It’s Friday. It has been one hell of a work week. Your boss has just continued to pile on work with no reprieve in sight. Time for a drink to unwind. Your girlfriend has started yet another fight seemingly over nothing. All you ever do is argue these days. You’re stressed, frustrated, and angry.
Time for a joint to forget about it. You haven’t slept well the past few days. The stress and anxiety of work, kids, the relationship have been keeping you awake with racing thoughts. Time to pop a Klonopin to get some sleep. The above all appears to be a normal and seemingly harmless way to cope with stressful situations.
Some would even say a natural response. What seemingly feels like a healthy way to cope on the surface is not healthy in the long run. Self-medication occurs when a person turns to prescription drugs, illegal substances, and alcohol to deal with situations that cause stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.
While this may start as a “healthy” way of coping it can lead down a path to addiction. Utilizing drugs and/or alcohol doesn’t help in resolving the original issue. Instead, it can lead to a self-destructive cycle of further pain and suffering. Many times, addiction begins as mere self-medication. It is a means to numb the pain, escape problems and worries, and feel better. This is only temporary relief. T
his relief is chased and brings you down the rabbit hole and closer to addiction. This relief leads to a slippery slope and a vicious cycle. To break this pattern of behavior requires treatment of some kind. The underlying causes of self-medication need to be addressed and alternative means to cope need to be utilized.
If you or someone you know is self-medicating it is worth addressing sooner rather than later. Have the conversation before the self-medication consumes you and leads you down the path of addiction.