3 Proven Coping Skills for Addiction

Discover 3 Proven Coping Skills for Addiction in Early Recovery

While the first few days of withdrawal may be difficult to deal with, recovering addicts have many more hurdles ahead of them. According to a study that compared addiction to other diseases, addiction had a similar relapse rate to diabetes, putting the possibility of first-year relapse at 40 to 60 percent. Before finishing treatment, a person usually learns coping skills for addiction to help them avoid the urge to take drugs or alcohol again.

A critical part of long-term recovery from addiction is creating a new way of being and operating so that the doldrums of the past are left where they belong – in the past. Proven coping skills for early recovery will be discussed in this article to help you better deal with a current problem or prepare for future triggers that may spring up.


One of the most common acronyms in relapse prevention is “HALT”. It stands for:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

What the acronym suggests is that if you are experiencing any of these, then you need to “halt” and fix the problem as these create high-risk situations. It’s about taking care of your wellbeing because when you look after yourself, you feel good and are more prepared for what life can throw at you, as opposed to being overwhelmed because you’re running on empty.

2. Avoiding High-Risk Situations

Coping skills for addiction as far as avoiding high-risk situations are concerned include avoiding situations that are sure to trigger cravings. Most of these triggers will come from things in your past that were associated with substance abuse. They include:

  • Places – Any place or venue that you used to either buy drugs or alcohol, or use them, can trigger cravings.
  • People – People from your past drug-abusing days can be a trigger, especially when they are still currently abusing drugs or alcohol. It’s best to avoid these types of people altogether as your life is headed in a different direction now.
  • Things – Certain things can serve as a reminder or substance abuse, such as a certain song or anything that is associated with your past substance abuse.

Creating a list of all the things from your past that can trigger cravings can help you to avoid risky situations and therefore relapse.

3. How to Cope with Addiction Triggers: Relaxation Techniques

One of the essential coping skills for addiction is learning to use relaxation techniques. A major cause of relapse is a stress buildup that leads to a person returning to alcohol or drug use to try and relieve their stress. A barrier to relaxation is the compounding of errands and responsibilities with what feels like limited time. Being too busy can make sitting down to relax feel impossible. However, when you compare the 30 minutes a day you need for relaxation to the hours upon hours that you spent in the past getting, using and recovering from drugs, relaxation becomes the obvious choice.

The ways that you can relax can be something simple like sitting down in your favorite chair with a good book to read or going for a relaxed walk to help clear your mind.  Meditation is also one of the coping skills for addiction that can help a person to relax and de-stress.

By utilizing these coping skills for early recovery, you can stay on track with your long-term goals. If you’d still like to know more about how to cope with addiction triggers, then contact WhiteSands at (877) 855-3470.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.