CHENNAI: COVID -19 has brought with it a host of concerns and worries. A larger number of people are trying to get accustomed to living the new normal, like managing working from home and their personal life. People are prone to higher anxiety levels and more sleep-related issues like insomnia. To combat sleep issues, people often decide to self-medicate. And this self-medication is commonly seen among those with sleep disorders. In a bid to induce sleep, many people consume hypnotics that their friend or relative prescribe.
People lack awareness that self-medication and addiction are often inter-related, i.e. when a patient self-medicates, invariably they begin to increase their dosage over time. One must always note that consumption of hypnotics can do more harm than good if not prescribed by a doctor.
International Overdose Awareness Day is observed every year on August 31 with an aim of spreading awareness on the harmful effects of overdose and to minimise death due to the same. It has been observed that many lives have been lost due to drug overdose each year. Alcohol, tobacco and hypnotics are the most commonly abused substances among individuals in India as a way to relieve anxiety, uneasiness and boredom. Overuse of the same can not only affect physical health but greatly impair mental health.
The writer is a Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai