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5 Key Coping Skills For Substance Abuse Recovery

Coping skills for substance abuse recovery come in different ways. Some may require you to do it with others, while others need you to do it yourself. But what’s important is learning and applying these coping skills to help you recover from an addiction. 

While it can be challenging to navigate the path toward substance abuse recovery, as long as you’re committed, it can be achievable. This can be a long journey, but it’d be worthwhile, considering it can result in healthier well-being. Taking it one step at a time, combined with coping skills, can help make the healing and recovery process bearable and less daunting. 

With that, here are some of the vital coping skills you may need to learn:

Joining A Strong Support System

Having a strong support system to rely on is an essential coping skill when recovering from substance abuse. For one, a support system can help you avoid the chances of a relapse—an episode where you’ll use again after stopping taking alcohol or drugs for quite some time. 

Aside from having someone to talk to that understands how you’re feeling, spending time with the people in your support system can also help you manage your cravings and triggers. You could learn from them tips on how they handled challenging situations. They can also help you become more accountable for your choices in sobriety. They can help and support you through positive reinforcement and encouragement since they know what you’ve been through.

Thus, it may be best to find and join a support program. You can search the web for suggestions on support groups and addiction treatment centers near you. You can check out websites Jacksonhouserehab.com and other similar centers to learn more about your options and how they can provide you with the support system you need.

Being Relaxed

People resort to substances for various reasons. Some use them to reward themselves, while others use such to escape reality. With that in mind, part of the process of recovering from alcohol or drugs is the decision to change your life. This means changing the way you relieve tension and enroll into a drug treatment programs such as the ones found in Massachusetts.

You don’t have to stop rewarding yourself or relaxing because you need those coping skills to maintain a happy life. However, you must erase the idea that using substances will help you cope. Because if you can’t learn how to relax without using, you’re more likely to relapse. 

Relapsing tends to happen after you’ve managed to stop taking in alcohol or drugs, but when you’re unable to relax or a trigger happens, making your tension build, you end up using and relying on the escape substances offered to you again. And so, knowing how to relax is essential to recovery.

You can find many healthier ways to do it. You can use more structured techniques like meditation or simple ones like walking or pursuing a hobby or interest. Or better yet, combine these techniques, especially if you’re under a lot of stress. Whatever you choose, do something daily to reward yourself, escape, and relax from the chatter in your mind. 

Avoiding Triggers And Cravings 

Getting sober is only a part of the recovery stage, as you should still go to a phase where you must rebuild and recover connections that may have changed while abusing substances. During this phase, substance cravings and triggers can be intense. Hence, it’s best to avoid situations, places, and people that may trigger your urge to use by trying the following:

  • Use Caution With Prescription Drugs: Consider finding alternative medicines if you’re addicted to a prescription drug. It may be necessary to stay away from such drugs unless you’re left with no choice. For instance, find other ways to manage your pain if you’re once addicted to opioid painkillers. 
  • Avoid Visiting Clubs And Bars: Drinking alcohol can impair judgment and lower inhibitions, quickly leading to relapse even if you don’t have a problem with alcohol. When intoxicated, you may be overpowered by the temptation to use. Because of that, it’s best to avoid situations and environments that can easily entice you to use again. 
  • Don’t Mingle With People You Know Are Using: Aside from places and situations, avoiding people who may tempt you to use drugs is also best. Instead, surround yourself with friends and loved ones who strengthen your will to stay sober. 

Practicing Mindfulness Meditation

Becoming more self-aware is the goal of mindfulness meditation. When you become more self-aware, you’re more likely to cope with triggers and cravings for substance use. By meditating, it can help increase your acceptance and awareness, which can help keep you sober longer. 

That’s because meditation, prayer, letting go of personal control, and acceptance can encourage you to ‘ride with the punches’ while craving instead of fighting it. It means you’ll accept that cravings come and go; when this happens, you’re better prepared to prevent using substances. 

For instance, mindfulness meditation can help you focus on the present when you’re craving—who you’re with, where you are, and what you’re doing. By becoming focused on the present, you may reduce your urge to return to substance abuse. Moreover, it helps you pause and consider if returning to old habits will help you. As a result, you can gain empowerment and tremendous insight into your cravings. 

Keeping Yourself Busy

As they say, an idle mind is where the devil lives. If you’re not keeping yourself busy, you’re more likely to get more cravings, which can hamper your recovery. One way to keep cravings at bay is to keep your mind positive and active in other activities that will replace your old habits. 

You may consider the following to help keep your emotional well-being intact, uplift your spirit, and fill your schedule with positive and healthy activities: 

  • Try out new sports 
  • Go hiking
  • Write a book
  • Read novels
  • Explore new places
  • Learn a new language
  • Develop new skills
  • Volunteer to events for a cause

There are more activities you can try, but what matters is not to put things off. It may be challenging to start a new habit, but taking it one step at a time could help. 

Conclusion

Substance abuse recovery may take time, but don’t rush to become sober, as it may only stress you out. Instead, take your time to discover coping skills that can help you. Try out the ones mentioned above and from there, keep it going.

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