Did you know that the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that almost twenty million Americans struggle with a substance use disorder?
There are many different reasons someone might become addicted to alcohol or drugs. However, one common one is self-medication. If you think you’re self-medicating with alcohol, you’re likely researching ways to stop.
Luckily, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll help you determine whether or not you use alcohol to self-medicate.
What Is Self-Medicating With Alcohol?
Before we begin it’s important to understand exactly what self-medicating with alcohol is. Self-medicating is the process of self-soothing during a particularly hard moment.
Maybe you’ve lost a job or a loved one. Or, you might be going through depression or similar existential despair. Regardless of the reason we temporarily relieve the suffering that comes with these conditions by indulging in the things that comfort us.
In this case, by numbing the pain with alcohol. Sadly, this form of self-medication can have some serious drawbacks. For one thing, it’s a temporary band-aid for a serious problem.
It might bring a little relief for a brief period. But, you will gradually need more and more alcohol if you keep medicating this way, That brings us to the second problem associated with self-medication: addiction.
The more you misuse substances like alcohol the more reliant on them you become. If you aren’t careful, then minor self-medicating can quickly transform into a full-blown substance use disorder.
When this happens you not only risk hurting yourself but also your relationships with others. There can be a lot of signs that you’re self-medicating.
Maybe you find yourself turning to alcohol whenever negative feelings arrive.
You might also feel worse when you’re drunk, or panic when you can’t get as drunk as you used to. If you’ve noticed these things in your life, then it’s time to consider help.
Different Treatment Options
In the last section, we mentioned some of the potential treatment programs that can help with self-medication.
In this section, we’ll be taking a closer look at three of these options. Specifically, we’ll explore PHP, IOP, and evening IOP.
Partial Hospitalization Program (or PHP)
The Partial Hospitalization Program offered here at Northstar Recovery Center is a great solution for people struggling with their self-medication.
If the thought of free, unstructured time during your substance misuse recovery journey stresses you out, then you should consider PHP. During PHP you’ll commit six hours for five days each week.
You’ll devote this time to both therapy and treatment options related to your specific needs. It’s more intensive than the other treatments in this section. But this makes it a great option for people struggling to get over their condition.
Intensive Outpatient Program (or IOP)
An Intensive Outpatient Program is a less demanding form of treatment than PHP. With IOP you’re only coming in two to three times a week for treatment. And these sessions tend to only last between two to four hours.
During this time you’ll receive both the physical and mental treatment that you need. It’s important to note that IOP might not be for everyone.
If you’ve previously relapsed, have a co-occurring disorder, or have an unstable home life, then you should consider a different option.
If you want treatment, but you work a day job or go to school, then it can be hard to get time off for the IOP or PHP. So, what’s the solution?
Evening IOP is similar to the regular Intensive Outpatient Program, but it accommodates your busy schedule. It’s a good option for those that have a high risk of relapse or don’t trust themselves at home.
Our staff will monitor you until you get back on a path that feels right for you.
Need Addiction Treatment in MA? Contact Northstar Recovery Center
We hope this article helped you learn how to stop self-medicating with alcohol. Often, people with substance use disorders think they can quit using entirely on their own.
While there might be some cases of this the reality is that you’ll be much more successful if you have a community of people standing behind you.
That’s why we started Northstar Recovery Center for addiction treatment in MA. We believe in providing our patients with evidence-backed strategies.
So, if you’re ready for the help you need to stop self-medicating, get in touch with us today.
Partial Hospitalization Program in Southborough, MA
Our partial hospitalization program in Southborough, Massachusetts is the highest level of care we offer. This addiction treatment option includes clinical care and behavioral therapies. During the early days of recovery from addiction, it’s essential to have support for both the physical and emotional challenges you might face. Our team at Northstar Recovery Center in Massachusetts will help you build a strong foundation for lifelong recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Typically, clients come to our addiction treatment center each weekday for several hours of counseling sessions and other interventions as needed.
Intensive Outpatient Program in Southborough, MA
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Southborough, MA does not require 24/7 residency at a facility, but it demands more of your time than a regular outpatient program. It is ideal for those who need a higher level of care but are okay being at home. This way the individual can still live their life while getting counseling and support that is still needed in early recovery from substance use disorder.
Individual, Group, and Family Counseling in Massachusetts
Addiction thrives in isolation, which is why group counseling sessions are a foundational part of our addiction treatment plans. In group sessions, you’ll gain perspective on your struggles with substance abuse and can connect with others who understand your experiences. Family counseling can help your loved ones understand the disease of addiction, navigate conflict, and build healthier relationships. In individual counseling sessions, you’ll be able to work through personal issues like past trauma with the help of an experienced therapist.