Stress is a factor for everyone, but for people in addiction recovery, managing stress can mean the difference between success and failure. While in addiction recovery, stress management is one of the most essential elements to maintaining sobriety. Not being prepared to effectively cope with life’s inevitable struggles can lead a recovering addict down a path to relapse. While in the grips of their addiction, an addict would respond to stressful situations with his or her addictive drug of choice, and during the recovery process they may find it difficult to handle their stresses without returning to their old habits. Indentifying stressors and triggers is the key to success in helping people in addiction recovery, and knowing how to manage this stress in a healthy way is fundamental.
Studies show that positive coping skills aid in relapse prevention and addiction recovery in both adolescent and adult drug users. In states of heightened stress, a recovering drug user may find him or herself resorting back to maladaptive coping measures such as drug use. Stressful and negative states are known to increase impulsivity as well as decrease self-control. A successful stress management system can lower chances of relapse and provide the recovering drug user with tools for life.
For a more in depth look at the science behind stress and addiction recovery, please take a look at this study.