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Dealing with Stress in Sobriety

Dealing with Stress in Sobriety

Everyone has dealt with stress in their lives.

Whether it is a deadline for work or trying to manage a toddler, stress can become overwhelming. Someone who recently completed an inpatient or intensive outpatient program can have especially high stress levels that can put their sobriety at stake.

Why Stress in Addiction Recovery Is Dangerous

Someone in early recovery is put in several stressful situations. Not only are they trying to manage addiction cravings, but also they are working on rebuilding their lives. This time of big transitions can be stressful, but unlike the average person, a recovering addict may have more to lose.

Stress and addiction do not mix well.  Some people began their addiction habits in the first place because they turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope or relax. After a detox, the person needs to find other ways of dealing with stress in addiction recovery that do not involve these substances. Breaking this cycle isn’t always easy, and if the person in unable to effectively deal with stress in sobriety, this stress could be a drug trigger that leads to relapse.

Along with increased risk of relapse, frequent stress can be bad for a person’s physical and mental health. Chronic stress can lead to heart problems and as well as mental health disorders. For someone who is trying to work on both after prolonged drug and alcohol use, stress management in addiction recovery is even more important.

Tips for Coping with Stress in Addiction Recovery

Dealing with stress in sobriety is doable, but it takes effort and sometimes practice. At our Massachusetts treatment center, we want to help recovering addicts deal with stress in order to reduce their risk of relapse so that they can keep making progress.

Get Support

When stress feels overwhelming, you shouldn’t have to go through it alone. Reach out to a loved one to talk it out or for help. It is also a good idea to rely on your friends who are also in recovery and see how they are able to cope with stress in recovery.

Take a Moment

Whether you need to walk outside or journal, it is okay to step away from the situation that is causing you stress. Doing so can give you time to collect yourself and reflect. You may come to find that faulty logic is the cause of this stress and be able to relax more.


Dealing with stress in sobriety often requires prioritizing. There may be several matters on your to-do list but organizing each item by order of importance can make these tasks seem more manageable and reduce stress.

Write It Down

Whether they are stressful thoughts about relapsing or the everyday stresses of life’s responsibilities, keeping it all in your head can cause your head to spin. Instead of continuing to let your mind race, writing down these thoughts can help you feel more in control.

Practice Active Sobriety

It is natural to get a little complacent, but the addiction treatment therapies that you learn in rehab should be carried into your everyday life. Exercising, practicing mindfulness, doing yoga, or actively partaking in other stress-reducing techniques on a regular basis can help these healthy coping mechanisms become habit and reduce overall stress.

At Banyan Massachusetts, we want to see our patients find long-lasting success. Whether you or someone you love is battling a substance abuse, it is time to ask for help. Reach out to one of our admission specialists today at 888-280-4763.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Dealing with Stress in Sobriety
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