Self-Medication a Common Factor in Addiction Risk, Cautions Chapters Capistrano

Using drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medicating to cope with chronic pain can contribute to risk of addiction, says Chapters Capistrano.

While some people turn to drugs because they enjoy the feeling of euphoria that they produce, there are others who develop addiction as a result of trying to curb pain.  Drugs serve as a temporary solution to a lingering problem which ultimately leads to more challenges. Chapters Capistrano, a rehab center in Orange County, has released a statement to the press regarding the risks of using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.

“Chronic pain is a very real problem,” says Mike Shea, co-owner of the California rehab center. “It can greatly interfere with a person’s quality of life and be very frustrating to deal with. In turn, this can lead people to rely on drugs or alcohol as a way of coping through self-medicating. However, this does not resolve the underlying problem and can contribute to a larger problem of addiction.”

A recent study found that “2.1 million Americans suffered from a substance use disorder related to prescription opioid painkillers in 2012, with nearly a half-million more afflicted by heroin addiction.” Moreover, a study of 25,000 patients found that 571 engaged in illicit drug use, and 51 percent of them reported that it was self-medication. Of the 265 who reported engaging in heavy drinking, 38 percent said that it was self-medication.

“This self-medicating behavior can quickly spiral into addiction,” cautions Shea. “It can become harder to quit or cut back on use because people don’t know how else to deal with the pain and they’ve become dependent on drugs or alcohol. In some cases, family or friends may realize that drug addiction has occurred before the person does. In either case, recognizing that there is a problem is the first step in getting help.”

It is important to take chronic pain into consideration when developing an effective addiction treatment and recovery plan to help prevent relapse, notes Shea. There are alternatives to using drugs to control pain and some people find meditation, yoga, physical therapy, massage, and other holistic therapies beneficial. Addiction treatment should address not just substance use, but also underlying factors that contribute to this use so that clients can develop healthier coping strategies. Treatment providers and other healthcare professionals can work together to create a long-term plan for decreasing risk of relapse while enhancing quality of life in recovery.

“Fortunately there is effective treatment available for addiction that can help people to break the cycle of self-medicating with drugs or alcohol,” says Shea. “A comprehensive rehabilitation program such as Chapters Capistrano can support clients in detoxing from addictive substances and then working through factors that contribute to their addiction and creating a personalized plan for long-term recovery. This can include strategies for coping with chronic pain and enhancing quality of life.”


Chapters Capistrano is a luxury drug and alcohol treatment center located in the city of San Clemente in Orange County, California, with two beautiful ocean-view homes. Specializing in all types of substance abuse, Chapters offers flexible treatment programs that are designed to offer greater confidence in addiction recovery. With a thorough approach to detox, counseling and mental health, this center has delivered many success stories. In addition to offering alternative approaches to conventional recovery, Chapters is also recognized for providing guest comfort with exceptional accommodations, private rooms, and cell and laptop allowance. Those searching to begin a new “Chapter” in addiction recovery are encouraged to contact the facility today.

Media Contact
Company Name: Chapters Capistrano
Contact Person: Marvin Kimble
Phone: 949-287-8248
Address:1525 Buena Vista
City: San Clemente
State: CA
Country: United States