Using Drugs to Avoid Pain

For years, doctors have been trying to understand why some people get addicted to drugs and others aren’t phased by them.  While there are many contributing factors to this phenomenon, the most common denominator in using drugs comes from a need to avoid some sort of pain.  This can be a painful experience, memory, emotion, or event.  In essence, drugs used to self-medicate a chronic ache or pain.  While the temporary relief of pain can help, it’s no secret that you will still wake up in the morning in the same situation.  The longer you run from your problems, the worse they will get and often the use of drugs creates new problems even worse than the problems you were running from to begin with. 

While we know it’s not simple to quit a habit, there are a few next steps to take.  The first step is to acknowledge that the drug you are using is aiding you in avoiding your pain.  The second is to confide in someone you trust and let them know where you are at.  Thirdly, get some help.  This could look like going to a counselor, checking yourself into a detox center, or somewhere in between.  The time to get help is now as we know avoiding pain only heightens it in the long run.