Addiction is a dangerous and chronic disease that doesn’t discriminate, meaning anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender, can develop a substance abuse disorder. All psychoactive substances, including legal ones like alcohol, can cause addiction. Addiction is a chronic condition, meaning that you can deal with symptoms, like negative cravings, long after your last use. During recovery, it’s important to learn stress management techniques and how to cope with triggers and cravings.
When you develop an addiction, it can disrupt your personal, familial, and professional life. As drugs and alcohol become increasingly important, it can cause you to neglect your responsibilities. Addiction can diminish your standard of living and health. The longer you avoid treatment, the more severe your symptoms become, making it important to get help when you struggle with addiction. To learn about our adolescent addiction treatment center, contact Foothills at Red Oak today at 866.300.5275.
The Stages of Addiction
While addiction may seem uncommon, roughly half of all Americans have a family member or close friend who has or currently struggles with addiction.
Drugs and alcohol cause your brain to release a rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, that cause the positive effects of intoxication. The initial rush results in your brain connecting the substance you used with pleasure. This alters your pleasure and reward center. Your pleasure and reward center reinforces addictive behaviors by releasing neurotransmitters when you use and restricting their release when you are sober. When intoxication ends, you are left with a depletion of pleasurable neurotransmitters, which then causes negative moods and cravings.
As addiction progresses, your brain becomes dependent on your substance of choice to release neurotransmitters. This creates a neurotransmitter imbalance. This imbalance can impact your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Addiction can impair your judgment and lower your inhibitions, which can lead to engaging in illegal and dangerous behavior. Your tolerance also increases during addiction, which means you have to constantly increase your use to experience the same pleasurable effects of intoxication.
If your substance of choice is expensive, it can lead to significant financial hardship. Common signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Needing to use when you first wake up
- Difficulty controlling your drug or alcohol use
- Spending most of your time using or thinking about using your substance of choice
- Having friends or family members confront you about your substance use
Stress Management Techniques
One of the many perils of addiction is that it causes you to cope with negative thoughts, feelings, and events by using your substance of choice. Addiction can prevent you from developing healthy coping strategies, such as stress management techniques. During addiction and recovery, stress, such as major life changes or financial problems, can increase cravings.
Substance abuse treatment programs utilize stress management techniques to help you learn how to cope with external factors that jeopardize your sobriety. Emotions like stress can become overwhelming during recovery, which places you at risk of relapsing.
Stress management techniques can involve both evidence-based and holistic therapies. Evidence-based therapies, like cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy, help you learn how to identify and change negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Holistic stress management techniques, like deep breathing and meditation, provide an easy and effective way to relax when you are exposed to triggers and stress. Stress management techniques can include things like exercising and listening to music, making it easy to implement these strategies into your daily routine.
Contact Foothills at Red Oak for Addiction Treatment
Because addiction is a chronic condition, it is important to complete a substance abuse treatment program. Symptoms, like cravings and triggers, can make it difficult to manage your recovery without treatment. Stress management techniques are an important skill that substance abuse treatment programs use to prepare you for a life of recovery and sobriety. Contact us today at 866.300.5275 to discuss your treatment options.