Are You Self Medicating

It’s Friday. It has been one hell of a work week. Your boss has just continued to pile on work with no reprieve in sight. Time for a drink to unwind? Your significant other has started yet another fight seemingly over nothing. All you ever do is argue these days. You’re stressed, frustrated, and angry.

You haven’t slept well the past few days. The stress and anxiety of work, kids, your family, and the relationship have been keeping you awake with racing thoughts. Time to pop a Valium to get some sleep?

The above APPEARS to be a normal and seemingly harmless way to cope with stressful situations. 

What feels like a great way to cope on the surface is not healthy in this situation. Self-medication occurs when a person turns to prescription drugs, illegal substances, and/or alcohol to deal with situations that cause stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.

While this may start as an easy way of coping it can lead to addiction issues in the future. Utilizing drugs and/or alcohol doesn’t help in resolving the original issue. Instead, it can lead to a self-destructive cycle of further pain and suffering. Many times, addiction begins as mere self- medication. It is a means to numb the pain, escape problems and worries, and feel better. This is only temporary relief.

When you chase temporary relief, it can lead you down the rabbit hole of addiction. This temporary relief leads to a slippery slope and a vicious cycle of self-medicating more often. To break this pattern of behavior usually requires treatment of some kind. The underlying causes of self-medication need to be addressed and alternative means to cope need to be found.

If you or someone you know is self-medicating it may be time to take a second look at it. Addiction treatment can give you the tools you need to be happy again and regain control of your life.

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