during or after substance abuse rehab programs?

Asked by jca (26859 points ) March 14th, 2012

I had a discussion with a friend of mine whose boyfriend had completed a drug rehab program. Long story short, she and I have different theories on what percentage of people in drug rehab are prescribed anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications. My thoughts are that the majority of people who are in these programs are prescribed medications to help them through, help them stay positive, help them with the transition to a lifestyle that does not include alcohol and illegal drug use. She said she does not think that the majority are prescribed medications. I used to work in a field that dealt with people who attended substance abuse programs, and so I have seen many, if not all, come out with prescriptions for such meds. However, that in and of itself does not prove a debate.

Are there any statistics available showing the percentage of patients who are prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications during/after substance abuse rehab programs?

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3 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I couldn’t find those statistics, but I imagine it is quite high, because so many people in substance abuse programs are self-medicating with their drug of choice for underlying depression.

jca's avatar

@marinelife: Exactly – but me saying it is not the same as me backing it up with facts or a site.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know the stats, but when I worked in drug rehab they were not allowed any anti-anxieties like bensos. Once in a while we did have patients on anti-depressants. If they were dual diagnosis patients, or some other diagnosis, then sometimes other medications were prescribed, but the addiction specialists really hated having to treat with anything. Most of the addicts did smoke, and they were allowed to smoke, given smoke breaks regularly.

Addicts need to learn to tolerate emotional discomfort and deal with their pain, not medicate themselves. Addiction is typically self-medicating oneself. Doctor prescribed drugs are basically the same in a sense. That is why the diagnosis really matters.

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