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Living in Recovery: Methods for Addicts

Posted on :  April 12th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Once an addict has made it through the treatment process, recovery can be a long road. There are many issues that can create stress for the recovering addict and there are many coping skills to use. The methods are not proven to work for everyone, so it is helpful to have several tools to try.

Recovering drug addicts need to realize that there will be moments that will trigger the desire to use again. Recognizing those triggers is helpful to staying healthy. Addicts may have turned to drugs to fight off pain both physical and mental. They may have been used to calm down after arguing with a spouse or after a tough day at work. When addicts stop using drugs, the same problems are there, but it is important to find other methods to manage the negativity that comes with them.

It is easy to turn to drugs instead of working through stressful situations. Drug use begins as a tool to release stress. Since stress is a regular part of life, it is better to find other methods to relax. It is healthier to turn to exercise or meditation. Breathing exercises can also calm people who are regularly stressed. In reality, drug addiction actually creates more stress.

Having a collection of stress relieving strategies is one effective way to avoid falling back into the habit of drug abuse. These strategies do not work for everyone, but it does not hurt to try a few to see what works best for your situations in life.

For many people exercise is the most effective, simply because it offers so many benefits for emotional and physical well-being. Exercise affects the endorphins so the brain releases stressful chemicals.

One of the most effective forms of exercise for stress relief is yoga, which helps people also find balance in their lives. Another effective form of exercise is walking outside and enjoying the sensations.

Pairing exercise with meditation is also an effective way to relieve stress. If you cannot sit and meditate, there are several activities that can be meditative. Those include things like sipping on tea, relaxing to music, breathing in pleasant aromas, and lighting and focusing on a candle flame.

Some people will also practice visualization, like imagining a calming place, a favorite memory, or another moment that brings joy and relaxation. Many people will get a pet so they have something to focus on at the end of a long day. Pet therapy is a useful tool for managing stress, but before you commit to care for an animal, be sure you have the ability to do so.

Another useful tool for relaxation is the bath tub. Since stress tenses the muscles, many people will relax in a hot bath with epsom salts and essential oils. Be sure to read the instructions on how much oil to add and how much salt is good for the body.

Unfortunately for addicts, the triggers are all very real, and they pop-up at unexpected times. In order to avoid the triggers that cause drug cravings, it is a good idea to remove them from daily life. It is helpful to stay away from the old friends who did drugs or sold drugs to you. Instead, spend your time with the people who support your recovery. It is also a great idea to stay away from bars, even if alcohol is not your addiction. It could quickly become a new addiction that could trigger the desire for more drugs. Your old drug buddies could be hanging out at the bars, too.

It is helpful to share your recovery status when you are getting help for other medical issues. Your dentist and general practitioner should know your status prior to prescribing treatment for illness or other problems. Prescription drugs can also create problems, especially painkillers that are opioid based.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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