There are a lot of causes that can lead people into alcohol, and drug use – trauma, difficult emotions, external pressures, and stressful situations are just a few. When individuals don’t know how to cope with these situations or feelings in a healthy way, they may use illegal drugs or drink alcohol to escape or feel relief.
Hence, the phrase, “drowning the sorrows” – or taking two bottles when things get rough. Illegal substances like cocaine or methamphetamine are addictive chemicals that can activate the brain’s pleasure points, release excessive amounts of happy hormones or dopamine, and make the user experience an enormous sense of happiness or euphoria.
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When addictive substances are used to cope or escape complicated emotions, individuals can become reliant on these things to feel okay and function. Too often, this is where the addiction to certain drugs or alcohol starts. To cope with substance or alcohol addiction, an individual needs first to know and understand the root cause of the problem. Which situations, emotions, or traumas drive the person towards drug use and alcohol consumption?
Then, people need to relearn how to handle stressors without the blanket of alcoholic drinks or illegal drugs. People in recovery need to develop healthy coping mechanisms to prevent relapse and substance use. CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based treatment method that focuses on two steps.
It helps uncover negative thought patterns influencing the patient’s drug use, as well as address these feelings and thoughts head-on. A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy expert will help the patient to change their ways of thinking, foster positive and alternative reactions, as well as teach them how to cope with distressing emotions, relapse triggers, and cravings.
Coping skills that are taught in this therapy are skills that patients can use throughout their recovery journey. These skills – positive and healthy for the soul, body, and mind – can be used to overcome bad and stressful days, as well as days when an individual just wants to take a hit or sip. In many ways, skills for substance or alcohol abuse are saving graces for people navigating the recovery road.
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If an individual or their loved ones are battling drug or alcohol addiction, know that it can be challenging to handle anxiety and stress on their own effectively. Illegal substances have more power over an individual’s brain or body than they usually realize.
But by taking a step back and getting the therapy they need, patients can get through these trying times. By understanding how to work and respond to stress, people can overcome this problem with ease. Listed below are some examples of the kinds of coping skills that can help recovering addicts truly conquer addiction and substance abuse?
Wait to respond
When stress is creeping on you, take some time to relax and breathe deeply – clear your mind. A rushed decision is an irrational reaction. By breathing deeply and thinking before making any decisions, people can address the situation properly and with a level head.
Meditation and mindfulness
Use meditation and mindfulness techniques to help you overcome difficult emotions and thoughts. It allows individuals to focus on what is happening at the moment, observe their internal experiences, as well as accept them without negativity or judgment.
Before, people are more likely to spend their precious time looking for, using, and recovering from illegal substances. Now, they have to replace these old habits with positive ones. Recovering addicts need to do things they have been putting off, like watching television, play music, dance, or read books. They should do what will make them feel good at the end of the morning, afternoon, or evening.
Part of the patient’s recovery process is getting their bodies physically healthy. Drugs and alcohol take a toll on a person’s physical health. Treat yourself to satisfying and nutritious meals, as well as nourish your body with nutrients and vitamins. Keeping a healthy enterprise is the key to fast recovery.
Do regular exercises
Part of getting a healthy body involves doing regular exercises. Because of the endorphins released during these activities, it is an excellent way to relieve stress, feelings of depression, and anxiety. It can also help get rid of all the toxins and chemicals put into the body from constant drug abuse.
Talk to a counselor, sponsor, or therapist
If you are internalizing your feelings, or if you feel alone during the sobriety process, your sponsor, counselor, or therapist is there to listen to you. They will keep you from going to relapse and keep you from stressful and negative thoughts. They can also help patients work through various situations, and difficult emotions, as well as interpreting situations properly.