Stress is a normal part of life for everyone, but it can be particularly troublesome and even dangerous for individuals in recovery. Besides having to manage triggers and cravings, often times individuals in recovery have financial concerns and family relationship conflicts to resolve. When not addressed, these stressors alone can lead to relapse if they are not properly managed.
Addiction specialists with the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) believe that stress is one of the leading causes of relapse. Research shows that the brain of a person with a substance use disorder is more sensitive to stress, which may explain why relapse is so prevalent.
Florida Center for Recovery addiction treatment programs offers specialized counseling where clients are taught how to identify, address and manage stress to avoid relapse. Learning stress management techniques empowers individuals in recovery to have more control over their lives by giving them the tools necessary to control emotions amidst unpredictable situations.
Typical signs of stress often overlooked by recovering individuals include:
- Stomach issues
- Racing thoughts
- Anger or irritability
- Over- or undereating
- Memory issues
- Lack of focus
- Identify Potential Sources of Stress
Individuals in recovery can expand their stress management toolkit by mastering four strategies for coping with stress: avoid, alter, accept and adapt. Utilizing these 4 A’s of stress management can drastically help in reducing stress levels.
Avoid. Learn how to avoid any unnecessary stressors by not hanging out with people who stress you out, and learn how to say “no” to stressful situations.
Alter. When in a stressful situation or environment find a way to change it quickly.
Adapt. When there are stressors that cannot be changed, adapt by changing the way you look at or approach them.
Accept. Sometimes just by accepting the things you cannot change, you may find less stress in giving up the fight when you cease trying to control what is beyond your influence.
In addition, by nurturing body, mind and spirit with proper self-care, recovering individuals can take actions that have major impact on stress reduction. Below are a few of those suggested actions:
- Limit your caffeine and nicotine intake
- Get some regular physical exercise
- Get proper sleep
- Talk about your feelings
- Keep a journal
- Practice yoga and mindful meditation
- Reconnect with a therapist if you feel overwhelmed
If you or someone you know is struggling with Substance Use Disorder, browse through our site to learn more about Florida Center for Recovery and its addiction treatment programs. We offer private, all-inclusive inpatient detox for adults age 18 and older with specialized programs such as:
- Chronic Relapse Program (for individuals who have relapsed multiple times)
- Pregnant Women Program
- Military and First Responders Program
- Specialized Trauma Treatment through Rapid Resolution Therapy
Connect with someone who can help you by calling Florida Center for Recovery at (800) 851-3291. All calls are private and confidential.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.