Recovery Coping Mechanisms: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Recovery Madness Recovery Coping Mechanisms
Dominic Nicosia

Written By

Dominic Nicosia

Recovery Unplugged has officially wrapped our 2022 Recovery Madness Tournament featuring some of the most commonly practiced coping mechanisms in recovery and the comforts to which people turn in sobriety. We want to thank everyone who voted throughout the tournament, up to and including the nail-biter of a final match between Team Therapy and Team Coffee!

Some of the other contenders included meditation, running, journaling, and goal-setting. While Team Coffee ultimately won the day, millions of people in recovery will continue to use the other coping mechanisms to strengthen their recovery and give themselves the comfort and peace of mind they need.

What Are Coping Mechanisms?

Coping mechanisms are the tools, behaviors, and comforts, both direct and peripheral, that make sustained recovery easier. You may turn to them as a matter of routine or during the more vulnerable and challenging times during your recovery.

There are multiple types of coping mechanisms, including those you develop with the help of your therapist in rehab and those you turn to on your own. They’re different for everyone and can be physical (certain types of food, tea, other comforts) or behavioral (therapy, exercise, running, music, reading, etc.).

Recovery coping mechanisms can either be new habits and behaviors we cultivate in recovery or older pastimes and comforts that fulfilled you before your substance abuse started.

Why Are They Important?

Recovery is hard. It gets easier over time, but without coping mechanisms developed both in behavioral rehab and independently, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to effectively manage stress, temptation, and subsequent relapse.

Your coping mechanisms are there when you’re face to face with drugs or alcohol in social situations; they’re there when the daily stress of life makes you want to drink or use drugs; they’re there during triumph, tragedy, and everything in between, and are often the difference between life and death.

Even though Recovery Madness 2022 has officially wrapped up, you can embrace your coping mechanisms throughout the year.


Dominic Nicosia

Dominic Nicosia

The Senior Content Writer here at Recovery Unplugged, Dominic Nicosia oversees the maintenance of our online blog while also handling and overseeing all written communications within Marketing. He also writes articles, thought leadership pieces, and basically everything written regarding web content. Dominic has over seven years of writing experience in the addiction care field and a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing from the University of Arts in Philadelphia. Dominic has been writing and playing music for years and is the proud owner of a Jack Russell/Pitbull mix named Jack. His favorite books are The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
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