Let’s start off by saying there is a very good reason why doctors give you detailed instructions for your drug intake: to prevent abuse, addiction, or a medical emergency. Although they can provide relief or provide aide to an underlying health condition, drugs are testy and risky elements to bring into your life, and you must take each one with caution. However, casting medications aside, we are all familiar with the group of people who attempt to use alternative (or illegal) drugs and/or alcohol to “self-medicate” their problems (which aren’t always related to health). From compensating for behavioral issues or covering up traumatic injuries, these people will do anything to cleanse their minds, but is this practice connected to addition in any way? Let’s take a closer look and see if the “self-medication addiction theory” is grounded in fact.
What Is the Self-Medication Hypothesis?
As far back as the 1970s, researchers were debating about the “self-medication hypothesis” after observing heroin addicts who used the drug to mask emotional or social problems (like anxiety or loneliness). As a result, doctors theorized that drug abusers and addicts were using these drugs as a means to treat stress caused by a lack of socialization or overwhelmingly sad emotions. Later, researchers began to place greater emphasis on this hypothesis after noting how some prescription drugs produced the same effects as illegal drugs. For example, the public (at one point in history) began to recognize how marijuana does contain a few medical benefits.
A Transition Period
At first you may be thinking the “self-medication” practice is merely an excuse for addicts and abusers to continue using toxic drugs, but, in reality, healthcare professionals believe there is a benefit to this practice. In their view, transitioning hardcore addicts from dangerous illegal drugs to legal medications with a similar potency (a form of self-medication) will, in part, “wean” them off the drugs altogether. Some doctors and addiction specialists also consider self-medication to be a form of therapy, as it gradually transitions the mental process from negative to positive.
However, keep in mind that self-medication (overall) is not a wise process. By promoting this practice, medical professionals still run the risk of promoting rather than inhibiting drug use.
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, or Addiction
Drugs and alcohol are extremely dangerous part of our society. If you, a friend, or loved one is suffering from a severe case of alcohol use or drug use, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you separate yourself from these substances. The time to take back control of your life is now.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your attachment to drugs today.