Recovery For Life

How to live a healthier life one day at a time.

The Truth about Self-Medicating Behavior

Stress can make it harder for us to just "deal" with life's demands

I cannot believe that any individual starts out drinking or drugging with the intention of becoming addicted. However, people obviously do become addicted - be it genetic, environmental, or more likely a combination of both. We must accept the fact that each one of us wants to feel the best we can and not mistake a momentary high for this process. As psychosocial and environmental stressors increase it becomes increasingly harder and harder for us to simply "deal" with life's daily demands. Factor in an individual's personality and familial history for anxiety and depression and folks are drinking, snorting, swallowing and shooting substances as fast as they can get their hands on them. We are all human and need be nice to ourselves. We should not beat ourselves up for what this clinician considers human behavior. However, we must take responsibility for our health. There is so much pain tied up in the denial of addiction and it is certainly a familial disease and one that has great costs to society. Be kind to yourself and speak to someone if you're worried about your self-medicating behavior. Do it for you, do it for your family, and do it for society and future generations!

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Harris Stratyner, Ph.D., CASAC, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine; he is also with Caron Treatment Centers.

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