Dealing With Feelings That Make You Want To Use Drugs Or Alcohol

Dealing With Feelings That Make You Want To Use Drugs Or Alcohol
Monday, April 16, 2018

Massachusetts drug and alcohol rehab talks about what to do when your emotions make you want to use drugs or alcohol



(press release: summitbehavioralhealth) // New Jersey // Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC | Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and alcohol addiction rehab, Serenity at Summit, understands that emotions can be one of the biggest triggers that causes people who are in recovery to want to use drugs or alcohol again. Not knowing how to deal with triggering emotions can quickly lead to relapse.

Anxiety, depression, anger, boredom, loneliness and even positive emotions like joy and excitement are some of the more common triggering feelings and learning to manage them can be hard. Most people who suffer from addiction began using to escape their emotions. When you take away their coping mechanism – drugs or alcohol – it can seem impossible to handle the emotions that come up.

But recovery is about changing and learning to do things differently. Feeling emotions doesn’t have to lead back to drugs or alcohol when you face it and work through it with new coping skills.

How to Deal with Feelings that Make You Want to Use

The following are some suggestions for dealing with emotions that make you want to use drugs or alcohol:

Pay attention to what you are feeling. Sometimes it’s difficult for people who are in early recovery to identify what they are truly feeling. Fear may come across as anger or sadness, anxiety may feel like excitement, or depression may feel like self-loathing or regret. This is the time to really notice what is going on inside you and learn to tell the difference in the emotions that you are feeling. Name your emotion – even when it’s hard.

Sit with the feeling. This may be one of the hardest things for a person new in recovery to do. It’s something that you have been avoiding for a long time. However, when you change your perspective, it isn’t so bad. Think of your emotions as messengers; they are trying to tell you something. For example, if you are feeling angry, it may be because some boundary has been crossed and you are uncomfortable. If you are feeling sad, your emotions may be trying to tell you that you are afraid of losing something that you find valuable. Determine what the message is trying to get through to you. Some people find it very helpful to journal during these times.

Use distractions when emotions are overwhelming. While it’s very important to learn to sit with your feelings, there are times when it can be too overwhelming, and you need to take a break from them. Using healthy distractions (like activities that you enjoy) can turn down the volume of your emotions, allowing you to reset and come back to them when you are feeling stronger.

Keep in mind, feelings are temporary, and they come and go. Little by little, you will learn how to deal with them effectively. Practice the tips above and embrace your recovery even when it’s hard.

Addiction Rehabilitation at Serenity at Summit

At Serenity at Summit, we offer medically-supervised detoxification, outpatient, and residential programs where you will learn coping skills and relapse prevention techniques that will help you learn to deal with your feelings. Contact us today for more information.

FOR DRUG & ALCOHOL DETOX & PERSONALIZED 12 STEP PROGRAM ADDICTION TREATMENT

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Serenity at Summit - New Jersey Addiction Treatment Centers - 609-422-5788 (Union, NJ)  

40 Minutes from New York City

Serenity at Summit - New England, Addiction Treatment Centers

978-574-5999 (Haverhill, MA)

45 Minutes from Boston, Massachusetts

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Rebecca O’Mara

Executive Director Brand Management

rebeccaomara@summithelps.com

Rebecca O’Mara

Executive Director Brand Management

rebeccaomara@summithelps.com

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