Nearly 20 million people in the United States struggle with a substance abuse disorder, according to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration. If you’re one of those people, you may use drugs, alcohol, or practice destructive behaviors. Maybe you use them as coping mechanisms to deal with stressful situations or life events. However, drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs can help you heal. Recovery will teach you to adopt healthier coping behaviors, but first, you must admit you struggle with a problem and reach out to get the help you need.
What Are Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms?
People often adopt unhealthy coping behaviors to help themselves manage stressful situations or impactful life events. While there are a wide variety of negative coping habits, some of the most common ones include:
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol addiction
- Self-harming behaviors
- Disordered eating patterns
- Social withdrawal
- Risk-taking behaviors
For a person who practices unhealthy coping behaviors, you may want to either reduce emotional distress or avoid the problematic issue entirely. Substance abuse often accomplishes both objectives because drugs and alcohol have distinct effects on your emotional response. Either they soften negative emotions, or they allow the user to escape from them entirely.
What Are Healthy Coping Mechanisms?
There’s a stark difference between unhealthy coping strategies and their healthy counterparts. Unhealthy coping behaviors are harmful to your health or cognitive state. However, healthy coping strategies teach you to confront the problem directly and alter your emotional response to it.
Talking about stressful events with a support group is a healthy, adaptive strategy to manage stress. Engaging in calming activities is another example of a healthy coping strategy. These strategies may include:
- Listening to relaxing music
- Spending time in nature
Using humor, problem-solving, and physical activity are further examples of healthy coping strategies. These approaches help you deal with problems in non-harmful ways, while also allowing you to address negative situations with the goal of resolution rather than avoidance.
When you reach out for help with substance abuse coping behaviors, you give your body a chance to detox and heal. In addition, you also learn new, healthy strategies for managing your daily stressors. As you internalize these strategies, you gradually let go of your dependence on unhealthy behaviors. Then, you can adopt habits that help you live happier and healthier — for the rest of your life.
Treatment Options for Unhealthy Coping Behaviors
If you’re using a harmful substance or practicing destructive behaviors to cope, we offer a variety of treatment options to help you heal, including:
- Men’s addiction treatment program
- Women’s addiction treatment program
- Dual diagnosis treatment centers
- Drug rehab for professionals
- Inpatient depression treatment centers
- Mood disorder treatment centers
- Process addiction treatment
Whatever you’re dealing with that causes you to turn to drugs or alcohol for temporary relief, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Compassionate, professional support and peer intervention can be the difference between suffering silently and successfully overcoming your addiction. Deep down, you know what you want your life to look like — your first step on the journey there is reaching out for the help you need.
Get the Help You Need Today
If you find yourself engaging in unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage your daily life, don’t suffer in silence. Overcoming behavioral tendencies or addiction can be a difficult road scattered with many obstacles. However, with a compassionate, knowledgeable support team behind you, the process becomes far easier, and more importantly, far more successful. Whether you turn to unhealthy thought patterns or struggle with substance abuse, professional treatment can help you take back control of your life. If you or a loved one are struggling, reach out to our team today. When you’re ready to chat about your options, we’ll be here to help.