Coping Skills for Addiction Recovery and Life Beyond Rehab

Recovering from an addiction disorder is a long process—often a lifelong one. Although addiction is a mental health disorder that cannot be cured, it can be effectively managed. Those who suffer from addiction can learn how to cope with triggers and focus on building a substance-free life.

This article will explain what coping skills for addiction recovery are and how you can learn them.

What Are Coping Skills?

Coping skills are learned thoughts or behaviors used to manage internal and external stressful situations.1 Having the skills needed to cope during stressful times is integral to addiction recovery. Rather than turning to alcohol or drugs to cope, a person in recovery can instead use the coping skills they’ve learned during treatment to handle stressful situations in a healthy manner.

Healthy and Effective Coping Skills for Addiction Recovery

People aren’t often taught healthy coping mechanisms in school, and parents may not be available to do so or might not have been taught these mechanisms themselves. When this is combined with serious stress from financial troubles, mental illnesses such as anxiety, abuse, and other common issues, people turn to whatever they can to cope. Unfortunately, in most communities, alcohol and drugs are readily available and many people turn to them.

Part of recovering from addiction is learning better coping skills than using drugs or alcohol. Common coping skills taught in addiction recovery centers include:2,3,4

  • Exercise.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Avoiding common triggers and unhealthy situations.
  • Attending therapy.
  • Going to support group meetings.
  • Maintaining healthy relationships.
  • Practicing relaxation and stress management techniques.
  • Practicing mindfulness meditation.
  • Becoming a sponsor for other addicted individuals.

There are many other coping skills that addicted individuals can use to make sober life easier; it all depends on what makes you happy and what works for your life.

Maintaining good physical health is always important, and exercise and healthy eating are always part of that. It’s up to each individual to figure out what types of exercise and healthy foods they enjoy most and how to best pursue those options.

It can also help to prepare in advance for triggers and periods of high stress. Keep a list of things you can do to reduce stress immediately. Aim to revisit this list over time to make sure you are being kind to yourself and keeping stress levels in check.

Keep necessary supplies handy; these could be your favorite bubble bath, a soothing playlist, or a punching bag. This kind of preparation is best done while you’re doing well and is often referred to as “building up your defenses.”

Where Can I Learn Addiction Coping Skills?

Addiction coping skills are taught in various settings, including in addiction treatment facilities, therapy offices, and aftercare settings. Many of the therapies employed during inpatient drug and alcohol rehab involve helping patients learn and develop effective coping skills that will continue to be applied once the program is over.5

During aftercare, patients continue to receive the support they need so they can practice and utilize their coping skills.

What Is Aftercare?

Aftercare refers to all work done by an individual with an addiction disorder after a rehabilitation program has been completed, that’s meant to keep that person on the path to recovery. Addiction recovery doesn’t end with rehab. It’s a continuous process of building a life in which substances are not needed to get through each day.

Because relapse can be a part of the recovery process (relapse rates for substance use disorders fall between 40-60%) it is important to have continued support beyond when formal treatment ends.5

Aftercare plans can take many forms such as:

What is important, is that a person has the resources they need to stay motivated on their sobriety journey.

At American Addiction Centers, we understand that maintaining long-term recovery is an ongoing process. During addiction rehab at Recovery First Treatment Center, not only is medical detox and treatment offered, but we also provide aftercare planning to help patients create healthy and productive addiction coping skills for day-to-day life.

If you or your loved one are struggling with an addiction or are looking for structured guidance in recovery, please reach out to one of our admissions navigators at . Our caring team is available 24/7 to answer questions about our drug rehab in Miami and share the. Common questions include:

Call us, or simply complete the secure to get the help you need today!

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Recovery First is located in Hollywood, Florida, which is easily accessible from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Our small groups means you get more one-on-one support and make stronger connections with the community. Take the next step toward recovery: learn more about our addiction treatment programs near Florida's Atlantic coast or learn about how rehab is affordable for everyone.