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Coping with Change in Sobriety

Major life changes, especially negative ones, can cause us to experience high levels of stress and anxiety. We may experience the loss of a job or relationship and consider seeking a sense of relief in drug or alcohol use. These are times when we must rely on our program of recovery and spiritual connection to get through the negative emotions.

Recovery is a process that allows us to develop new coping skills. Stress, anxiety, and feelings of hopeless as a result of negative life changes can lead to relapse if we are not careful. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, “Science has taught us that stress, cues linked to the drug experience (such as people, places, things, and moods), and exposure to drugs are the most common triggers for relapse.” Recovery programs are designed to change the ways in which we react to life circumstances. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone—even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find this happens automatically.” However, these promises are contingent on our ability to remain in fit spiritual condition. The stress of negative change can easily lead us to letting up on our spiritual program of action, but these are the times when our spiritual connection and reliance should be strengthened.

Aside from our recovery program, it may be helpful to engage in behavioral therapies. Treatment facilities often use therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to aid us in the development of healthy coping mechanisms. The NIDA explains, “Behavioral treatments help engage people in substance use disorder treatment, modifying their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use and increasing their life skills to handle stressful circumstances and environmental cues that may trigger intense craving for drugs and prompt another cycle of compulsive use.” Gaining control over our reactions can mean the difference between relapse and maintaining sobriety. Our spiritual connection, coping skills, and engagements in therapy and recovery can be a powerful tool in reacting to change without relying on the temporary relief of substances.

Recovery is possible. Once we concede to the fact that our addiction is a problem and we require help to overcome it, we can begin the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help clients develop all the necessary tools to achieve a fulfilling life in sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431