A coping mechanism can be anything that helps a person handle difficult situations. Unfortunately, for some, that is drugs and alcohol. No one starts using alcohol or drugs, intending to become an addict. It happens without you realizing it. For most people, addiction starts as a way of coping with difficult situations such as stress, anxiety, and pain. So how can you tell that you are using these substances to cope or self-medicate? Here are a few signs to watch out for?
You Drink Or Use Drugs Whenever You Feel Negative Emotions
Negative emotions such as anger, stress, anxiety, sadness, and frustration are all part of life. But if every time you experience these emotions, your go-to solution is taking alcohol or drugs, then you are using these substances as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately, you will not have addressed the root of the negative emotions. Plus, these are emotions that you are likely to encounter frequently, so it is better to find healthy ways to cope with them instead of drinking or using drugs. If it gets to the point where you have become an addict, head to Ocean Recovery for treatment. A good recovery plan will not only address the addiction but also suggest healthy ways to cope with negative emotions.
You Drink To Lessen Social Anxiety
Some people with a social anxiety disorder also abuse alcohol. In fact, you will find that a bigger percentage of people diagnosed with both social anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorder are first diagnosed with the former. Understandably, social anxiety can make people feel uncomfortable in social situations. However, it is also impossible to avoid people all the time. You will meet them in restaurants, at work, on public transportation, and in many other places. But once you start drinking to reduce social anxiety, it will soon become an addiction. Instead, get help. A medical professional can suggest positive ways to handle social situations.
You Drink Or Take Drugs To Relieve Boredom
Today’s culture depicts alcohol and substance use as something exciting. You are bored in your house, and so you head to a club to drink or host a house party with drugs and alcohol. Using substances to cope with boredom can quickly become an addiction. Alcohol or drugs should not be your first go-to activity every time you are bored. Fill your life with other activities or hobbies. That way, your drinking is done in moderation to avoid addiction.
Every Time You Encounter A Negative Event, You Take Drugs Or Drink
Negative events can be things like an argument with a loved one, a break-up, job loss, losing a significant business deal, or even the death of a loved one. If you drink because you want to avoid the negative emotions that come with such difficult situations, you risk addiction. While these are difficult emotions for anyone to process, drugs and alcohol do not take the sadness away. They only postpone them. Once you are sober again, you will feel those negative emotions you are trying to escape. Instead, you can choose to process negative feelings healthily.
You Think About Drugs And Alcohol During The Entire Day
When a big part of your mental energy is being used to think about drugs and alcohol, you rely on these substances to feel better. This can lead to behaviors such as skipping your responsibilities or events to drink or use drugs, planning your activities around alcohol, or thinking of when you will get your next bottle of alcohol. If you notice that at the end of the day, when you start drinking or using drugs, it is when you feel alive the most, then you have an addiction problem.
Using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism is very dangerous because you are simply avoiding your issues instead of addressing them. Do not let addiction take over your life. Find help in a recovery centre and find ways to better address challenging situations.