Self-medicating is when a person uses a substance to treat or manage symptoms of an underlying issue without consulting a medical professional. Self-medication can take many forms but commonly involves drug or alcohol use to deal with stress or anxiety.
Keep reading to learn the risk factors and signs of self-medication and contact Diamond House Detox online to learn how to stop.
3 Risk Factors for Self-Medicating
Self-medicating is a common phenomenon in our society and a frequent precursor to substance abuse. The following conditions or experiences are risk factors that may increase an individual's likelihood of self-medicating:
- Depression or mental illness: People suffering from depression may seek ways to self-medicate to manage their emotions. Those with other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, are also more likely to use substances to treat their symptoms without guidance from a medical professional.
- Trauma: Childhood or recent trauma can trigger extreme feelings, memories and thoughts that feel overwhelming. Many people dealing with unresolved trauma may turn to substances to numb their intense emotions or memories of traumatic events.
- Stress: Any kind of stress can increase a person's risk factor for self-medicating. Stress at work, in your personal life or caused by other events is often unpleasant and increases anxious feelings. People may choose to self-medicate and cover these feelings rather than address the underlying stress.
Signs of Self-Medicating
There are many signs that someone is self-medicating. If you self-medicate, you may:
- Find your problems don't go away or worsen over time.
- Use drugs or alcohol to deal with emotions, including stress, sadness, anger and frustration.
- Begin to display avoidant behaviors, like isolating yourself from family and friends.
- Have difficulties at work or school because your focus is on substance use.
- Hear people express concern about your substance use or behaviors.
- Experience changes in your mood or health, including feeling restless and irritable when you don't use substances, seeing a decline in physical appearance or personal hygiene and changes in sleep patterns.
- Feel like you can't stop using prescription drugs even though it negatively impacts your life.
How to Stop Self-Medicating
If you or a loved one has developed a self-medication pattern and wants to stop, we're here for you.
At Diamond House Detox, we offer evidence-based treatment overseen by professionals. We understand how difficult it can be to stop self-medicating, but it's possible with the right system. We take the time to ensure all our clients are comfortable and safe throughout the medically-monitored detox and recovery process.
Contact Diamond House Detox today to get help with your self-medicating.