10 Coping Skills for Substance Abuse & Addiction
Table of Contents
What Are Coping Skills for Substance Abuse?
Coping skills for substance abuse can come in a variety of forms. These are skills that you may develop by yourself or in collaboration with a therapist or group as a way to prevent relapse and stay healthy as you detox. Around one in seven individuals over the age of 12 in the United States report struggling with some form of substance use disorder at any given time. Whether it’s alcohol or an illicit substance, someone can easily become dependent or addicted to drugs. Substance use disorders can make recovery difficult due to a myriad of reasons.1
Relapse and Recovery
Because of the nature of substance use disorders, relapse can be a common part of the recovery journey as well. However, despite its frequency, relapse still poses a risk for many health problems. As a result, developing a better understanding of addiction and coping skills for substance abuse is a significant part of recovery.2
What Is the Cycle of Addiction?
Understanding Detox and Withdrawal
What is Relapse?
Stages of Relapse
- Relapse Through Thoughts: During the thought stage of relapse, the individual may not even realize they’re relapsing. Instead, they’ll experience difficulty navigating their emotions. They may encounter daily stress and frustrations that they may not be able to face, especially with the right coping skills for substance abuse.
- Relapse Through Behavior: If a relapse is not prevented at the thought stage, it could lead to a change in behavior. Behavioral relapse is more noticeable than the previous stage, although neither stage includes active substance use. At this point, the individual may be skipping their therapy appointments or purposefully exposing themselves to risk factors.
- Relapse Through Controlled Use: The last stage is physical relapse through controlled use. Here, the individual will feel torn, as they have relapsed into substance use but harbor guilt and even shame about their use. As a result, this can lead to controlled use that is likely minimal compared to their use before starting treatment.
What Are Relapse Risk Factors?
External risks exist outside of the individual. These can be difficult, if not impossible, to control, and they’re more common in outpatient programs rather than inpatient.
- People they used to use substances with
- Objects, such as drug paraphernalia
- Activities or situations
- Negative feelings, such as stress or boredom
- Normal feelings
- Positive feelings may even be responsible, depending on who or what they are associated with
10 Coping Skills for Substance Abuse Recovery
- Learn to Relax in Any Situation
- Wait to Respond
- Be Honest with Yourself & Others
- Mindfulness & Meditation
- Keep Busy
- Keep a Daily Journal and Gratitude List
- Exercise Regularly & Live an Active Lifestyle
- Build a Sober Support Network
- Avoidance of Risk Factors
- Help Others
Get Help For Developing Coping Skills for Substance Abuse at Ripple Ranch Recovery
To learn more about the services we offer, contact us today. We will be with you every step of the way during recovery and detox.