Coping with Addiction
Although many people turn to substances as a coping mechanism to deal with the challenges and issues in their life, when they become addicted to the substances, they will need coping strategies to overcome addiction itself.
Most people turn to substances because of lack of support, and lack of knowledge of techniques and strategies to cope with the challenges in their life. Replacing substances with healthy coping mechanisms can help dealing with stress, anxiety, trauma and other issues.
Coping skills is a general term used to describe any tools, techniques and strategies that can help people deal with changes, challenges, health issues, symptoms, and other concerns. While there are a wide range of tools and techniques, what works better for each individual is based on their needs, preferences and predilections.
Decreasing stress and managing it in a healthy way is a crucial step toward building better resilience against life’s challenges. Increased stress causes a series of psychological and cognitive responses leading to physical and mental issues, but using stress reduction techniques can help overcome these symptoms.
Managing emotions is something that we are not born with. It is a learned skill, usually passed down by a parent or caregiver during the formative years of a child. Even so, many people struggle with learning this skill. Using emotion regulation skills can help manage reactionary behaviors.
Positive mental health and wellbeing enables an individual to take charge of their thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions, so that they can function well in their life despite challenges.
There are a wide variety of psychotherapy techniques that are suitable for different kinds of individuals to help with a range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic, stress and other disorders.
Some helpful therapy modalities are:
Developing one’s own supportive network can provide resources and can be a source of strength when needing support with challenges. Many mental health issues as well as addiction issues can be isolating, so a healthy support system can be leveraged to finding and sharing coping techniques.
Some popular support groups for addiction are:
Healthy diet and physical exercise play a large part in not only coping with addiction and other mental health challenges, by reducing the symptoms, but they also go a long way in creating a healthy life.
Some important lifestyle changes:
Recent research indicates that relaxation techniques, spiritual practices (if suitable), and mindfulness based techniques help alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, addiction and other issues.
Some popular mindfulness based practices are:
Collecting and developing one’s own individual set of coping strategies that work for them and suit their lifestyle helps provide a strong foundation and a go-to place when in need on your road to recovery. Creating a support network, a healthy routine, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle are all stepping stones in overcoming challenges and achieving mental health and wellbeing.
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Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.
Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.
I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.