Depression: How Self-Medication Leads To Substance Use Disorder

Depression: How Self-Medication Leads To Substance Use Disorder

Depression: How Self-Medication Leads To Substance Use Disorder

Northstar Recovery Center

PHP and IOP Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts

According to the World Health Organization, there are roughly 280 million people that suffer from depression around the world. This is a mood disorder that can result from a complex stew of psychological, social, and biological factors. Sometimes, individuals with depression will choose to self-medicate rather than receive treatment for their depression.

Self-medication refers to using drugs or alcohol to help cope with the symptoms of a disease or disorder. In the case of depression, an individual might drink or do drugs in order to temporarily escape their feelings of sadness and emptiness.

While these drugs might offer brief relief, in the long run, they can make mood disorders like depression worse. Using drugs and alcohol can also result in dependence or addiction, which can be very damaging to both your mental and physical health in addition to your personal and professional life.

Are you wondering what you need to know about self-medication and depression? Let’s take a look.

 

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by feelings of sadness, emptiness, and irritability. It also comes along with a loss of interest in activities that one once loved. While it’s normal for everyone to feel this way every once in a while, depressive episodes last for at least two weeks at a time.

Depression can also bring about other symptoms, including:

  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Poor concentration
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Feeling low-energy
  • Thoughts about death or suicide

While depressed people are by no means inherently addicts or vice versa, this mood disorder commonly co-occurs with drug and alcohol addiction.

What Does It Mean to Self-Medicate?

If a person has depression or another health condition and uses drugs or alcohol to help manage the symptoms, this is known as self-medicating. There are two primary reasons why people tend to self-medicate:

  • Substances can appear to help make the symptoms of a mental health disorder or illness more manageable in the moment, allowing for temporary relief
  • Many individuals who have trouble with drug and alcohol abuse don’t know how else to cope with their symptoms

Mood and anxiety disorders are among some of the mental illnesses that lead people to self-medicate. An individual doesn’t need a formal diagnosis in order to self-medicate. People can turn to drugs and alcohol during difficult life events in a way that also qualifies as self-medicating.

According to one study, grief results in increased drug and alcohol use. People who have experienced trauma or who have been in an abusive relationship are at an increased risk of using drugs or alcohol to deal with their difficult situation.

The Dangers of Self-Medicating

Self-medication can become a slippery slope for many individuals. While using drugs or alcohol might temporarily reduce unpleasant symptoms of depression, the long-term consequences can be devastating. Certain drugs, such as cannabis, might actually worsen symptoms of depression while also causing other negative side effects in both your health and your life.

When you don’t get proper treatment for your depression, the feelings that you have could intensify and result in danger to yourself or others.

If you choose to self-medicate instead of seeking treatment, you are facing a number of risks, including:

  • Self-diagnosing yourself incorrectly
  • Not receiving appropriate advice and treatment right away
  • Drugs interacting in a dangerous way
  • The risk of abuse and dependence
  • The worsening of your depressive symptoms
  • Potential adverse reactions
  • The masking of serious disorders and diseases

Even if you believe you are self-medicating in a tempered and controlled way, things can quickly spiral out of control.

 

Common Drugs That Are Used to Self-Medicate for Depression

When people don’t know how to cope with their troubled feelings or life situation, they can turn to self-medication. Depending on the person and their circumstance, there are a number of common drugs that are used for this purpose.

Alcohol

Alcohol can temporarily help to lower anxiety, decrease inhibitions, and increase happiness. For this reason in addition to its wide availability makes it a common substance that is used to self-medicate.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers that are prescribed for a number of conditions, including anxiety, muscle relaxation, alcohol withdrawal, and insomnia. You might recognize the names Xanyx and Valium as common types of this medication. Benzo abuse is, unfortunately, more common than you might assume, and this type of drug is highly addictive.

Opioids

Opioids like prescription painkillers and heroin are also used by some people to self-medicate for depression. These drugs act on the central nervous system and can temporarily:

  • Reduce tension
  • Blunt stress and anxiety
  • Increase relaxation

However, opioids are highly addictive. Using them comes along with a number of potentially devastating consequences.

What Are the Treatment Options?

If you are seeking treatment for both depression and addiction, you will want to find treatment centers that focus on co-occurring disorders. This way, you can ensure that you receive treatment for both your mood disorder and your substance abuse problem. It’s important to address both issues, as otherwise, you can end up falling into the same cycles when you’ve finished treatment.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) is a type of addiction treatment where you have a number of treatment sessions every week but don’t live at the hospital. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) require less of a time commitment meaning that patients can still engage in their daily life more easily.

Is It Time for You to Receive the Treatment You Need for Depression?

Self-medication for depression is not a healthy long-term option for anyone. If self-medication has left you with a dependence or addiction to substances, there is help for you!

At Northstar Recovery Center, we offer addiction treatment programs in Southborough, MA. We offer partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs, including evening IOP and virtual IOP.

Is it time for you to get your life back on track? If so, contact us today!

WHO WE ARE

Northstar Recovery Center in Southborough, MA is made up of a team of experienced, dedicated, and compassionate addiction treatment professionals. We want to see our community heal from the effects of the opioid epidemic, alcohol addiction, and other substance use disorders.

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.

Contact Northstar Recovery Center

Let us guide you on your journey to recovery from addiction. Connect with our team today.

Call Us Now

8 Benefits of Virtual PHP and IOP for Addiction Treatment

8 Benefits of Virtual PHP and IOP for Addiction Treatment

8 Benefits of Virtual PHP and IOP for Addiction Treatment in Southborough, MA

Northstar Recovery Center

Virtual PHP and IOP Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts

During the past few years when the world has been experiencing a global pandemic, many people lost their jobs, loved ones, and sense of purpose amongst all of the uncertainty.

Did you know that 13% of Americans started using substances to cope with emotional stress? The good news is if you or someone close to you is suffering from addiction they’re not the only one.

Pandemic or not, telehealth for addiction in MA is there to support those people looking to navigate the difficulties of recovering from substance abuse and sail towards a new future.

Does that sound like something you want? Then, you’ve come to the right place. The benefits of telehealth go far beyond convenience as it offers a non-judgment space, costs less, and lowers anxiety around asking for help.

Let’s take a look at what a Virtual PHP and Virtual IOP can do for addiction recovery and where to find the best telehealth resources…

What Is Virtual PHP and IOP?

Many people weren’t aware of telemedicine for treating addiction before the pandemic as the option for digital doctor appointments was not as accessible as it is now.

But, what is telehealth?

8 benefits of Virtual PHP in MA and Virtual IOP in MA| Northstar Recovery Center in Southborough, MA | PHP in MA IOP in MA OP in MA In-network insurance

 

Telehealth blends the best of technology with conventional medical care. Even though a lot of technology is associated with negative effects on our lives such as too much social media use it can have life-changing effects too.

 

All you need to access telehealth services is a mobile phone or laptop. It’s that simple.

This new form of addiction treatment makes it more accessible no matter where you live and if you can commute to a centre or not. You don’t need to worry about getting there, all you need to do is sit in front of a screen.

So, what are the other benefits of telehealth? And, will it really help on your road to recovery?

8 Benefits of Telehealth for Drug Addiction

One of the major reasons that people don’t seek help for drug and alcohol addiction is that they are scared of showing up and admitting they have a problem.

Without a doubt, it can be scary confiding in a stranger and telling them all your problems, but it can also be incredibly therapeutic. That’s why learning about the benefits of telehealth could encourage more people to get the right help.

Here is a list of the 9 reasons to use telehealth for addiction in MA…

1) Less Money

Therapy can seem like a huge time commitment as well as a financial burden. For example, by the time you pay for gas to get there, or purchase a bus ticket, your bank account will soon see the effects of all the trips.

Choosing telehealth options save you a lot of money. You don’t need to spend travel money or buy food when you’re waiting for your appointment.

2) Constant Connection

When you’re going through your recovery program you need a good support network and people you can talk to when you’re having a hard time. But, we can’t always drive to our doctor’s office when we’re having a bad moment.

Thankfully, telehealth allows you to keep in contact with doctors, counselors, nurses, and other medical staff through text message, video, and telephone. It can be helpful knowing there’s always a way to reach out for help.

3) Safe Space

Does the thought of walking into a recovery centre make you feel anxious? Or, is there someone you know that is scared to take the first step in asking for help?

If any of these questions are true, then the good news is you don’t need to worry about what people think when you go to telehealth drug and alcohol treatment in MA.

It’s a completely safe place to go to for help and no on is going to judge you.

4) Socially Distanced

The fourth benefit of telehealth services for addiction is that they are safe and secure in COVID times. Instead of wasting time worrying about catching a virus and getting sick, you can focus on recovering.

This is especially important if you have a weak immune system or mobility issues as you can still have access to therapy without leaving your house.

5) Better for Your Mental Health

It’s common for substance abuse suffers to also struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

No matter if your mental health problem led you to drug addiction or it was the cause, telehealth can make the process more comfortable and relaxed.

6) Avoid Triggers

Triggers for drug addicts can be as small as passing through a certain area or the chance of seeing someone you know. It can make it even harder to be consistent with your treatment if you’re triggered about going there.

With telehealth, those worries don’t exist. You don’t need to see or go anywhere except a comfortable seat in your home.

7) Suitable for Working Hours

Another obstacle for people going for drug addiction treatment is taking time off work. However, using telehealth allows you to fit it into your schedule so it works for you.

8) Boosts Independence

Having time to get used to your life without relying on drugs or medical staff in person can make the transition easier into an independent life. Telehealth makes you feel more in control of your situation.

Plus, not only does telehealth help patients but it reduces the pressure on healthcare workers which enables them to spend more time investing in your therapy.

Where to Find Telehealth for Addiction in MA

In order to truly build a better, brighter future for yourself you need to find telehealth for addiction in MA that works for you.

Luckily, the Northstar Recovery Center in Southborough, MA is here to help with services for a range of treatments and has a  team of dedicated, friendly staff.

All you need to do is send a message and take the first step towards your new life.

We all need a little guidance from time to time, so why not let the North Star Recovery Center offer a helping hand? Get in touch today to find out more!

 

WHO WE ARE

Northstar Recovery Center in Southborough, MA is made up of a team of experienced, dedicated, and compassionate addiction treatment professionals. We want to see our community heal from the effects of the opioid epidemic, alcohol addiction, and other substance use disorders.

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.

Contact Northstar Recovery Center

Let us guide you on your journey to recovery from addiction. Connect with our team today.

Call Us Now

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