Many individuals struggling with addiction don’t start off dependent on their drug of choice. Often they have started using drugs as a coping mechanism to alleviate internal struggles, stress, physical conditions, trauma and mental disorders. Although in the beginning substances seem to be helping them escape, eventually the substance becomes all consuming.
During active addiction substances become an unhealthy coping mechanism. It is paramount when in early recovery to find new healthy coping mechanisms to combat the overwhelming feelings.
What Are Coping Mechanisms?
Coping mechanisms are unhealthy and healthy methods in which individuals alleviate physical and mental stressors. Unhealthy coping skills are generally utilized to escape the problem or to temporarily relieve feelings.
Unhealthy Coping Skills
In addiction recovery, individuals may find that substance use is not their only unhealthy coping mechanism. Unhealthy coping skills are a sure fire way to sabotage recovery efforts for example, negative self-talk or minimizing or denying substances as being a problem.
Negative self talk
Violence or yelling
To much or too little sleep
Healthy Coping Skills
Healthy coping skills are helpful ways in which the individuals learns to work through or overcome adverse stressors.
Talking with trusted support person (therapist, friend, family, group)
Routine health checks
Finding the positives/practicing gratitude
Healthy boundary setting
Solving / resolving problems
Planning challenges and setback
Recovery is difficult but with the proper implementation of healthy coping skills, each day gets a little easier. Having a positive mindset and taking responsibility for recovery is a step in the right direction towards achieving long-term sobriety.
If you are concerned and want to know if a loved one has an addiction, give Care Addiction Center a call at: (630) 402-0144.