Coping Skills for Addiction Recovery

Find out about useful coping skills for addiction recovery

Recovery is a lifelong process of improving health and well-being while living independently. Many people suffering from addiction achieve sobriety. Recovery is more difficult because it involves changing one's outlook on life, behavior and in some cases environment. But by learning coping skills for addiction recovery the process can become less strenuous.

The first rule of recovery is knowing that you can recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use a substance. If you don't create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again.

You don't have to change everything in your life. But there are a few things and behaviors that have been getting you into trouble, and they will continue to get you into trouble until you let them go. The more you try to hold onto your old life in recovery, the less well you will do.

Coping skills for substance abuse are the tools that people use to deal with the ups and downs of life. This can include positive changes that are exciting, or negative ones that are scary or sad. Addicts use drugs or alcohol to deal with life changes, whether they are positive or negative.

Once drugs or alcohol are no longer a part of life, an addict must not only learn how to cope with drug addiction or alcohol addiction, but also all the twists and turns that life brings. It's important to note that coping skills for addiction recovery are different for different people. Some techniques work for some people and don't for others. It may take some experimentation to determine what works for a person.

Different skills may also work for some situations and not for others. Through this experimentation, however, people who have suffered with addiction can learn how to deal with the highs and lows of life without the aid of their substance of choice. People can also learn relapse prevention coping skills in order to maintain their path to recovery a safer one.

Some of the most helpful coping skills for addiction recovery a patient can practice are:

  • Avoid places and events that may encourage the use drugs and/or alcohol and where temptation is great, like parties.
  • If you feel a desire to use drugs or alcohol and fear relapsing, call someone you trust to help you overcome this feeling.
  • If you are trying to get sober and you slip up, don't beat yourself up. Understand why this happened and make a promise to yourself that tomorrow is a new day to continue the path to recovery.
  • Practice relaxation and/or meditation techniques like deep breathing and yoga. Reading a book that interests you in a peaceful setting can also help you relax and control your emotions and desires when dealing with addiction recovery.


In addition to these coping skills for substance abuse techniques, a patient will often learn new and supportive relapse prevention coping skills as a form of therapy. Some of this skills are:

  • Stress Management: Learning how to relax and work through stressful situations in a healthier way is key for recovery, so it's important to learn new ways to handle stress.
  • Building Routines: Having a daily routine that organizes time for a recovered addict can help to regiment their time and make choices much easier. This simplifies life and helps take the element of surprise out of the equation, making daily life more predictable and manageable.
  • Cognitive Skills: Engaging in conscious decision making helps bring awareness to thinking and behavior patterns that can help with making healthier choices.
  • Avoiding High-Risk Situations: Understanding your triggers from high-risk situations is imperative. This includes, but is not limited to people, places, and things that may cause old thinking and habits to surface.
  • A.L.T.: is also great acronym to remember, which refers to avoiding becoming Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. These are each also considered higher risk situations where you may not be thinking as clearly in these types of moments, which put a user in more danger for reaching for something they shouldn't.
  • Spiritual Practices: Developing a spiritual practice in sobriety can help to create balance, calmness, and peace. Usually, this is based around faith, nature, exercise, prayer, meditation, journaling or quiet time. Taking time out to connect with your spirit is essential in recovery to help prevent relapse.


Learning coping skills for substance abuse and relapse prevention coping skills is - in general terms - about creating a new life with new behaviors and habits that make abstaining from using much easier. If you or a loved one are ready to begin or continue on the path to recovery, call Tampa alcohol treatment at 813-2620-168 today.



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