There is no doubt that we all self-medicate. If you have a headache you take a couple of Tylenol. That is self-medicating too.
When people get sick they usually want to feel better. Hopefully, they decide to see a doctor who will prescribe something, if necessary. Unfortunately, many choose to ignore the problem and others take medication of their own choosing. This is something known as self-medication.
When someone chooses to treat an untreated or undiagnosed medical ailment with drugs not prescribed or advised by a doctor’s order, it is defined as self-medication. This is defined as a type of psychological behavior and includes recreational, psychoactive drugs, alcohol, and anything else that soothes and helps the individual deal with mental and/or physical pain.
It’s important to note that self-medication is not only associated with physical ailments, it is often referring to mental illness and psychological trauma and people see it as a way to have a sense of personal independence from medicine that is considered to be established.
Some people who diagnose their own conditions genuinely believe that they are right and the medications they choose are the appropriate ones. This is true even for heavier drugs like narcotics and opiates.
Alcohol, marijuana and prescription medications are three of the primary self-medicating substances used as “self-medication.”
Make no mistake, self-medication is extremely dangerous because it enables and escalates the problems associated with drug addiction. Typically, drug addicts know that their pattern is destructive and the substances they are using are dangerous, but they use them regardless. If you think you may be self-medicating and need help there are in person and online drug Awareness classes.