What Is Self-Medicating?

Many people have depression or chronic illness. Unfortunately, many people do not seek or have access to adequate mental or physical healthcare. As a result, many people develop bad coping strategies for their pain using alcohol, opioids, or other drugs. This can complicate things and build bad habits which are incredibly hard to break.


An Incomplete List

Here’s an incomplete list of things some people use to self-medicate:

  • Overeating or undereating
  • Unsafe sex
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cannabis
  • Opiates and opioids
  • Psychostimulants such as cocaine
  • Other compulsive behavior such as gambling, excessive religiosity or exercise, etc.


A Feedback Loop

While many people use drugs and alcohol to attempt to manage their pain, there is a good amount of evidence that drugs and alcohol can contribute to depression themselves. This can create a feedback loop where you use alcohol to treat your depression, it makes you more depressed, so you use it more.


Finding the Cause

If you think you may be self-medicating, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the problem. If you don’t have access to a doctor, there are ways to find one. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act many people have options to talk to doctors about addiction. If you don’t have private insurance, you may have access to Medicare or Medicaid. If you don’t, find a support group to talk to other people who have faced similar situations and they may be able to find someone who can help on a sliding scale basis.


Your doctor can then recommend safe and helpful medicine or even assist with connecting you with a Florida drug or alcohol detox and recovery center if necessary.


Self-medicating can become a new problem, but it won’t be solved unless you tackle both the addiction and the root cause of the problem. This may take a lot of work, but the first step is recognizing that you may have a problem. Start today by calling us at (844) 299-0618 for more information.

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