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Written By Legacy Healing Center - Aug 12 2019
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If you or someone you love is dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to understand how using coping skills for early recovery can greatly help someone on their journey.
Addiction doesn’t go away just from someone deciding he or she isn’t going to use a particular substance anymore. Changing one’s mindset, environment, and responses to situations are also crucial aspects of being successful when it comes to rehab or recovery.
Learning and implementing coping skills for addiction can help someone build a solid foundation in order to achieve long-term recovery. Let’s take a closer look:
In order to implement skills and strategies, you need to be aware of your own personal triggers when it comes to addiction. For many people, it can be an emotional trigger, such as stress, depression, anxiety, fear, or frustration that can compel them to use again.
For others, it can be an environmental trigger such as being around a specific person or place that reminds you of using, or even attending a social gathering where those around you are drinking alcohol, etc.
When are aware of the things that trigger you and your thoughts to want to use again, make a physical or mental list of these items. Perhaps there is a certain group of friends who you always went out to drink with, or an area of town you would drive to in order to find drugs, or drug or alcohol paraphernalia that can trigger negative thoughts.
These are things you will want to be cognizant of first, and then use coping skills for addiction in order to protect your sobriety.
So, what exactly is a coping skill? A coping skill is a method, action, or strategy that someone uses in order to deal with a stressful situation.
In addition to steering clear or people, situations, or environments that may trigger drug or alcohol use, let’s take a look at four skills and how to cope with addiction triggers using these strategies:
1. Build a Support System Around You – There will be certain friends and family members who want to help, encourage, and support you in your recovery. These should be people you can trust, be honest with, and who will hold you accountable to the goals and dreams you are trying to pursue. Knowing you have a team of supportive people who love you, and who you can talk to when you are being faced with an addiction trigger, is an important coping skill for addiction that everyone should have!
2. Use Distraction to Get You Through – Coping skills for early recovery also include the use of distractions. Distractions can be anything from exercise and physical activity to a new hobby, class, or type of entertainment. In the past, a portion of your free time went to using a substance, so now you have to learn how to fill in that empty time slot. Has there always been a class you have wanted to take? Perhaps you have wished to return to school, or take up a new sport. There is no better time than right now to use that free time and do something new that will help distract you and keep your mind off of drugs or alcohol.
3. Find Meetings Near You – AA and NA meetings, or other types of recovery support groups, should be a non-negotiable when you are in recovery. A simple online search can help you find countless meetings in your area. Not only will you be surrounded by people who are on a similar journey, here you can find a sponsor or trusted friend who you can reach out to when you experience a trigger, or have a craving to use again.
4. Implement Stress Management – When you are in recovery, a bad day at work, a fight with a friend or loved one, a stressful commute home or anything along those lines can act as a trigger. Knowing a few stress management techniques that work for you can help your mind not shift to using drugs or alcohol to relax. Consider an at-home yoga session, some deep breathing exercises, meditation, a walk around the block, prayer, or reading a new book.
Learn how to cope with addiction triggers by utilizing any or all of the above coping skills. Also, learn to be honest with yourself, meaning, if you feel yourself becoming preoccupied with using again, or fantasizing about past user experiences, it is time to come clean to a trusted sponsor, friend, or family member. You can learn more about addiction, recovery, and coping skills at Legacy Healing Center and by calling us at 888-597-3547.
At Legacy Healing Center, our approach to recovery is built around a holistic methodology. We look at addiction as a comprehensive issue and offer a complete set of services to heal the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. Combining research-evidenced practices from medicine and psychology, our team of highly trained professionals looks at all aspects of our clients’ lives on an individual basis. Our holistic approach to healing encompasses more than dealing with addiction through primary treatment strategies like therapy and meetings. We offer a full range of services to heal the whole person, body, mind, and spirit.