Of the many hazards of lack of self-love, among the most serious, is behavior that harms you. Failure to take care of yourself properly, to treat yourself with compassion and love can pave the way for self-destructive actions that are life-threatening.

The use of substances that alter your consciousness, such as alcohol and drugs, is often called “self-medicating behavior.” The ‘user’ is someone who is trying to deal with psychic pain but the substances and then the addiction has the secondary effect of causing self-harm or even death. Some professionals refer to it as “slow-motion suicide,” in fact.

Addiction is an epidemic in the United States, one that has touched almost every family directly, and indirectly as well, by taking a serious toll on the economy, health-care, law enforcement, and national well-being. It’s a…

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