Peninsula Health Center

The Importance of Being Honest With Your Doctor About Drug Use

It can be difficult to be completely honest with your doctor about drug use. You might be worried about legal complications, about being preached to about recovery, or even about how embarrassing or uncomfortable it might be. But when you speak to your doctor for any reason and you are asked to disclose any history of drug use, being open and honest about this is for your safety. Being honest with your doctor about drug use can ensure that you get effective treatment in recovery, that you aren’t prescribed medications that can have bad reactions with drug or alcohol, and that they know how to best offer preventative measures and services based on physical and mental health complications that you might experience.

The Importance of Being Honest with Your Doctor About Drug Use

Being honest with your doctor about drug use can seem frightening. Many people who are struggling with addiction hesitate to share anything about their addiction with their doctor for fear of being arrested or facing other consequences, but a doctor is bound by confidentiality in almost all situations. This means that you can share your drug use with your doctor at any point. Doing so offers the opportunity for you to improve your health by finding the right type of treatment.

Here are several ways being honest with your doctor about drug use can help you.


If you are struggling with addiction and you are looking for help, you may not know where to begin. It can get incredibly complicated when trying to figure out how much programs cost, arrange travel, and take time off work or school. But if you are honest with your doctor about drug use, they can provide you with detailed information on what treatment is covered by your insurance.

Note: Federal law requires that basic substance abuse and mental health treatment be covered by all health insurance providers.

If you carry any type of health insurance, you can have some or all of your treatment costs covered, depending on the program. Your doctor can offer a referral for nearby facilities that accept your insurance. More importantly, most insurance companies require that your doctor provide a diagnosis of drug use or mental health disorders in order to qualify for coverage, so you’ll need to be honest with your doctor about your drug use in order to get that.


One of the reasons being honest with your doctor about drug use is important if you are getting help for any other health issue is the risk of contraindications.

Contraindication is a medical term that refers to potential complications from multiple drugs interacting, and this extends to prescription drugs that you are taking illegally or in higher than prescribed doses, as well as illegal drugs. If you get a prescription for a medication and you are not honest with your doctor about what substances you are using, it could have very serious side effects.

Prevention and Treatment

Each type of addiction comes with unique risks for your physical and mental health. If your doctor knows what types of substances you are using, they can help you with preventative measures by running regular tests or scheduling services that might reveal secondary or tertiary complications. They can also help you get the right type of treatment when you are ready. 

Getting Help for Substance Abuse

Drug rehab offers a way for you to find the help you need, no matter the substance to which you are addicted or the co-occurring mental health issues with which you might struggle. 

At Peninsula Health Center, we believe in holistic care combined with traditional evidence-based practices. For that reason, our clients can participate in dual diagnosis treatment, yoga, mindfulness, and holistic addiction treatment. 

More than that, we understand and appreciate how challenging the lifelong pursuit of sobriety can be. That is why we provide several levels of care that clients can move through, back and forth as needed. 

With flexible hours, our partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs are effective treatment options with greater flexibility. As you transition through your recovery, our outpatient and sober living services give you the right level of care and commitment. 

Overall, being honest with your doctor about drug use is an essential step in making sure you don’t experience unwanted side effects from other medications. Being honest about drug use can also help you get referrals for the treatment you might want when you are ready.

To learn more about addiction treatment programs at Peninsula Health Center, call our team today.