Substance use disorders can be difficult to detox and recover from, especially without the proper tools to cope with the healing process. Addiction treatment often starts with undergoing detox at a medical facility and learning addiction recovery strategies in either outpatient or inpatient programs or through support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
The physical, mental, and emotional effects addiction has on the body can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, intense cravings, and serious side effects. Thus, learning healthy coping skills can help individuals manage the adverse effects properly and improve the recovery process. Read on in this article to learn different and beneficial coping skills for addiction recovery.
There are a range of coping skills for addiction recovery, from self-acceptance to creating and following a routine. It is important for patients to learn how to deal with triggers, cravings, negative thoughts, and everyday stressors, as they directly influence the longevity and success of treatment and recovery. Many of these tools can be learned and developed in therapy, both individual and group, with therapists helping patients discover and manage triggers, improve their mindset, and restructure their lives.
There are three main stages that people with substance use disorders will go through. These stages make up the cycle of addiction, and many addiction treatment programs are centered around this cycle.
The first stage is when an individual is actively addicted or reliant on a substance. Addiction is characterized as the uncontrollable urge to use a substance despite its consequences. Coping with addiction can be difficult during this stage, as many people either don’t want to admit that they need help or simply don’t see that they have a substance use disorder.
Relapse is a state of deterioration after a temporary improvement. Relapse typically occurs in three stages and can be influenced by triggers.
There are many high-risk situations in recovery, so it is imperative for individuals recovering from addiction to discover their triggers and which coping skills work for them. Coping skills in recovery can make all the difference for your health. Some of the most common and effective coping skills for addiction recovery will be detailed below.
This may sound difficult, especially early on in your recovery process, but learning how to relax is an essential coping skill. Techniques such as yoga or meditation can calm you down when you encounter triggers in everyday life, such as stress at work, seeing friends you used to take substances with, or financial pressure.
It is easy to respond to situations impulsively; however, acting and reacting before thinking can lead to reckless decisions and risky behavior. Thus, learning how to take a step back, assess the situation, and give yourself time to make calculated judgments can result in better life choices.
One of the most important skills you can utilize is to be open and honest with yourself and others. This could mean reaching out to others, admitting you need help, or accepting treatment. Being honest is not always easy, but it will allow you to know your limits.
Mindfulness and meditation can help you relax and become more in tune with yourself. Becoming more mindful and utilizing meditation techniques can increase your self-awareness, helping you cope with everyday stressors, anxiety, and triggers. One study examining the effectiveness of mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) compared to treatment as usual (TAU) found that patients reported a significantly lower risk for relapse and days of substance use (for those who relapsed) six months following treatment.4
Surprisingly, one of the most common ways people relapse is due to boredom, as it often creates thoughts of using substances again. Keeping busy prevents you from giving in to these thoughts and cravings, and allows you to engage in positive, healthy activities, such as exercise, seeing friends, and participating in hobbies.
Keeping a list or journal of what you’re grateful for and how you’re feeling each day can help you keep track of your emotions throughout the recovery process, along with how far you’ve come from the start of your journey.
Exercising and staying active helps release endorphins, which keep us happier and healthier. Keeping your body active can also help you work through any feelings of wanting to use substances again and channel that energy into a healthier lifestyle.
It’s important to have a support network of sober individuals, such as friends, family, sponsors, or peers from your support group. A solid support network allows you to surround yourself with others who will help you throughout your recovery and improve your life.
Figuring out your potential relapse risks and learning to avoid them is paramount for your recovery. Knowing your triggers will help you navigate through everyday life without facing them, allowing you to focus on yourself and your healing process more effectively.
Lastly, helping others can make a huge difference in your recovery. Whether it is joining a support group or volunteering/working at a recovery clinic, helping others achieve sobriety can uplift your mood, build new friendships, and motivate you to continue improving your life.
We offer highly-effective treatment programs for women seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction, such as 12-Step programs, group therapy, relapse prevention support, and family therapy. Our group therapy is especially conducive to learning and retaining coping skills, as it allows our patients to learn and support each other throughout recovery.
Additionally, Soledad House provides a supportive sober living residence for our guests, allowing each patient to receive holistic and evidence-based therapies in a comforting and positive environment. If you want to learn more about coping skills for addiction recovery, contact a member of our team today.
Our supportive and knowledgeable staff will work with you to create a tailored plan specific to your needs to ensure you get the help and care you deserve. If you want to learn more about our recovery strategies and other coping skills for addiction recovery, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We will be with you every step of the way during your drug addiction recovery.