CHPW covers medication to help treat mental health and substance use issues

CHPW covers prescription drugs that can help treat depression, anxiety, substance use issues, ADHD, and more.

Search our formulary if you want to know if a specific drug is covered.

How medicine works

Prescription drugs that treat mental health or substance use issues help get the chemicals in your brain back to normal. Different medicines work in different ways. You may need to try several different medicines before you find the right one for you.

Many doctors will suggest taking medicine and going to therapy. Some people may just need to take medicine or go to therapy in order to feel better.

It usually takes about one to three weeks for the medicine to start making you feel better, and up to eight weeks until you start feeling like yourself again. If you have concerns about your medication or you don't feel better after three weeks, talk to your doctor.

Side effects and safety

Medication for mental health and substance use conditions can have side effects. Ask your doctor what you should expect and what you can do to deal with any side effects. You may feel the side effects before you feel the positive effects. 

If you're concerned or unhappy with your medicine, don't suddenly stop taking it. That can cause more problems. Talk to your doctor and they can give you a lower dose or a different medicine.

Some common side effects are:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Sexual problems

If you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor right away:

  • Chest pain
  • Allergic reaction: Hives, shortness of breath, swelling, trouble swallowing
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Manic behavior: High energy, restlessness, impulsive behavior

Are you taking multiple medications?

Make sure your doctor knows every medication and supplement you're taking. Drug interactions can cause serious problems. Fill out a medicine list and keep it with you.

Lifestyle changes can help

Making some changes in your life can help your medicine work better or even get you to a place where you don't need medicine. Make sure you're taking care of yourself by:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Getting enough exercise
  • Limiting stress
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and drugs that aren't prescribed to you
  • Keeping a positive attitude
  • Getting support from family and friends