COVID-19 has presented countless challenges to all Americans this year, including those who are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Prior to the spread of the virus, you may have had access to in-person care, only to be transferred to outpatient or virtual care due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Though it may make sense to self-medicate in between your visits, it’s important to know that self-medication can be dangerous and even undo all the progress you’ve made so far.
What is Self-Medication?
Self-medicating involves diagnosing and treating your own medical issues, which are things that only a qualified, licensed physician can do. Though countless Americans turn to self-medication when they feel like they’re out of options or don’t have access to care, the reality is that treating yourself can do more harm than good. Taking prescription medications without approval or advice from your doctor can cause irreversible damage to your physical and mental health.
Examples of Self-Medication Dangers
A lot of different things can go wrong when you decide to take medications on your own, especially since there are a variety of drugs and medications out there. Only a doctor with an expert knowledge of medicine is able to diagnose your conditions and prescribe a medication that is safe for you to use.
Some common self-medication dangers include:
- Mixing medication with alcohol or other drugs, which can cause a variety of symptoms including drowsiness, confusion, or dizziness
- Overdosing, as many individuals don’t know how much of a medication they should be taking or whether it’s even appropriate for their situation
- Taking prescription painkillers for long periods of time, which can cause damage to organs like your liver, heart, or kidneys
- Self-medicating alone, which can be dangerous if you overdose or experience a negative side effect and no one is around to get you the medical help you need
And, of course, there’s the danger of becoming addicted to substances again if you attempt to medicate without the supervision or assistance of a medical professional. Self-medicating isn’t a solution, but rather, a step in the wrong direction.
Alternatives to Self-Medicating
It’s important to know that you have options to get the treatment you need for your depression, anxiety, or other symptoms, even amid COVID-19 restrictions.
Some of these alternatives include:
- Making an appointment for a face-to-face consultation
- Social distancing at your doctor’s office or urgent care facility
- Speaking with your health care provider via computer chat, over the phone, or over email
- Admitting yourself to a drug and alcohol treatment program
Despite what you may think, there are plenty of rehab and detox centers open and in compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines, including our own facility. Seeking professional help and detoxing in a facility is a safe and viable alternative to self-medicating.
Addiction Recovery Center Serving Patients in Georgia
Mount Sinai Wellness Center is here to help you, whether you’re struggling with addiction and haven’t sought treatment before or you’ve relapsed. We offer state-of-the-art rehab programs for patients who are addicted to alcohol or drugs that include heroin, prescription pills, benzodiazepine, fentanyl, and opiates. We take a holistic approach to treatment and apply alternative techniques such as yoga, equine-assisted therapy, and more to help our patients develop healthy habits.
Even during COVID-19, our team strives to give patients the treatment they need. We test our patients and staff, as well as screen all potential clients for flu-like symptoms, elevated temperatures, and exposure to COVID-19. You deserve a chance to recover, even during these uncertain times.
Fill out our online form or call our team today at (800) 353-4673 to learn more about our treatment programs, as well as how our center is protecting our patients and staff during COVID-19. At Mount Sinai Wellness Center, your health is our priority.