Self-Medicating with Alcohol

Self-medicating with alcohol is never a good idea, whether it is anxiety or any other issue you may have. In the long run, it will only lead to more problems and even addiction. If you have anxiety attacks or get anxious in certain situations, you should see a physician or counselor about your condition.

According to the Huffington Post:

Many people who suffer with undiagnosed depression or anxiety reach for alcohol or drugs to calm their nerves or relieve them of emotional pain. In other words, they self-medicate.

Why People are Self-Medicating with Alcohol

Why do people try self-medicating with alcohol? Actually, there are many reasons. First, they think that it will make them feel better if they are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental issues. They want to feel better, and self-medicating will work for a little while. However, once the alcohol wears off, their problems still exist, and may even be worse.

If you are self-medicating with alcohol, it will only lead to worse problems than what you are dealing with now. You are only masking the issues that you have. If this is your way of fixing them, you will inevitably end up with something much harder to fix, like an addiction.

Can the Use of Alcohol Cause Anxiety?

Drinking alcohol may diminish anxiety for a short period. However, alcohol can cause tension in individuals. Some individuals with anxiety disorders tend to become more anxious, irritable, and depressed when self-medicating with alcohol, especially when it begins to wear off.

Any stressor or trigger for a person’s anxiety will make them drink more to self-medicate the problem. A person may experience an event, such as:

  • Losing a job
  • Death of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Financial issues
  • Accident causing lost time at work

It doesn’t even have to be anything this life-changing. Anything in a person’s life can cause stress, which will trigger anxiety, which in turn causes the person to drink more alcohol. You can see why self-medicating with alcohol can never be the answer for which you are looking. It will only lead to even more significant problems and more anxiety.

What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

If your self-medicating with alcohol has led to alcohol use disorder or alcohol addiction, you now have what is called “co-occurring disorders.” Co-occurring disorders is when you are suffering from a mental use disorder such as anxiety and a substance use disorder such as alcohol use disorder. When this happens, you must receive treatment for both diseases at the same time.

You may have heard this condition called “Dual-Diagnosis.” Dual-Diagnosis and Co-occurring disorders are just different names for the same condition. Regardless of what you call it, you must have both issues addressed together.

Seek Inpatient Addiction Treatment

If you think that you may have co-occurring disorders due to self-medicating with alcohol, seek treatment from a professional inpatient addiction treatment center. When researching treatment facilities, make sure that the one you choose can treat both, your alcohol use disorder and your anxiety disorder.

At New Beginnings, we can help you choose a treatment program that will fit your individual needs and preferences. To learn more about the different treatment programs offered today, contact one of our representatives. They can answer any questions you may have.


  • – Why We ‘Self-Medicate’ Our Own Depression or Anxiety

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