Should I take medication to help me quit an addiction?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
Many people have concerns that medication prescribed to help cut down on a substance or behavior might lead to over-reliance on the medication, cause unwanted side effects, or change their personality. If your doctor suggests that you take a medication to help you overcome your addiction, be sure that you understand the answers to the following questions:
  • Why is this particular medication appropriate for me?
  • How does this medication work?
  • What can I expect to feel as a result of taking this medication?
  • What are the side effects or other risks associated with taking this medication?
  • How long does this medication take to work, and how long would I need to stay on it?
  • Is this medication safe to take with my other medications?
  • What might happen if I don't take this medication?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.