The Pill that Can Cure Addiction

The War on Drugs is a multi-billion dollar industry, if you take into account law enforcement and drug prevention/treatment. I’m sure we can all agree that it is a major problem in the US, not to mention worldwide. Substance abuse affects every sector of our society. In addition to the War, mentioned above, there are untold billions spent on healthcare costs as well as workforce-related addiction problems.

The Magic Pill

So, what can we do? For as long as I can remember there has been talk of a ”magic pill” that can cure addiction. Now, mind you, I have never actually seen such a pill but if you Google “pill to cure addiction” you get 7,530,000 results! So there must be something to this magic pill idea, huh?

Call me crazy (and it won’t be the first time someone has) but personally I’m not sure if I’d want to simply take a pill to cure my addiction. Before I go further I have to disclose that I do take medication for a co-occurring disorder. So I may sound like I’m contradicting myself, but please hear me out.

A More Traditional Approach to Addiction Recovery

I have learned to arrest my addiction to illicit substances and alcohol through a variety of means: 12-Step recovery, therapy, exercise, and spiritual practices. By following this balanced program of recovery I have been able to put the drugs down AND manage my mental illness.

As far as my psych meds are concerned, I have regularly taken them for many years however I would hardly call them a cure. I have learned, the hard way, that the medication I take is simply one piece in the puzzle I call recovery. Just my 2 cents.

What if there was a legitimate pill that was able to cure addiction? Would I be against it? Absolutely not. But for now, I do not know of anything that can actually substantiate this claim. Not to say that there are no pharmaceutical companies trying to come up with such a panacea. Until that time we are left to the resources we currently have.

Finally, there is something to be said for traditional recovery. I have learned so much about myself on this journey that I stumbled upon. All of the struggle and fight of putting one day after another together has been so worth it. I love being in recovery. And I could never get that from a pill.

Would you take the pill?

APA Reference
Shallowhorn, K. (2012, July 23). The Pill that Can Cure Addiction, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Karl Shallowhorn, MS, CASAC

August, 28 2012 at 6:54 pm

Well there are meds to treat addiction and withdraw. I know of a few. Suboxone, Antabuse , and then what I'm on, Methadone.
Without it I'd definitely still be doing drugs, be dead, or be in jail or prison by now & that's exactly what will happen if I use again. But the methadone has kept my urges down enough obviously because I've not used since I've started the program! That is still amazing to me! Every single time I realize and think about that, I'm very happy and proud of myself and how good I'm doing!
I've been put in many places and situations where people thought I couldn't and wouldn't be able to get drugs and I always did. I always found ways to get ahold o them. I don't drive, I don't have much money , i use crutches or a wheelchair to get around and am living in a group home, but I still figured out how to get and use drugs everyday. The only difference now is, I'm in a methadone program that has helped me so much already it's amazing. Not only do I notice a difference, my family, friends and social workers and probation officer all say how much better I'm doing and how better I look.
So, to that question, yes I would, & already have.
-Elizabeth Ann C.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 29 2012 at 9:33 am

I hear you loud and clear. Alternatives like Methadone have been around for years and have helped many addicts to "kick the habit." What I was getting to in the article was regarding a pill that would cure addiction. Methadone, Suboxone, and others are not a cure. I'm not saying that they cannot be effective. The gist of my post was to say that, for me, recovery would not be the same if it came down to just taking a pill to cure what ails me. Recovery from addiction, IMHO, is more of a journey of self-discovery; one that I would not pass up for the world (or a pill).

July, 28 2012 at 4:20 am

So what happens after taking the pill? You become addicted to the pill? It scares me. :)

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