Self-medication with psychotropic drugs: their health risks
The taking of medicines without medical follow-up It is very widespread in our country. Probably, before self-medication we were prescribed this medication at some time, and although it is very important not to take medications without medical follow-up, some people decide to skip that step believing they have enough information about the effects of these products and their health status.
Now, there is a particularly relevant aspect from the point of view of clinical psychology and psychiatry: How does self-medication influence us in the case of psychotropic drugs?
- Related article: "Psychotropic drugs: drugs that act on the brain"
Why do we self-medicate?
It would be difficult to answer that we did not take medication without previously being prescribed according to our problem, but this does not mean that we are doing it correctly. Self-medicating can pose a significant risk to our health because we may not be taking the correct medication to be able to treat our health problem either physically or mentally.
The human being tends to believe that he knows his body well, that he knows better than anyone what is happening to him. And it is true, we can get to know each other very well, but there are times when the person must also know their limits and know that they should seek help. On many occasions we must lose our fear of the results that can be thrown at us by the tests that we have done and have done to us.
It is true, there is always the uncertainty of whether it will be `` something good or something bad ''. But if we do not address it, we will not be able to give it a solution. And in most cases, the longer we wait to solve our physical and / or psychological problems, the more difficult it will be to be able to solve them effectively.
Health professionals, and more specifically, doctors and psychologists, can clarify the origins of the problem that affects you, address it and improve your situation.
Why do not you go to the doctor?
Surely you have asked us this question and we have answered that:
- I do not have time to go to the doctor.
- It does not hurt so much to go.
- I do not think it's so serious.
- This has already happened to me.
- I still have medicine left from the last time.
- With something that the pharmacist gives me, it will be enough.
It is possible that we do not have time at that moment, that it still does not hurt, that we want to minimize the importance of our problem, that we believe that we are "experts" in our ailment, that we "must" spend the medicine we have left , that we will try to heal ourselves alone with those who sell us in the pharmacy, but we could be running a risk and waiting for `` to see if it happens to me '' unnecessary.
It is important to mention the role of the psychologist for some problems that may arise. Many times their services are dispensed with and the drug is used directly , instead of looking for the correct orientation of the professional of psychology, as in cases, for example, of anxiety. We must know that the best treatment option is usually a medical and psychological treatment if required.
The psychopharmaceuticals and their misuse
Psychotropic drugs are drugs that have a depressant effect on the central nervous system with a sedation action. The depressant effect leads to a decrease in the activation of the brain, that is, it slows it down.
The most common depressant medications are: benzodiazepines, barbiturates and opioids . Although we also find alcohol.
Benzodiazepines are a group of drugs that are hypnotic-sedative. They began to occur in the 60s in order to treat problems such as insomnia, anxiety, epileptic seizures, panic attacks and other disorders. The benzodiazepinas in conjunction with the alcohol intake will enhance the effects of this.
On the other hand, barbiturates were prescribed more frequently than at present, due to the dangerous nature of their administration, while among opiates we find codeine, morphine and heroin.
- Related article: "Types of psychotropic drugs: uses and side effects"
Psychological and physiological effects and risks
These are several of the effects that psychotropic drugs can have:
- Sleep / Sleepiness
- Reduced anxiety
- They can cause dependence
In cases of overdose or severe poisoning the level of consciousness decreases being able to cause even death . If it occurs the abstinence can appear other symptoms like the insomnia, attacks of panic, irritability, tremors ...
The responsible use of these drugs is important to avoid dependence and other problems.Consult your doctor and your psychologist so they can orient you better.