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What Is Self-Medicating?

a woman struggles with self medicating

Self-medicating is a term that refers to individuals using substances, such as drugs or alcohol, to cope with mental health issues or physical pain without the guidance of a medical professional. While it may seem like a temporary solution, self-medicating can lead to addiction and worsen existing mental health problems.

When individuals turn to substances as a means of coping, they are bypassing proper treatment and potentially worsening their condition. Regain control of your life and well-being by reaching out for professional help and treatment. Call 866.430.9267 or contact Evoke Wellness at Hilliard online to reach our opioid addiction treatment program today.

What Is Self-Medicating?

The term “self-medication” generally refers to the practice of using non-prescribed or illegal substances to alleviate stress, cope with mental health issues, or otherwise manage an ailment without consultation from a healthcare professional. While it can seem like a harmless means of seeking relief, self-medication is like a coin—presenting one side of perceived convenience and another laden with inherent risks. It’s essential to recognize the difference between self-medicating and seeking professional help for our physical, emotional, or mental well-being.

Self-medication can lead to a downward spiral that is often difficult to escape. For example, using alcohol or drugs as a means of coping with stress can quickly turn into dependency and addiction, causing more harm than good. It can also mask underlying mental health issues and prevent individuals from seeking proper treatment. Additionally, self-medication can lead to a false sense of control over one’s well-being, ultimately leading to more significant problems in the long run.

The Risks of Self-Medicating and the Importance of Treatment

Self-medicating can lead to a host of negative consequences, both physically and mentally. In addition to the potential for misdiagnosis and untreated underlying conditions, self-medication can also result in dependency on substances or behaviors that may actually worsen symptoms. This not only perpetuates the cycle of self-medication but can also lead to further health issues and complications.

Risks of self-medicating include:

  • Unmanaged conditions – Self-medicating addresses symptoms, not the root cause. Unchecked mental health conditions or other medical issues can spiral out of control, setting a ticking time bomb for the future.
  • Dependency – The line between an occasional drink and alcoholism, or the casual painkiller and addiction, is not as distinct as we might hope. Self-medication can lead to physical and psychological dependency on substances, resulting in a loss of control over intake.
  • Complicating proper diagnosis – Concealing symptoms through self-medication can lead to misdiagnosis by healthcare professionals who are unaware of the patient’s consumption of non-prescribed substances, potentially complicating treatment plans.
  • Making an underlying issue worse – In masking symptoms, self-medication can inadvertently fuel the fires of depression, anxiety, or other disorders, making the original problem harder to treat.
  • Potential health impacts – The consumption of various substances, especially when done in excess or without proper education on dosage, interaction, and safe use, can lead to a variety of health issues, from liver damage to heart complications.

When you engage in self-medication, you fake yourself into believing that control is firmly within your grasp—but more often than not, this is not the case. By dismissing the importance of professional treatment, you not only gamble with your own well-being but also with the peace and stability of those you love.

Contact Evoke Wellness at Hilliard for SUD Treatment Today

Take control of your health and make the empowering choice to seek professional treatment. Call 866.430.9267 or contact Evoke Wellness at Hilliard online today to learn more about our addiction recovery programs and mental health treatment options. Our team is ready to support your journey toward a healthier, happier life.