I do not want to suggest that it is OK to make excuses for addictions, but it is important to understand situations and triggers that can aggravate addiction or rehabilitation. In this case, let’s examine the role of stress. Stress can trigger in morning traffic, at the beginning of the month when bills have to be paid or even just with a simple disagreement with a coworker. While everyone experiences some degree of stress every day, it is especially relevant when someone is struggling with addiction or is on the road to recovery. Some choose fatty foods or candy in stressful situations, which can cause obesity. Those struggling with addiction may turn to drugs or alcohol to trigger the pleasure sensation in their brain to avoid the situation. They use the substance to avoid their problems, which only prolongs the suffering and introduces life-threatening consequences.
While stress cannot be always be avoided, it is important to know if those situations are a trigger for a dangerous situation in your life. Stress management is an important skill to practice when you feel like the situation is going to make you want to abuse alcohol or drugs. When a situation arises, there are several techniques that can help. Stopping and taking some breaths, writing down how you’re feeling or going on a run may be helpful. You may have a friend or family member as your accountability partner that you can call to discuss the stress trigger and talk through a solution. It is good to know yourself and what it takes for you to relax and take control of a tumultuous situation.
How do you handle stress?