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Drug Abuse and Self-Harm

Drug Abuse and Self-HarmSelf-injury, or self-harm, is the act of deliberately injuring yourself by cutting, burning or other forms of self-injury. Self-harm does not usually indicate a suicide attempt. Rather, it is a method of coping with emotional pain, frustration or anger. Those who self-harm report momentary feelings of calm or a release of tension after injury. Self-harm is a symptom of a mental illness and can be associated with depression, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder and impulse control disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, most people who engage in self-harm are teenagers and young adults. Females are more likely to self-injure than males, and those who engage in self-harm are more likely to do so under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you or a loved one in Albuquerque is using self-harm to cope with emotional pain, seek professional treatment immediately.

Albuquerque Residents and Types of Self-Injury

One of the most prominent types of self-harm is cutting. Albuquerque residents who engage in this type of behavior make cuts or severe scratches on their bodies with sharp objects. Other types of self-injury include:

  • Burning the skin with lit matches, cigarettes or hot sharp objects like knives
  • Carving words or symbols on the skin
  • Breaking bones
  • Hitting or punching
  • Piercing the skin with sharp objects
  • Head banging
  • Biting
  • Pulling out hair
  • Persistently picking at or interfering with wound healing

People who self-injure typically do so on the arms, legs and front of the torso, since these areas are easy to reach and can be covered with clothing. Self-injury can be a sign of a serious mental illness that needs treatment.

Self-Injury and Drug Abuse in Albuquerque

Self-injury is often combined with alcohol or drug abuse. The person who self injures is looking for a way to cope with difficult circumstances in his or her life. Alcohol and drugs are another way of escape, and using a substance prior to self-injury can cause a further release of inhibitions. This can lead to an even more dangerous situation, as the person who self injures may not realize how badly he has hurt himself. If you suspect a loved one in Albuquerque is harming himself, look for these signs:

  • Scars from burns or cuts
  • Fresh cuts, scratches or bruises
  • Frequent broken bones
  • Keeping sharp object on hand at all times
  • Wearing long sleeves or pants in hot weather
  • Claiming to be clumsy and having frequent accidents
  • Behavioral and emotional instability

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or your loved one, it is time to get help. With proper treatment, people who self-injure can learn why they want to hurt themselves and find coping skills to help them deal with challenging situations in appropriate ways.

Help for Albuquerque Residents Struggling with Self-Harm and Drug Abuse

Drug abuse and self-harm is a dangerous and life-threatening combination. If you or a loved one in Albuquerque is struggling with self-harm behavior and drug abuse, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day to speak to a helpline counselor. We are ready to answer your questions about self-harm and substance abuse and help you find a treatment program that best meets your needs.