The Dangers of Self-Medicating During COVID

woman experiencing the dangers of self medicating during Covid

The Dangers of Self-Medicating During COVID

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: October 12, 2020

COVID-19 and social distancing present unique challenges for individuals who are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Where you once may have had access to round-the-clock residential care, your treatments may now be limited to outpatient or virtual options. However, this doesn’t mean you should self-medicate between visits. There are still alternatives to foregoing your treatment for substance use disorder. All have been put into place to safeguard your recovery and the recovery of others facing the same obstacles. If you’re unsure where to turn during these turbulent times, contact a drug and alcohol treatment center like Lakeview Health to get the help you need today.

What Happens When You Self-Medicate?

When you self-medicate, this means you’re diagnosing and treating your own medical problems, something only a licensed physician is qualified to do. Though many people choose this path in the hopes of feeling better, it often has the opposite result. You can do real damage to your physical and emotional health by taking prescription medications without the advice of a medical doctor.

Meanwhile, drinking alcohol or using drugs such as heroin or cocaine is never recommended. None of these “solutions” is really a  solution at all. In fact, it’s a step in the wrong direction. Substance use disorder could develop, or your addiction could worsen.

Even in these days, when a telehealth check-in might be more advisable than an in-person appointment, it’s critical to take medication only according to the manner in which it was prescribed by a licensed physician, psychiatrist, or another medical professional.

What Are the Dangers of Self-Medicating?

Self-medicating can cause you to mix drugs that are quite dangerous together. For instance, taking anxiety medication with alcohol may cause you to become dizzy, confused, and extremely drowsy. Additionally, mixing opioid-derived medicines with other drugs can even be life-threatening. Without a doctor’s advice, you don’t know how much of a medication you should be taking or even whether it’s suited to your situation. Prescription painkillers, as an example, are meant for short-term use. Taking them for long periods can cause damage to essential organs such as your heart, kidneys, or liver. Without the input of a medical professional, you might not realize the damage you’re doing to your body until it is too late.

If you or someone you care about is self-medicating while in quarantine, and especially if you are combining substances, don’t hesitate to get the help you need as soon as possible. One way to do this is to reach out to Lakeview Health today using our secure, convenient online form or call us at 866.704.7692. Our compassionate, expert team of addiction specialists is waiting to give you the tools you need to achieve genuine, long-term recovery.

What Are the Alternatives to Self-Medicating?

There is always an alternative to treating yourself for depression, anxiety, or symptoms of withdrawal. During the COVID-19 crisis, they may include:

  • Speaking with a healthcare provider over the phone, via computer chat, or even in email
  • Making an appointment for a face-to-face consultation
  • Social distancing in the waiting room of a doctor’s office or urgent care facility
  • Admitting yourself to a drug and alcohol treatment program on an outpatient or residential basis
  • Stopping by your local free clinic for help

Despite the current health crisis, the resources you need are still out there, and they’re still in place to help anyone who needs them. COVID-19 may have temporarily changed the appearance of treatment, but it hasn’t eliminated it or made it impossible for the people who need it to benefit.

Learn More About Residential Treatment at Lakeview Health During COVID-19

It is still possible to receive residential treatment for drug and alcohol addiction during the COVID-19 crisis. Located in Jacksonville, FL, Lakeview Health is currently admitting new patients. If you need help battling addiction or other behavioral health conditions, we provide safe, viable alternatives to self-medicating.

When you call one of our dedicated representatives, they’ll walk you through the steps needed for admission. This may include verifying your insurance information, scheduling an assessment, and more. Once you make that first call, everything that comes after will become more manageable. Contact Lakeview Health today at 866.704.7692 to learn more about our trauma-informed, integrated-care programs for men and women.