Five Reasons Not to Self-Medicate
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or another type of mood disorder, you may face the temptation to self-medicate. Self-medication can take the form of food, over-the-counter drugs, natural remedies, food, alcohol, or other substances. This is a dangerous and usually unhelpful approach to problems that would be better treated by professional help. Here are five reasons why you should seek treatment at an addiction recovery program rather than continuing to self-medicate.
- Self-Medication Can be Dangerous to Your Health
When you self-medicate, the only goal is to feel better in the moment. As a result, you may not be aware of the dangers associated with the consumption of certain substances. Both legal and illegal drugs can have dangerous side effects and long-term consequences. While this may also be true for prescribed antidepressants and other prescription drugs, when taking medications under the supervision of a healthcare professional, your health is being carefully monitored. A medical professional will inform you about safe dosages and potential side effects. When something doesn’t agree with you, substitutes can be found. This is not the case when you self-medicate.
When you buy substances illegally, you can’t always be sure what you’re getting. Certain drugs sold on the street are extremely toxic. Alcohol can cause severe liver damage. Stimulants may cause heart failure and other life-threatening issues. When you start mixing drugs, the effects can become even worse. If you feel like you need help, you should receive it under the guidance of Right Path drug addiction recovery centers to provide you with the proper medication in appropriate dosages.
- Self-Medication Can Lead to Addiction
Many of the substances that people use to self-medicate are addictive. Even substances that are not physically addictive may cause a psychological dependence. For example, many of those who use alcohol to self-medicate ultimately become alcoholics. With self-medication, a common behavior is to continue increasing the dosage of the substance in order to feel better. This pattern can easily result in addiction. For those struggling with addiction, the best solution is often to seek treatment at a substance abuse treatment facility.
- Self-Medication Can Lead to Eating Disorders and Obesity
Some people self-medicate with food. This is a temptation for those that feel better after eating comfort foods such as ice cream and other sweets, or may simply feel emotionally satisfied by eating large meals. This is a potentially unhealthy and dangerous habit, however — and one that can even prove to be deadly. Most of the foods people consume to feel better emotionally are fattening and unhealthy. Using food as a stimulant or relaxant can also lead to similar bad habits, such as using drugs. Very often, you will need more and more food to satisfy you. This can lead to obesity, eating disorders, and other serious health problems.
- You May Face Legal Consequences
Many types of self-medication can lead to legal problems. If you are caught buying or ingesting illegal drugs, you can face fines and even imprisonment. This includes both illegal substances and legal drugs that are illicitly obtained, such as purchasing prescription drugs over the internet or from a friend. Ingesting alcohol in large quantities can lead to legal problems, such as being charged with DWI. Being charged with a serious crime is upsetting and expensive, and will also cause you more stress, which is the very opposite of what you’re trying to achieve through self-medication. Instead, consider a strategy that will assuage your stress rather than exacerbate it, such as enrolling in an addiction recovery facility.
- Self-Medication Can Make Your Symptoms Worse
Very often, self-medicating makes you feel better temporarily. Drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana or taking stimulants can alleviate feelings of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or other emotional problems. However, over a longer period of time, these coping strategies often backfire. In fact, many drugs result in a “crash” only hours after ingestion. This is often the case with alcohol and stimulants, and it may leave you feeling worse than you did before you decided to self-medicate. This can create a cycle that is incredibly difficult to break without the assistance provided by a drug rehab center.
Self-Medication is an ineffective and potentially dangerous way to treat serious emotional disorders. If you require medication, you should receive it under the supervision of a professional who can identify the right drugs and dosages. Self-medicating is never a good idea and often causes more problems than it solves. When self-medication has risen to the level of addiction, it may be impossible to overcome without the assistance of professionals at a drug abuse treatment facility. If you are having drug addiction problems as a result of self-medication, contact Right Path Rehabs and being the treatment you need to get healthy today.