How to Ask Your Doctor About Addiction Treatment

Learning more information about the addiction treatment process can be difficult if you do not know where to start looking. One of the many places individuals may begin their search is with their primary care provider, which makes it important to know how to ask your doctor about addiction treatment.

There are many reasons an individual may seek addiction treatment advice from their doctor, including:

  • The doctor is prescribing medications that they believe they have become addicted to
  • The individual is suffering from a condition that they believe their addiction is worsening or impacting
  • The individual doesn’t have anyone else to turn to for help or advice

Be Honest When You Ask Your Doctor About Addiction Treatment

When you’re ready to ask your doctor about addiction treatment, make sure you are being as honest as possible. Everyone who enters addiction treatment has different needs and requirements. All of these needs and requirements depend on various factors, including:

  • Severity of addiction
  • Length of addiction
  • Substance the individual is addicted to
  • Whether more than one substance is being misused

It is important to let your doctor know, honestly, what is involved with your addiction so that you can get the proper treatment for your specific needs. It will make all the difference in your long-term recovery, and your doctor will be better able to educate the treatment center on your health and background when you enroll.

Answer Their Questions

One of the hallmarks of addiction is lying about or hiding the substance abuse. Individuals suffering from addiction often downplay how much they use as a way to manipulate the people around them. That said, you may be used to lying when people ask you how much you truly use in a day. However, it is important that you answer their questions honestly. As mentioned before, your doctor will be better able to advise you on the direction you need to go with your care depending on your specific needs.

Don’t Be Afraid

There might be a chance that you are addicted to an illegal substance, such as cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin. If so, it can be pretty scary to admit that you use them. Your addicted brain might make you believe that telling a doctor will get you in trouble, arrested, or that they will call the police on you. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The only way your doctor will let anyone else know about your illegal drug use is if you are a minor and they feel as if your parents need to know, or if you have suicidal thoughts and there is a fear that you may overdose. Telling anybody about your medical records is unethical and possibly illegal, so rest assured that your doctor will not go to the police with any information about your illegal drug use.

Recognize the Signs of Addiction

One way of learning how to ask your doctor about addiction treatment is recognizing the signs of addiction within yourself. The more signs and symptoms you are able to give to your doctor, the better. Some signs of addiction include:

  • The inability to stop or slow use
  • Drug-seeking behaviors, such as obtaining multiple prescriptions from various doctors and pharmacies
  • Lying about or hiding use
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Using at inappropriate times, such as in the morning or while driving
  • Suffering negative consequences due to substance use, including financial issues, legal trouble, divorce, a decline in performance at work or school or homelessness

Ask About Treatments Without Addictive Prescription Pills

If you have a history of addiction, it is very important to let your doctor know so that they can find you nonaddictive medications or treatments to help you. There are many alternatives to opioids to help chronic pain, anxiety, depression and more. Some of them include:

  • Physical therapy. While physical therapy is not a “quick fix” for chronic pain, it is shown to help drastically in the long run. The more you stick with it, the faster your chronic pain can be helped long-term.
  • Holistic therapy. Treatments such as acupuncture and massage therapy can help soothe chronic pain, as well as help lower stress and anxiety levels. There are also many types of vitamins, essential oils and other similar treatments that can be beneficial.
  • Mindfulness. Practicing a little bit of meditation every day is shown to reduce stress levels. By being more in tune with your body and mind, you can better recognize when anxiety is coming and how to address it.

About Cliffside Malibu

No matter how you decide to ask for help for your addiction — whether by talking to a loved one or speaking with your doctor — the important thing is that you are doing it. For more information about addiction treatment and what treatment program might be right for you, call our admissions office. Our staff is available 24 hours a day to anonymously answer any questions, as well as help to determine payment and other logistics.

Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for every client. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program also includes family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit