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Stress and Drug Abuse: The Brain Connection

What Are The Signs Of Addiction To Prescription Drugs?

Stress, Drugs, and the Brain

 Addiction often appears to be an attempt to deal with stress in a negative way. While you may get some temporary relief from stress through the drug or behaviour you become addicted to, that relief is short-lived, so you need more to continue coping with stress. Because many addictions bring with them further stress, such as the withdrawal symptoms experienced when a drug wears off, yet more of the addictive substance or behaviour is needed to cope with the additional stress involved.

stressed lady

Chronic Stress Symptoms

Chronic stress affects the whole body. It can have several physical or psychological symptoms, which can make functioning daily more challenging.

The type and severity of symptoms vary considerably from person to person.

Signs and symptoms of chronic stress can include:

  • irritability, which can be
  • extreme
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • difficulty concentrating, or an
  • inability to do so
  • rapid, disorganized thoughts
  • difficulty sleeping
  • digestive problems
  • changes in appetite
  • feeling helpless
  • a perceived loss of control
  • low self-esteem
  • loss of sexual desire
  • nervousness
  • frequent infections or
  • illnesses

It is Dangerous to Self-Medicate with Alcohol or Drugs

Substance abuse may make a person feel better in the short term, but it will exacerbate problems if it continues. Those who are compelled to use drugs or drink alcohol will be unable to live normal healthy lives. They could find it difficult to hold down a job, and their relationships will suffer as the impact of the addiction begins to affect other individuals in their lives. This will inevitably lead to substance reliance.

How to Deal With Stress in a Healthy Way

Nobody can completely avoid stress as life has a way of throwing up situations that can leave people feeling upset and unhappy. Nevertheless, there are effective ways of dealing with stress that does not include alcohol or drugs.

One of the most useful methods for dealing with stress is meditation. Techniques such as mindfulness are commonly used in addiction recovery to help people stay sober. These tools are also useful for helping to deal with stressful situations. Learning how to acknowledge a stressful situation while removing yourself from it can often be enough to make a person feel better.

Exercise is another powerful way to relieve stress. A good workout or a long walk can help to make you feel calm and relaxed. Working out with others is also a good idea as talking about your problems will help to reduce any feelings of stress you may have.

Finding Support For Stress or Substance Abuse

Anxiety and stress are an everyday occurrence, and for many of us, they are a manageable part of our daily lives. They often involve low levels of fear, worry and unease. However, anxiety disorder is a recognised mental health condition and may occur when such feelings overwhelm or begin to define us. At the Recovery Lodge, we are well equipped to help alleviate the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Our highly trained staff and treatment options, delivered in a highly personalised way, and tailored towards your individual needs, will help identify the triggers and sources of your anxiety and provide strategies to cope and reduce the debilitating effects of it.

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