1. I have been prescribed pain killers, specifically Xanax. I am not still using them. I was prescribed a total of 10-15 pills to help me calm down after an anxiety attack that led me into the hospital. They were not to be a long-term fix, just something for me to take should I feel another panic attack coming on in the days to follow… because my body was stressed out enough as was. I eventually took each one (after about 2 months) for various anxiety-prone circumstances arose. I realized towards the end of the pill supply, that I needed to take control of my body and allow myself to learn how to overcome and eventually get rid of anxiety attacks all together. I did take all the pills though, because I felt like it wasn’t fair to my body to undergo anymore stress when it could be avoided. And, in all honesty, because I liked the temporary calm they provided much more than just on a medicinal level.
2. I am not a frequent user of pain medications, though I have questioned myself in regards to alcohol usage… not that I use it more frequently than most, but rather why I use it at all when it leads to the destruction of my body’s health. I would say I drink 2-3 times a week. (fairly high-moderate use for a 22 year old) And it’s not always that I end the evening in a drunken stupor… but every morning I wake up feeling like I’d have more fun if I could be strong/calm enough to just do away with it all and hang out with people sober instead. I would say that admitting what you do, and that it’s a problem – is a HUGE step to recovery. How are you supposed to fix something when you can’t even realize that something needs to be fixed?
3. I do have suspicions of someone close to me, being a self-medicator. Actually, I know for a fact this person uses alcohol and other substances to forget about the fact that there are other problems in their life. It is horribly sad, and I wish I could help… but with my own struggles with alcohol, i’ve been more of an assistance to more than a few of their drinking decisions. I’ve heard of the al-anon meetings for people who are in these types of relationships with friends/family etc… and i’ve considered going on more than one occasion, but never got up the nerve to do it alone.