Why it's Necessary to Learn Effective Coping Strategies for Addiction

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April 27, 2021
|   Updated:
August 15, 2023

Dealing with addiction can get deceptive and become a source of continuous turmoil for you or your loved ones. Navigating addiction can also present crippling obstacles for your family as they learn how to abandon co-dependent tendencies and develop boundaries. To help improve recovery, it's imperative to make and commit to a coping plan. 

Becoming familiar with specific triggers can help you avoid relapse and remain accountable. This article will shed some light on a few effective coping strategies that may help individuals streamline their recovery and rebuild trust with others.

Getting to Know Coping Strategies

Coping strategies are techniques used by people while dealing with the stress and anxiety of day-to-day life. These techniques can vary from person to person. Negative coping strategies can lead to harmful habits and behavior in the long run. The three major categories of coping techniques are mentioned below.

  • Cognitive
  • Emotional
  • Behavioral

Also, there are two main coping mechanisms such as healthy coping mechanisms and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Let us take a look at them one by one.

What Are Healthy Coping Strategies?

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Healthy coping strategies are the strategies that help you to deal with anxiety, trauma, and other difficult emotions without causing further harm, illness, trauma, or any other adverse consequences. Some of the healthy coping strategies are mentioned below.

Positive Reframing

Referring to the ability to look for the bright and positive side of any situation. A study claims that when you focus on positive emotions, the resulting action can help you overcome difficult situations. Coping with substance addiction can be arduous, but directing focus to positive emotions like hope presents recovery as an opportunity versus a misfortune.


Relaxation techniques can have a significant impact on your wellness and recovery. Deep breathing, nature therapy, and meditation are some of the standard relaxation techniques. 

Seeking Support

This is another way of dealing with the issue. Some individuals who are also struggling with the same issues as you, and experts, can provide you the necessary guidance. People suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), for instance, can look for support in remote alcohol monitoring systems and in-patient treatment.

What Are Unhealthy Coping Strategies?


Denial about the issue can lead to prolonged discomfort. Being in denial about the factual nature of things is common in some individuals dealing with addiction. This can lead to the worsening of a situation and increased substance dependence.

Substance Abuse

People often turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism to free themselves of traumatic experiences and/or emotions. Individuals struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression sometimes develop an alcohol or drug addiction that becomes worsens over time following prolonged use.


Self-blame is another unhealthy coping technique. Being responsible is good, but self-blaming can lead to a decline in confidence regarding your ability to recover.

Side Effects of Unhealthy Coping Strategies

Unhealthy coping strategies come with a set of negative consequences. Whether its actual habits or response pattern, they often provide temporary solutions to issues which can worsen a situation over time. Some side effects are mentioned below.

  • An increase in substance dependency
  • Difficulty ignoring temptations and environmental triggers
  • Physical complications. AUD can lead to liver issues or cause mental health problems like neuro damage, anxiety, and depression.
  • Substance Use Disorders can affect relationships between family and friends 

Helpful Coping Strategies

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Navigating recovery is challenging. Those struggling with AUD often require professional remote monitoring, dedication, support, accountability, and most importantly, a coping strategy. Here are some common effective strategies to support recovery.

  • Creating a Recovery Circle can help you remain accountable and foster trust between friends and family.
  • Utilizing accountability tools like Soberlink to establish trust with others and feel empowered in recovery
  • Mindfulness activities like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises can create mind and body clarity.
  • Practicing boundaries and learning how to say "NO", to curb urges and temptations.
  • Journaling daily to reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Exercising to fill the body with chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.


Recovering from addiction can be challenging and, without proper coping mechanisms, near impossible. Most Treatment Professionals will agree, to achieve and sustain long-term sobriety, it is vital to cultivate a Recovery Circle and implement any tools for support. Learning proper coping strategies can also help alleviate any discomfort during the process. Regardless of past harmful behaviors, help is always available. Combining helpful coping mechanisms with adequate Aftercare can help improve recovery, relationships, and personal growth for years to come. 

With recovery, you often get out what you put in, so for added support, keep an addiction hotline number handy and experience the significant impact it can have on your recovery and wellness or that of another loved one in crisis.

Jack Petti

Jack was a victim of addiction when he was just 12. Today, he is dedicated to healing people facing the same issues that he once faced. Apart from being the Chief ExecutiveOfficer at Renaissance Recovery. Jack handles and manages several other roles at the company. He is known for his work with clients that helped them build a strong and solid foundation for recovery.

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