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I use alcohol or other drugs to 'self-medicate' or 'numb myself', in order to help me deal with other problems in my life. How will I cope if I decide to stop?

28/05/2018


While some people use drugs or alcohol to relax or socialise, others use substances as a way of coping with their problems. When drug or alcohol use becomes an issue, health professionals understand that there are often other factors behind a person's substance use.

For example, some people use alcohol or other drugs to cope with anxiety or depression. Others may use substances as a way to deal with past trauma, or to cope with financial or housing problems. Some may be worried about legal problems, or might be using drugs or alcohol as a response to current violence, including domestic violence. However, using alcohol or drugs to try and manage these problems does not actually help to fix them – in fact, it may cause you to do or say things that you wouldn't otherwise, which can make the situation worse.

While these problems may feel even worse when you are withdrawing from alcohol or drugs, the good news is that this will only last for a short period of time. With proper support, any distress can be minimised and you can live happily without drugs or alcohol.

If issues like these are a factor in your drug or alcohol use, the important thing to keep in mind is that you are not alone and it is ok to talk about your substance use. If you feel ready, speaking about these issues with a health professional can be a good starting point in learning how to cope without using alcohol or drugs.

Can a health professional help me with other problems aside from alcohol or drugs?

If you are experiencing other problems in addition to your alcohol or drug use - such as domestic violence or mental health issues - a health professional can help you with useful referrals, guidance and support.

To find out more about ways to stop using alcohol and drugs, go to the Support and Treatment page.

To find out how to access support, go to the Getting Help page.

Your Room > FAQ > I use alcohol or other drugs to 'self-medicate' or 'numb myself', in order to help me deal with other problems in my life. How will I cope if I decide to stop?