When we undergo treatment for a mental health disorder, sometimes we need medication management. This is because medication is often used as part of the treatment process. Medication can be used to reduce negative symptoms that a person may be experiencing. This gives them relief and allows them to focus on their recovery now that they don't have to fight against symptoms.
However, you must be careful when using medication. Even the mildest of medications can have side effects or interact poorly with someone's body. Some medications must be taken in a specific way, and it's easy to miss dosages or take them incorrectly. This is where medication management helps. Medication management is a structured form of treatment that oversees and helps clients safely take their medicine and build healthy habits.
Places like Pathways Wellness Center utilize medication management as part of their residential treatment plan. This is because some types of medication can assist with the symptoms of addiction. This is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This is a temporary measure, and the goal is to eventually help clients build the skills they need to no longer need MAT as part of treatment. Medication is sometimes needed for a co-occurring mental health disorder, which Pathways also treats.
For those who may need medication, knowing the ins and outs of medication management can make the process smoother and less stressful. The less stress a person has, the easier it is to focus on treatment.
Before someone is prescribed medication, they must first be tested and evaluated by a doctor. Sometimes a psychiatrist becomes part of someone's treatment plan to help them find relief from their symptoms. How this works depends on what mental health disorder or illness a person is struggling with.
For example, someone with an anxiety disorder often feels distressing physical symptoms. This can be trembling, heart pain, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations. Experiencing these symptoms constantly not only just exhausts you but makes it hard to focus on your treatment. Anti-anxiety medication reduces these symptoms so the person taking them can relax a little. This allows someone to recover the energy they need to focus.
There are many kinds of medications out there to assist those in need. For those who experience psychosis, antipsychotic medications can be very helpful. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers exist to help those living with depression regulate their mood. As discussed earlier, there are medications to assist those in treatment for addiction. However, when used incorrectly, medication can become dangerous.
Medication management takes the guesswork out of using medication so clients can use them safely. You also learn a lot about medication management. For example, did you know grapefruit nullifies some types of prescription medication? Being able to talk to a psychiatrist and ask questions helps immensely in easing someone's peace of mind. Medication is scary enough already, but with medication management, it becomes less so.
For those in a medication management program, you can expect compassion. Many times, those helping you have been where you were before and have experienced the program for themselves. Pathways Wellness Center employs staff that are knowledgeable about addiction and medication management. This is because many of them are alumni of the program themselves and are currently in recovery. Having this unique perspective makes you feel less alone, knowing that someone understands what you are going through.
You will spend time receiving education about the medication you are taking, how to take them, and how to be safe. Some medications must be taken with food or milk or taken at specific parts of the day. Other medications must never be mixed with other substances, or they can cause a negative reaction in your body. You will also be monitored as you take your medication, helping you create and stick with a schedule. It takes practice to learn to take your medication at the right times, but you have plenty of practice opportunities in medication management.
It's also common to spend some time speaking with a psychiatrist. They will mostly monitor how you are feeling and record any side effects you are experiencing. Some medications take time to work. Often, psychiatric medication takes about four to six weeks to see any stable results. It's important to stick with your medication and never suddenly stop taking your medication without the oversight of a doctor. Psychiatric medication must be weaned slowly, and stopping too quickly can cause negative side effects.
When you are in medication management, your feelings matter. If you start to feel bad or are concerned, let a mental health care professional know right away. This is especially important if you begin to have sudden thoughts of suicide or self-harm. These can be side effects of specific medications, and they can be frightening to experience. By being in a medication management program, you'll always have access to someone who can help you. You don't have to be afraid when you have caring professionals looking out for you.
Sometimes people need extra help when it comes to treating their mental health disorder or illness. For this, there is medication. A person is not a failure because they need medication; it is merely a tool to help them feel better and succeed. Here at Pathways Wellness Center in Azusa and Glendora, California, we help those who need medication learn the skills they need to manage them safely. For those struggling with addiction, we offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This is a tool that helps our clients find relief from their symptoms so they can focus on the healing process. If you or a loved one is seeking help for addiction, call (888) 771-0966 today.