There are many ways that people will medicate underlying psychiatric symptoms by using drugs or alcohol. Alcohol is the most common way for individuals to self medicate only because it is the most available. People may use alcohol to temporarily relieve symptoms of depression or anxiety. Crack cocaine eliminates audio hallucinations for schizophrenics. Drugs and alcohol work very different on every person. While one person may be able to use marijuana to alleviate anxiety, it may cause the next person to have increased anxiety when using. This is where the term drug of choice comes in to play. When someone is experiencing underlying psychiatric symptoms, they may choose to self medicate with alcohol or drugs. If they do, they will likely find their drug that works for them. Once they find it they will likely continue to use it until they become dependent. If someone is experiencing underlying psychiatric symptoms their perception is that their continued use will alleviate the pain or discomfort that they are experiencing in everyday life which is likely better than a life sober. For them.
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