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Using alcohol to self medicate increases addiction risk

Using alcohol to self medicate increases addiction risk
Using alcohol to self medicate increases alcohol dependence risk

BALTIMORE, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Using alcohol as though it were a medication -- to ease feelings of depression -- are more likely to become alcohol dependent, U.S. researchers say.

Rosa Crum of the The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed national survey data on people who reported drinking as if it were a medication in 2001 and 2002.

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When the study participants were re-interviewed in 2004 and 2005, their drinking was more likely to show signs of alcohol dependence, or being addicted to alcohol, Crum said.

"It indicates that drinking as a way to improve mood symptoms might increase the probability that alcohol dependence will develop," Crum said in a statement.

Crum said people who self-medicate should find other ways to cope, or they might need professional help.

The study was published in the journal Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry.

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