Man holding a glass of water staring at a pill, looking hesitant

Why Self-Medicating is Dangerous

What is Self-Medication?

Self-medication includes treating an illness without the diagnosis or permission from a medical professional. It is common for people to self-medicate for headaches, colds, or allergies with over-the-counter medications. However, others try to treat more severe illnesses or mental health conditions with prescription medication that wasn’t prescribed to them.

Taking medications that weren’t prescribed to you can be extremely dangerous. Likely, they aren’t the proper dosage for your needs, or they could be expired. People also self-medicate without receiving an accurate diagnosis.

Risks of Self Medication

Numerous risks come with self-medicating, but here are some of the most common ones:

Substance Dependency

One of the most significant risks of self-medication is developing a dependence or addiction to the substance. Taking medication for an extended period may cause your body to develop a dependence - meaning your body’s ability to function is typically hindered without using the substance.

Substance Interactions

If you are already taking a prescribed substance to treat a different condition, mixing the medications could be more harmful than helpful. When doctors prescribe medication, they look at other medications you may be taking daily to ensure no unsafe interactions.

Substance Misuse

When doctors prescribe medications, they often give specific instructions on quantity and frequency. It is always important to communicate with your doctor what time of day you should take your medicine, if you should take it with food, and how many times of day it should be taken. By self-medicating, you could take an incorrect dose or take them in a harmful manner.

Seeking Medical Attention

Whether you are experiencing physical or mental illness symptoms, you should always seek attention from a medical professional. Not receiving the proper diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care is detrimental to your health and wellness.

Walking Alongside You at Cedar Oaks Wellness Center

Self-medicating has serious physical consequences and can create medical conditions that didn’t exist before. If you recognize a change in behaviors in yourself or someone you love, this may be a sign to seek professional help.

The caring and compassionate staff at Cedar Oaks Wellness Center is available to answer your questions and help you determine the best treatment program for you. Contact us online or call us today at (513) 780-5201 to start on your path to recovery.

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