How Self-Medication May Lead to Substance Abuse 

Many people cannot afford to go to their healthcare providers and will choose to self-medicate themselves. You may be asking yourself what self-medication is? Self-medication is treating yourself by yourself. This could be enjoying a brownie after a long day or even enjoying a glass of wine. Self-medication comes in many forms, however, some of them are negative. 


What is self medication? It is when someone uses something, such as a substance, to medicate themselves without the use of a doctor. When someone is self-medicating, they are providing self-administration of medication. There are no regulations or rules when someone is self-medicating. 

Many people will self-medicate for headaches and other minor issues, however, those who have substance abuse problems may have a hard time properly self-medicating. This means that a simple case of the blues could cause relapse or an adverse drug binge. Many people who self-medicate do not think they have a problem, however, those who self-medicate are more likely to have substance abuse problems. 

Trauma and Stress 

When there is trouble, the body refers to fight or flight. Many people will seek substances to help cope with this trouble. It may help them forget about what is going on. This is why we hear about PTSD and addiction being linked. Traumatic experiences cause the person to seek help and focus their attention in other places. 

Anxiety and Depression

Studies have shown that depression and anxiety are linked to substance abuse. Those who are depressed will often resort to drugs. Over 25 percent of depressed patients resorted to different drugs to help them cope with their depression. Many of these substances will help relieve anxiety or depression temporarily, however, they will not help in the long run. Some of the most common self-medication taken for depression are alcohol. 

Chronic Pain 

People do not just self-medicate for mental disorders; physical pain is also a reason people will self-medicate. Chronic pain occurs in many people. Those who suffer from chronic pain are likely to become addicted and abuse opioids. They may even use marijuana to help them relax and forget the pain. 


You should understand the theory of self-medication. It may provide effective treatment for one person, however, it could cause problems for those who have issues with substance abuse. It may even lead to substance abuse in some who are not careful. It is important that you see a professional if you believe you may be having a problem with self-medicating. 

You should also understand why you are self-medicating. Are you looking to escape the discomfort you may be experiencing? Are you looking to get away from life for a while? Are you trying to enhance your mood? Try to figure out why you are resorting to the things you are to try to help your health care professional further. 

If you are concerned about your habits, you should consider getting a dual diagnosis. This means they will treat your abuse problem and diagnose what is causing you to self-medicate. 

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