Unresolved Grief and Addiction

There are many life events that cause extreme sadness and commonly those grieving and remembering the past loss and abuse develop, what is called, complicated grief. When simple grief turns into complicated grief, it can become a chronic, debilitating mental health condition. This case of grief is highly emotional and often results in anger, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Although when grieving, all these emotions are normal reactions that should pass over time, it can be hard for some individuals to cope with all those negative feelings at the same time. In this weakened state, complicated grief can lead some to seek means of self-medication to ease their pain. Some drink and some rely on drugs. Using alcohol or other substances to deal with, or neglect dealing with feelings may only numb the pain temporarily but does not take it away. Even worse is that, in this situation, many struggling with grief develop an addiction as they become physically or psychologically dependent on the substances they use. The most common form of dealing with grief has been drinking to forget. It is important to note that since alcohol is a depressant, this form of “pain relief” actually makes the person feel worse by amplifying depression, anxiety and stress.

When grief is self-medicated with drugs and alcohol specialized treatment is needed to address both substance abuse and addiction along with the symptoms of deep grief. Rehab Centers offering dual-diagnosis programs, also known as co-occurring disorders treatment programs offer the best chance of full recovery from both issues. When an addiction treatment does not address both problems, untreated grief will leave individuals with unresolved emotional issues which often make them vulnerable to relapse. A well-structured addiction treatment program provides therapeutic services that help individuals cope and accept their loss, eventually assisting them to come to terms with it. Being capable of coping and accepting loss does not mean the individual is OK with what happened in the past, it just means that it places him or her in a situation where the individual gets better and starts to live a productive life with new goals.

If you or a loved one is dealing with substance abuse and believe it’s associated with grief, we at Florida Center for Recovery can help. We offer comprehensive and specialized inpatient addiction treatment programs with evidence-based therapeutic services and Rapid Resolution Therapy (trauma therapy) to address the underlying reasons of the problem. Whether the grief is linked to the loss of a family member or friend, a divorce or other type of deep-seated loss from the past, Rapid Resolution Therapy can be the answer, as it has helped many recovering clients resolve grief and past trauma in as little as two sessions.

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For more information about our drug and alcohol rehab programs, admissions, insurance and private pay information please contact us at (800) 851-3291. All calls are confidential.

Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment
Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002