Coping With Stress Without Resorting to Substances

Learning How to Handle Stress Can Prevent You From Turning to Substances

Unfortunately, we are all victims of stress; it is an overwhelming feeling that can often be challenging to live with, cope, and manage. For those who are overcoming an addiction or substance abuse issues, stress can trigger relapse if it is not handled in the appropriate manner. There are ways to handle stress without having to turn to drugs or alcohol.

Those who are in early recovery from drug or alcohol addiction are the most vulnerable to relapse as a result of stress or stressful situations. By implementing various coping mechanisms, individuals will be better able to handle times of vulnerability and temptation. Getting to the root cause of the reasons why you are stressed will help individuals in taking the appropriate steps in mitigating their exposure to situations that bring on these stressful emotions.

The Importance of Awareness and Avoiding Triggers

One of the key factors in maintaining your sobriety is avoiding triggers that may influence you to use which can result in relapse. By avoiding certain triggers, whether they are people, places, or things, you can lessen your chances of relapse. Oftentimes, stress isn’t something that we cannot control which means that during times of stress, we must be able to handle it properly in order to avoid turning to substances of abuse to cope. Self-medicating is never the answer and there are always holistic approaches to coping that are very effective.

First and foremost, identifying the issue at hand is a very important and crucial step in managing stress. Through being aware of the situation that we are in, we are being mindful of certain aspects of it that may not be good for us.

Coping Skills and Strategies

Some of the ongoing coping skills that can aid in preventing relapse during times of stress are:

  • Daily Meditation
  • Time Management
  • Exercise
  • Music Therapy
  • Support Groups

Some of the coping strategies that are suggested for those who are in remission from addiction are:

  • Positive Thinking
  • Avoidance
  • Support From Friends and Family
  • Speak to a Therapist/Counselor
  • Massage Therapy and Acupuncture

By avoiding getting yourself into a stressful situation in the first place can be the foundation of managing your stress. If your job is causing you immense and unbearable amounts of stress, considering a new less stressful job may be in order. Your mental health should always come first so it is important to assess and evaluate various aspects of your life in order to see where stress may be stemming from.

Trigger management and relapse prevention are crucial when wanting to manage your stress and avoid using drugs or alcohol again. By learning and applying these techniques, individuals will be better able to handle unpredictable situations that come their way.

Turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping will only bring you back to square one. For individuals who are recovering from addiction, simply being around those who are using can spark a desire to drink or use drugs. Avoiding these dangerous situations can help you remain on the sober path.


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.