When Is Substance Abuse Really Self-Medication? How to Tell the Difference

When Is Substance Abuse Really Self-Medication?
How to Tell the Difference

The line between self-medicating and substance abuse can get pretty blurry. From the outside, it can be difficult to tell when a friend or family member is struggling with a serious problem.

There are several signs that you can watch for if you are concerned about a loved one, but first, you need to understand how substance abuse works. 

Recognizing Signs of Abuse

So you enjoy a glass of wine or a couple of beers at the end of a long work day? Maybe you take a pill to help you relax before bed. When does the casual after-work drink become a problem?

Millions of people every year find themselves struggling with substance abuse in the form of self-medication. Self-medicating often means using substances to dull the feelings of stress, anxiety, or negative emotions. As the problem evolves, the reaction to the substance at hand will often worse, and the individual may begin putting themselves at risk financially and physically.

As time goes by, the problem may reach a point where the individual begins looking for the next opportunity to drink or get high, at the expense of other activities. 

Types of Self Medication

Interestingly, self-medication comes in many forms. It can include nearly any substance that helps the user escape from the situation they are in. This includes alcohol, marijuana, opiates and more. 

How to Stop Self Medicating with Alcohol and Other Substances

If you or someone you know has been self-medicating to cope with life, it's time to seek help. Depression and self-medicating are closely linked, but even people who are not depressed can find themselves losing control over a substance.

With the help of a substance abuse counselor at one of our substance abuse treatment centers in California, you can find the help you need to navigate the difficulties of self-medication. Self-medication is a common problem for people of all ages dealing with stressful situations. Sometimes all it takes is a helping hand to overcome the challenges and get back to using healthy coping mechanisms. 

Affinity Treatment Centers

Anyone seeking substance abuse treatment should call Affinity Treatment Centers today. Our staff is here to assist you by answering questions and scheduling appointments with counselors if you suspect someone is in need of help. If you are unsure of whether or not someone is exhibiting signs of substance abuse, we invite you to speak with one of our counselors to learn more.