Coping Skills For Addiction & Recovering Addicts

Recovery from addiction isn’t simply about discontinuing the drug of choice. Recovery is a daily process that takes a commitment to establishing a new way of life and thinking. While you don’t have to change every single little thing about your life, you need to understand the high-risk behaviors that inevitably lead to using—the environments, the people, the states of mind that may lead you to look for an escape. Here are some things to help you build your coping skills for addiction.

Avoiding Stress & Learning To Relax

You are going to be in stressful situations now and then. It’s just part of life. However, knowing a situation is stressful before you dive in is the first step in mitigating that risk. For instance, if you’ve been invited to a party where you know your dealer is going to be, keep in mind that you don’t have to go. This is what we call a “slippery slope.” You may think you have control, but no matter how well you think you have a grip on things, you simply can’t control everything. If you know you’ll be walking into danger, simply avoid the situation. If you show up at a party where people are using, just leave. Nobody’s going to fault you. If the experience triggers old behavior: find a meeting, call your sponsor, call a sober friend.

For other stressful situations, such as work-related problems, exams, family gatherings or anything else, realize that you can only do what you can do. Prepare as well as you can and do your best. Deep breathing, aromatherapy, yoga and strenuous exercise are all ways to burn off excess energy. Taking the edge off of your physical nervousness in this way can be great coping skills for addiction recovery.


Another useful sobriety acronym is HALT! Never get too:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

These feelings usually come about at the end of the day. When you’re just coming home from work, you’re probably all of those things. Make sure you nourish your body. Hunger can cause us to act out for no good reason. Practice de-stressing through meditation, or go for a long walk in the fresh air. If you find yourself feeling lonely or isolated, call a friend or find a meeting. If you feel angry, find a way to work off some steam. If you’re tired, have a nap.

Coping Skills For Addiction

Developing coping skills for addiction is very important. Avoiding stressful situations as well as situations where you might be tempted are very important. For instance, if you know your family dinner is going to set you off, find out prior to the event where the nearest meeting is, and plan to go there directly when you’re done. It could even give you an easy out if you need one.

Developing coping skills to target stress-reduction is so important, and being able to relax is key. When you are relaxed, you think more clearly and can better avoid negative thinking. Once you give in to negative thoughts, it can march you right down that old familiar path. Going back to what you know so well (using behavior) is easy for us addicts, but we know exactly where it will lead.

So, in conclusion, make time for yourself and your wellness. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious food, hydrate yourself well, and above all—take time to relax. Getting clean is an opportunity to change your life for the better. Wile it might not always be easy, you’re worth it.

Sober Living in Charleston, SC

If you are struggling to stay clean and motivated to succeed, a sober living environment may help. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation operates several men’s sober living residences in the coastal region of Charleston, SC. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help.