It is not uncommon for individuals experiencing stress to turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of coping. Unfortunately, the rather common practice of resorting to medication or substances to deal with stress can have adverse health effects. As drugs and alcohol provide a false sense of relaxation helping ease stress by allowing people to perhaps forget their problems for short time, in many instances, they lead to bigger problems such as addiction and health issues. This is particularly common where alcohol is involved. It is not uncommon to see many individuals continue the behavior of masking their problem with drinking and become functioning alcoholics going through life with hidden alcohol dependency until their drinking starts causing serious life issues.
At Florida Center for Recovery, the great majority of clients seeking treatment for alcoholism report that they remember starting with a drink or two a week to relieve stress and “take the edge off” in their daily life. Eventually, their drinking slipped into their lifestyle almost unnoticed, and from a few “happy hour” drinks a week to a few drinks a day in a matter of months without them realizing. They report that it gradually became a pattern of wanting more and more drinks to maintain the feeling of relaxation they experienced when they started their drinking. The result is a dependency on alcohol to the point that their problem they started drinking for, their daily stress, became insignificant to the problem they ended up with at the end.
Nowadays there are books, seminars and material of the like that help create awareness about stress and the importance of learning how to manage it so we can maintain a healthy lifestyle in the meantime. Society is now realizing that as unique as we all are, there are many different ways for each of us to manage stress. What is considered commonplace stress (work, over-scheduled lifestyle) and is well managed by some, may overwhelm others.
Learning managing skills to cope with stress and knowing about the connection shared between stress and the risk of substance addiction help us not only in saving our life but the life of a loved one who may be experiencing this disorder, categorized as a co-occurring condition for addiction (stress and addiction are common to be diagnosed as co-occurring). A high-functioning alcoholic or a high-functioning drug user may not display alarming behavior or obvious symptoms of addiction, however, he or she needs to deal with the stress disorder and addiction by using the service of professionals specialized in these types of treatment.
If you or someone you love is using drugs or alcohol as an escape from life’s troubles, specialized professional treatment is available, and RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE.
For more information regarding addiction treatment for individuals struggling with stress disorders or related mental health conditions, contact us at (800) 851-3291. You may also visit our addiction treatment programs’ page for a better insight into our diverse comprehensive therapies.
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.