Judy Cousins, Clinical Social Worker, discusses facts about drinking, and what does it mean to self-medicate by drinking
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Male Speaker: What does it mean to self-medicate by drinking? Judith W. Cousins: When a person self-medicates what that means is that they are using alcohol as a way of, in the mental health language, to manage effect. What that means it that when folks have feelings like anger or sadness or perhaps embarrassment or they have thoughts that are troubling to them. They may have racing thoughts which means their thoughts just don't stop racing in their head, they turn to alcohol as a way of calming those thoughts and calming those feelings, because alcohol helps slow down our central nervous system which slows down the processes in our brain as well as in our body. So that's what it means to self-medicate. People are using alcohol as a way of calming themselves rather than using medications or some other way of calming themselves.