What Does It Mean to Say an Alcoholic Is Self-Medicating?

Alcohol addiction is a serious disease that can cause social, familial, career, health and financial damage to an individual. Alcohol is a difficult drug to control because it is so easily accessible. You’ll encounter alcohol when you go out to restaurants, when you go to sporting events, at gatherings of family and friends and in many other places. If you have a problem with alcohol, it may be hard to spot. Where is the line between overindulging every once in a while and being a full blown alcoholic?

How Do You Know if You Are an Alcoholic?

If you are questioning whether or not you have a problem with alcohol, then you should be slightly alarmed. People who do not have a problem with alcohol are generally not worried about their alcohol use, or they are able to change their habits right away. To find out whether you have a problem with alcohol you might try abstaining from alcohol use for an entire month. If you are faced with alcohol and you are able to easily not drink it, then chances are you are alright. If you try and you fail, you may have a dependence to the substance.

What Does Mental Health Have to Do With Alcohol Addiction?

It is an unfortunate truth that mental health issues and alcohol addiction often go hand in hand. For medical professionals and those who work in the rehabilitation field this is called dual diagnosis.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis refers to a situation in which an individual who is addicted to drugs or alcohol also has a mental disorder. These include depression, bipolar disorder, manic depressive disorder or one of the many other mental disorders that exist.

What Does Self-Medication Mean?

Self-medication refers to a situation that many people with mental disorders face. It starts when someone has anxiety, depression or another mental health problem but doesn’t know what to do about it. Sometimes, they may not know they have a problem at all. They may just think they feel sad, angry or frustrated that day. They seek something to help ease the pain and suffering. Unfortunately, that something they seek is often drugs or alcohol.

Self-medication is when someone who has a mental disorder tries to fix their condition with drugs or alcohol. This is not the medication they need. They need help from a medical professional, but when they don’t know they have a problem, it is hard for them to reach out for this help. In addition, they may be embarrassed about their problem and not want anyone to know about it. If they can only cover up the symptoms of mental disorder, then they can avoid being embarrassed and having their social circle know about their issues.

How Can You Seek Help for Alcoholism if You Are Self-Medicating?

When someone is suffering from an addiction to alcohol or full blown alcohol addiction and is self-medicating, it is wise to seek help from medical professionals immediately. Getting help will put them on the right track to recovery.

Most people who are fully addicted to alcohol need to join a rehabilitation center to become sober. At a rehabilitation center an alcoholic can go through a medically monitored detoxification process. Later, they will be able to get therapy and counseling for their mental issues. This should stop the self-medicating.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, contact a rehab center today. A knowledgeable and compassionate advisor will be able to put you on the right path to sobriety.

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