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10 Coping Skills For Addiction Recovery

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The Owls Nest in Florence, South Carolina is a treatment facility that takes pride in teaching patients coping skills for substance abuse recovery. We strive to help a person become sober for years to come.

We realize the importance of being able to identify triggers and deal with them in healthy ways. Our dedicated staff is ready to support all patients throughout their recovery journeys. Let us provide a supportive and calm setting for your mind as it gets back on the right track. For more information, contact us today.

Be Honest With Yourself & Others

When youre grappling with drug and alcohol addiction, lying can become a habit by default. Before you committed to recovery, you may have lied about using your substance of choice, for example. You probably lied about the effects the drug or alcohol had on your body, too. To keep using, you had to continue deceiving others and yourself again and again and again. As you recover from addiction challenges, you have to stop lying and develop a habit of telling the truth instead. Being fearlessly honest is one of the most important skills you need to master for successful long-term addiction recovery. Be honest with yourself and others. If youre mad at a family member and unable to forgive, tell them. If youre dealing with intense cravings, ask your sponsor, counselor, or sober community for support. Regardless of the situation, making the decision to be honest will help maintain your sobriety.

Why Do I Need Healthy Coping Skills For Addiction Recovery

Part of the reason for your addiction is usually related to unhealthy coping skills you used to have. For example, when you were faced with highly stressful situations, you could have drunk alcohol or experimented with different types of drugs. Based on your previous habits, you discovered that you could alleviate unwanted stress by drinking or using a particular substance. However, what you did not know at the time was that you were on the path to dependence and addiction by abusing alcohol or drugs.

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Healthy Ways To Cope With Addiction

These healthy ways to cope are readily available in top-notch rehab centers with various treatment options.


Psychotherapies are designed to help people identify and eliminate negative thought patterns that worsen addictions. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you to develop a habit of acknowledging an intrusive thought. Intrusive thoughts are commonly negative images that pop up in your head which cause anxiety or depression. These thoughts may also lead you to various types of compulsions such as substance use. Through CBT, you can identify an intrusive thought and change the way you perceive it in order to avoid compulsions.

Other types of psychotherapies which are helpful in addiction are:

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy

These methods are provided in one-on-one or group settings with a mental health counselor. Since these psychotherapies are evidence-based, they are proven to be helpful in coping with addictions.

Support Groups

Many support groups are available for people going through substance use problems. The goal of joining support groups is to find encouragement and accountability from people going through the same situations.

Support groups are available in high-quality rehab centers as a part of an inpatient and outpatient program. In some instances, support groups are divided into categories such as: Men only, Women only, Seniors, Teens, LGBTQ, Veterans.

Nutrition And Fitness

Developing Healthy Coping Skills Is Essential To Maintain Sobriety

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Substance addiction recovery is a process that takes months and, for some, even years before they develop the robust skill sets needed to manage their addiction. During intensive inpatient or outpatient therapy, those working towards recovery will learn that there is no cure for addiction this condition can only be managed with abstinence. With abstinence, however, individuals can lead a physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy life. During treatment at rehabs like JCs Recovery, patients learn a wide range of skills designed to help them prevent relapse. During the first year of recovery, at least, when they may still be vulnerable to old triggers, theyll need to rely on various skills to help them cope. If youre recovering from substance addiction, here are some coping skills for you to embrace.

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Healthy Coping Skills In Recovery

Once youve finished addiction treatment and youre sober, you might think youre in the clear. However, the work of recovery has only just begun. As your counselors and treatment center staff have told you, there is a chance of relapse, which is a return to drug and alcohol use. Fortunately, using healthy coping skills can help you on your journey to recovery. Well discover triggers and how you can handle them using said healthy coping skills.

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

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Coping Skills For Substance Abuse & Addiction

There are many causes that can lead a person into drug and alcohol use stressful situations, external pressures, difficult emotions, and trauma are just a few. When a person does not know how to cope with these feelings or situations in a healthy way, he or she may use drugs to feel some relief or to escape. Hence the phrase, drowning our sorrows or, taking to the bottle when things get tough.

Drugs are addictive chemicals that activate our brains pleasure circuit, releasing excessive amounts of dopamine and making users experience an overwhelming sense of euphoria. When these addictive substances are used as a means to cope or to escape complex emotions, a person can become reliant on them to function and feel okay. Too often, this is where the addiction cycle starts.

In order to cope with drug addiction, a person needs to first understand the root of their problem which emotions, which situations, which traumas drive him or her towards drinking and drugs? Then, he or she must relearn how to handle these stressors without the once-known blanket of drugs and alcohol. Those in recovery must develop healthy coping skills to prevent substance use and relapse.

In part of our article about Addiction Recovery Tools, we discussed the importance of coping skills for substance abuse and throughout the recovery process. Below, we breakdown examples of the types of coping skills that can help you truly conquer substance abuse and addiction.

Make An Emergency Contact List

Recovery Skills For Addiction (so you never have to live that nightmare again!)

When an urge comes, it can be difficult to manage it, especially in the beginning of recovery. A very helpful relapse prevention skill is making a list of healthy family members or friends who are also in recovery that you can call for support. Having a safe person to talk to can help you get past the craving and remember why you do not want to return to previous behaviors. Keeping that list on you at all times is important because it is a readily available resource you can use by quickly calling someone safe.

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Helping You Develop Skills For Long

At Genesis Recovery, we strive to help restore lives broken by addiction. Our treatment programs combine the 12-step process, clinical science, community, and spiritual and faith-based practices to reinvigorate your soul. But we dont stop there. Our dedicated staff members work with you to develop the skills you need for long-term sobriety.

Contact us today at 619-797-7319 if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction challenges and are searching for a drug rehab center that will truly meet your recovery needs.

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What Are The Types Of Coping Skills

There are two types of coping strategies: Problem-focused strategies and emotion-focused strategies. Problem-focused coping deals with stress in practical ways by aiming to remove the stressor through problem solving. An example would include talking to HR if you are experiencing an issue at work. Emotion-focused coping aims to reduce the negative emotions associated with stress. This type of coping is great when an individual has very little control over a situation. Examples include meditation and practicing mindfulness. Both types of coping strategies are important and beneficial when done in healthy ways and simultaneously. Problem-focused and emotion-focused coping can occur in unhealthy ways such as drinking too much caffeine if you are tired or using alcohol and drugs to cope with negative emotions. Substance abuse happens to be one of the most notorious unhealthy coping strategies. Unhealthy coping strategies can lead to health problems and can worsen the stressor or issue. Although it may take some time to create healthier habits, it is never too late to adopt more healthy coping skills.

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Effects Of Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Unhealthy coping skills may seem harmless at first, but they always have negative consequences. Whether its a certain frame of mind, response patterns, or actual habits, they will always end up providing temporary solutions to problems that can worsen later on.

Common effects of unhealthy coping mechanisms when suffering from addiction are:

Thankfully, these effects can be reversed when one decides to break free from unhelpful patterns and mindsets. Below are some examples of healthy coping mechanisms that can lead you steps closer to addiction recovery.

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Importance Of Positive Coping Skills For Substance Abuse

Coping Skills Worksheets For Substance Abuse

After treatment for drug misuse, positive coping skills help a person remain on track so that relapse doesnt occur. After identifying triggers, there are ways to adapt and to deal with social situations without turning to drugs or alcohol. During addiction treatment, counseling helps a person pinpoint patterns that lead to problems. To prevent relapse, it is important to recognize dangerous triggers. In fact, there are common triggers that affect many people in recovery such as:

  • Falling back into old habits

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How To Use This Information

Clinicians and providers: Many family members and friends are hesitant to find help for themselves due to misinformation about addiction. Stigma may prevent families from reaching out and getting help.

Be sure to offer helpful resources for family members, including training on healthy coping strategies and education about what to expect when a loved one is using or going through recovery.

Build A Sober Support Network

You shouldnt be alone as you recover from addiction. Peer support is essential. Dont hesitate to build a healthy, supportive, and sober network of people. A strong network of friends can help you stay on track and will be there to catch you when you fall. Take advantage of the social skills you learn in addiction treatment and be open to new relationships that will support your recovery journey.

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Going To Rehab Doesnt Guarantee That You Will Never Relapse Learning How To Manage And Cope With Triggers Can Help You Stay Sober

When you live with addiction, going into rehab does not guarantee that you will stay sober.

In fact, 40%-60% of people who have lived with addiction will go through the stages of relapse and find themselves back at the first stage of the addiction cycle. When you live with addiction, going into rehab is not a guarantee of never relapsing or lasting sobriety.

We hear story after story from people who have experienced this. They share how they have checked themselves into rehab multiples times and openly admit to suffering from relapses.

Theyre not alone in their struggle to stay sober, and neither are you. To prevent yourself from becoming another statistic, it is important to know how triggers can lead to relapse and what coping strategies are available to prevent relapse.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Experience

Coping Skills In Addiction #5

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation understands the importance of providing support services for families affected by addiction, and we offer a number of opportunities for families to learn healthy coping skills as well as guidance on how to be an active and positive support during the recovery process.

Our offers education, support and guidance through presentations, discussions and fellowship with other family members affected by addiction. Hazelden Betty Ford clinicians developed the program because family members need healthy coping strategies and support. Through convenient, phone-based recovery coaching sessions with a licensed addiction counselor, Connection for Families provides support and guidance to parents, spouses and siblings.

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Practice Mindfulness And Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can often help you work through a lot of your emotions. This process helps you to relax, and also allows you to look at your feelings, accept them without judgment and then move on. Burying your feelings will not help. You need to accept your feelings, work through them in a healthy way, and then move forward.

Overcoming Addiction Through Emotional Development

When you or someone you love is suffering from drug addiction or substance abuse, the road to recovery entails developing the proper coping skills and individual therapy to overcome adverse urges. There are no shortcuts on the path to addiction recovery, and long-term sobriety success hinges on several different but interrelated factors.

To achieve long-term sobriety and maintain your newfound sobriety, relying on coping skills and relapse prevention tips can provide emotional and spiritual support to achieve lasting addiction recovery. And without those skills, true sobriety will be difficult, if not impossible, to attain.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands substance abuse recovery rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help unhealthy coping skills.

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When To Seek Professional Help

All these methods are excellent tools to have in your recovery kit. But what happens when these coping skills arent enough?

Part of being honest with yourself is to recognize when your efforts to combat relapse arent enough. Because when you recognize when you need help, youre one step closer to lifelong recovery.

Do you need help developing coping skills for addiction or assistance with your recovery process? The Discovery House can help. for immediate help because you dont have to do this alone.

Develop Healthy Habits As An Outlet

44 best Coping Skills Activities for Kids images on Pinterest

As an addiction accelerates, a person may forget about important aspects of their self-care. They may forget about self-grooming, healthy eating, and exercise. The lack of these things all contribute to a general state of disrepair and feeling unwell. To counter them, it is important that you begin to develop better habits, taking care to nurture yourself, body and mind. Good dietary choices and nutrition can help your body to repair, while also avoiding a state of hunger that can trigger thoughts of drug use. Exercising is a very powerful coping tool, as it helps take your mind off of things and releases endorphins, which are your bodys natural feel-good chemicals.

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Cognitive Therapy And Relapse Prevention

Cognitive therapy is one of the main tools for changing peoples negative thinking and developing healthy coping skills . The effectiveness of cognitive therapy in relapse prevention has been confirmed in numerous studies .

This is a short list of the types of negative thinking that are obstacles to recovery and are topics for cognitive therapy : 1) My problem is because of other people 2) I dont think I can handle life without using 3) Maybe I can just use occasionally 4) Life wont be fun I wont be fun without using 5) Im worried I will turn into someone I dont like 6) I cant make all the necessary changes I cant change my friends 7) I dont want to abandon my family 8) Recovery is too much work 9) My cravings will be overwhelming I wont be able to resist them 10) If I stop, Ill only start up again I have never finished anything 11) No one has to know if I relapse and 12) Im worried I have been so damaged by my addiction that I wont be able to recover.

The negative thinking that underlies addictive thinking is usually all-or-nothing thinking, disqualifying the positives, catastrophizing, and negatively self-labeling . These thoughts can lead to anxiety, resentments, stress, and depression, all of which can lead to relapse. Cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation help break old habits and retrain neural circuits to create new, healthier ways of thinking .

+ Essential Positive Coping Skills

There are nearly infinite ways to cope, and we all use the methods that suit our unique personalities and needs. An activity that causes stress in one individual might help another person cope.

It doesnt matter whether you cope like everyone else. The important thing is that you find effective coping methods that will help you to thrive and build resilience.

Below, youâll find Blake Flanneryâs master list of coping methods and skills organized into categories . No matter what you need in a given moment, there is probably at least one activity listed below that will help.

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Healthy Coping Skills To Practice In Addiction Recovery

Instead of engaging in unhealthy coping behaviors, its important to work on some healthy coping skills in addiction recovery. Lets take a look at 10 skills to work on in recovery.

1. Being Honest With Yourself

As previously mentioned, repressing your negative feelings like depression and anxiety is unhealthy and can lead to problematic behavior. The better path is to acknowledge when youre feeling anxious or depressed.

2. Practicing Gratitude

As you move through recovery, its important to remind yourself what youre grateful for. Make a list every day for the things youre thankful for. This could include your job, your recovery progress, your living space, your family, or your friends. It can also be helpful to keep a journal and highlight these moments throughout the day.

3. Meditating

Meditation is one of the healthy coping skills often taught in addiction treatment programs. Its a useful skill in recovery as it helps you stay in the moment and become more self-aware. Being more self-aware helps you react appropriately to triggers and cravings.

4. Attending Therapy

Its important to keep attending therapy sessions in addiction recovery. Ongoing therapy can help you with your struggles during recovery, and it can also help you work on those healthy coping skills.

5. Finding a Support System

6. Learning To Relax

7. Eating Right and Exercising

8. Doing Activities You Enjoy

9. Learning to Recognize HALT Symptoms

10. Staying Positive

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