There are lots of people who self-medicate. They might have different reasons for doing so. They may do it because they’re experiencing physical pain, and the medication dulls or lessens it. They might self-medicate because they’re experiencing psychological distress, which can be as harmful as physical agony.
If you see a mental health professional, they might give you antidepressants to help with what you’re going through, but you have to be just as careful with those as you would with something like marijuana or alcohol. Some patients try mixing antidepressants without a doctor’s permission, which can have unintended and sometimes dangerous consequences.
We’ll talk a little more about the dangers of self-medication in the following article.
You Never Know the Results When You Mix Different Substances
Some people realize they need help for chronic pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. They might see a doctor and get a prescription for a drug that can help them. Just as often, such an individual will self-medicate with marijuana, alcohol, or other substances.
These people who mix prescribed medications and the ones they get themselves might sometimes like the feelings combining them creates. They may feel pleasant and have a brain fog that makes them forget their troubles.
Mixing substances can be dangerous, though. You never know how prescribed antidepressants might mix with marijuana, for instance. In rare cases, these combinations might even produce psychosis.
You’re Risking Addiction if You Take Things Too Far
If you self-medicate too much, you also risk addiction. Maybe you feel better when you take drugs, either prescribed ones or ones you buy on the street. You may feel more confident and in control of yourself at these times.
Your drug use can quickly spiral out of control if you’re not careful, though. Pushing things too far with your drugs of choice can lead to dependence, and addiction might not be far behind. Now, you’ll have a different problem and potentially a much more serious one.
You Risk an Overdose
Addiction is always a risk if you self-medicate recklessly, but an overdose can also take place. That can happen with prescribed medications if you take more than the recommended amount. It can also occur with street drugs if you take too many of them simultaneously. Combining street drugs and prescribed ones makes the possibility of a fatal overdose even more likely.
Sometimes, individuals struggling with chronic pain, severe anxiety, or some of the other issues we mentioned start developing a fatalistic attitude. They feel like the world would be a better place if they weren’t around. They might think they are a burden to their friends and family members, and people around them wouldn’t care if they killed themselves.
This thinking can lead to self-medicating recklessly, even if suicide is not the intended consequence. Individuals getting into these behavioral patterns need to take a step back and reconsider what they’re doing. They’ll often realize they have a lot to live for if they just reevaluate their situation and prospects.