Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Are addictions to unhealthy substances a form of self-harm?

27 Answers
Last Updated: 07/20/2021 at 12:01pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Penny Dahlen, Ed.D., LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am committed to helping you find your passion, heal old wounds, and flow smoother in all aspects of your life path! I use a compassionate listening approach.

Top Rated Answers
October 8th, 2014 12:20pm
Addictions are not necessarily a form of self harm of themselves. It can depend on multiple factors. Abuse of substances can be a form of self harm, while not being an addiction.
September 16th, 2014 11:25am
to a certain extent I believe yes. If you happen to try a unhealthy substance maybe because everyone else is, and you happen to become addicted, then no I wouldn't consider that as a complete self-harm because in a way you aren't doing it because it is unhealthy for you, you tried it and became addicted, your just addicted to something that happens to be doing you harm. If you become addicted to what the substance does, if it harms you and you become addicted to that and purposely want a substance that harms you then I would call it a form of self harm
October 6th, 2014 6:43pm
Addictions to unhealthy substances are a form of self-harm because it is a way of harming yourself. They affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally. They mold you into something you are not and make you do things you never would dream of doing.
October 24th, 2014 9:44pm
yes addiction to unhealthy substance indeed a self harm as it ruins the natural balance of the human body that makes an essential part for survival
October 29th, 2014 12:53am
I truly believe that any form of self-harm is unhealthy and substance abuse does fall under that category. Self harm is what it says, harming of ones self. When you are abusing a substance, the reactions to your body can be devastating. Luckily, there are a number of options and steps one can take to help recover from self harm. just ask one of your listeners and they will connect you with professionals who can help!
October 29th, 2014 12:23pm
Good question. They are if the addiction is on purpose. As in, if the person decided to keep having that substance till they got addicted. At least, that is my opinion.
October 29th, 2014 1:51pm
Addictions to unhelathy substances can be a way out for people who have problems, emotional, social or whatever. They don't necessarly see it as self-harming but more like a way to get out of "reality" and have a break from their issues. Anything can be seen as self-harm when it causes PAIN. As unhealthy susbstances lik drugs make you trip and feel good, they don't see it as self-harm. But it can be.
November 3rd, 2014 12:54am
Addictions to unhealthy substances can definitely be considered self-harm. Any self-destructive behavior can be considered self-harm.
November 3rd, 2014 6:27pm
I think it depends. Addiction is disease. There comes a point where the choice is no longer yours to make and addiction takes over. However, the initial choice to use a substance may be viewed as a form of self harm depending on how and why you use it. There is no cookie cutter answer here. I am happy to talk more about this.
November 5th, 2014 6:24am
No, I believe it's too suppress something that will evolve into self-harm. Addictions are always different, a lot of addictions, I feel, come from the reward of doing such action.
November 10th, 2014 10:57am
Depends on who you ask. Pain killers and sedatives are unhealthy and if you took them to deliberately hurt yourself, it say yes. But lets just suppose you take them to numb or make tolerable some emotion or thought... then is that self harm or self medication ?
November 11th, 2014 12:01am
I guess you could say that. Any addiction is unhealthy and needs to be stopped.
November 11th, 2014 6:23pm
It depends on what the user uses them for. Some people use substances to make themselves feel good. They become addicted and can't stop. But others use them to just put toxic into their bodies. Some people drink, not because they like it, but because they know it can hurt them.
November 14th, 2014 12:22pm
Self harm is the act of intentionally causing damage or pain to one's self, if you are consuming unhealthy substances to hurt yourself then yes it is self-harm, however if it is simply cravings or addiction it is not
November 17th, 2014 12:47am
Yes addictions to unhealthy substances is a form of self-harm. The substances do not do any good to your body.
In my opinion yes, addictions you partake in do harm you, and you continue to consume them with knowledge that you are harming yourself.
March 13th, 2015 12:17am
Anything that is done to intentionally cause pain to one's self is considered self harm. So if one is deliberately consuming unhealthy substances in order to hurt themselves, yes it is considered self harm. However, it is not considered self harm if is addiction with no intention to harm one's self.
April 25th, 2015 12:42am
Depends on who you ask, but yes, many professionals consider substance abuse or risky behavior as self harm.
April 26th, 2015 4:39am
Yes, addictions to unhealthy substances are a form of self-harm because it is actively partaking in something that is hurtful to one's body and health.
June 4th, 2015 12:00pm
Well yes, but if it affects the mental and physical form of that person, then that person would be harming themselves/self-harm. No matter if it's just eating candies, chocolate (many of us would ), etc. These unhealthy substances could lead one's to further unwanted impacts, diabetes, cancer maybe, etc.
December 21st, 2015 3:42pm
They can be if you let them get out of hand an addiction is exactly that you are addicted to something. It is a hard thing to break and if it is unhealthy it is in a sense self-harm
September 5th, 2016 7:16am
Addictions can cause harm to the body and mind. It is not a healthy coping mechanism. Therefore in my opinion it is a form of self harm
February 15th, 2017 4:26pm
That depends on what you consider it. But techinically, yes. It hurts your psychological well being. I was an opiate addict for a while. I've been clean for many months but there are many triggers and relationships that broke as a result.
February 20th, 2017 6:41am
Yes, certainly are. Knowing that it is harmful to you and engaging in it anyway surely qualifies it as self-harm.
November 28th, 2017 5:45pm
Yes as it is damaging your body unhealthy being the key word self harm is more than cutting. Using substances to help you get through the day is seriously harming your mind too
February 13th, 2018 9:02pm
It could be in a way but addictions are more like illness. It is a symptom or something else really. It is similar to self-harm because you know it's a way to cope and feel better in the moment but at the long-term it is really bad for you.
July 20th, 2021 12:01pm
Addiction to anything can be harmful to ones self. Most often addiction is formed as a way to ignore or numb the true thoughts and feelings we are having. Not wanting to face the reality of something in our past and or present. When we rely on something to numb those experiences we need to look at it as an open wound. Your substance abuse is just the bandage you cover the wound with, hiding and sheltering it from your view and the world. The bandage gets lose, the corners peel and eventually it falls off, exposing the open wound. You have a choice. Do you re-cover the wound with another temporary fix or do you decide it’s time to address it, care for it and allow it to heal. Self-harm comes in many forms, substance abuse being one of the leading. What you numb through your addiction won’t go away, you must acknowledge your pain and decide you want to heal it once and for all.