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Here Are The Ways Addiction Treatment Can Help With Stress-Management

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addiction treatment and stress management

Stress is a normal human response to certain triggers or perceived danger. Healthy stress helps keep you motivated to complete tasks and able to adjust to changes in life. Chronic stress, however, can make it difficult to cope.

People who struggle with addiction often experience high levels of stress due to the various pressures and emotions that come with drug and alcohol dependence. At the same time, people in recovery often lack the right coping skills to deal with daily stressors, so situations that wouldn’t be stressful for your average person feel extremely overwhelming to people in early recovery. As a result, it is crucial that patients in addiction treatment learn stress management techniques so they can be successful in their sobriety.

Identify The Main Source of Stress

There are many different sources of stress you may face in daily life. Anything that puts pressure on you to step outside of your regular routine can cause stress. The problem is you can’t learn how to deal with stress if you’re unable to identify what stresses you out in the first place. And, since stress can promote drug and alcohol use, it’s important to learn how to cope with it.

Addiction treatment programs can help you identify the sources of stress and how to cope. Some common sources of stress include:

  • Work conflict
  • Financial difficulty
  • Family conflict
  • Schoolwork
  • Health problems
  • Social obligations

Treatments Used for Stress Management in Addiction Recovery

There are many different approaches to stress management that are used in addiction treatment. Three of the most popular and effective are:

  1. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
  2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  3. Exercise

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a popular stress-management approach used by addiction treatment centers. MBSR combines psychotherapy with yoga and meditation to help individuals develop mindfulness.[1] Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of the present moment rather than stewing in the past or anticipating the future. The most important aspect of mindfulness, however, is to be able to accept the current circumstances of your life without judgment.

MBSR lowers blood pressure and stress. It can also improve a person’s self-esteem. Patients who participate in MSBR may even be more likely to stay in treatment for the full duration of their treatment plan compared to others. These far-reaching benefits can improve the chances of staying sober after rehab.

MBSR is usually used in combination with other types of therapy like CBT, holistic therapy, family therapy, and 12-step facilitation.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is at the foundation of both addiction treatment and stress management programs. CBT helps you identify problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to both your addiction and stress. It also helps modify these behaviors and teaches you healthy coping mechanisms so you can cope with stress effectively and prevent relapse.[2]

One particular branch of CBT, trauma-focused CBT, can help people who suffer from trauma-related stressors or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This approach can help individuals cope with the stress that has resulted from traumatic events.


Exercise reduces levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a naturally produced stress hormone, but people who suffer from chronic stress may have elevated levels of it in their bodies. As a result, regular exercise can reduce cortisol levels and stress.[3]

Exercise can also improve sleep quality, reduce cravings, and improve self-esteem. Many addiction treatment programs incorporate exercise into their routine to help patients cope with stress.

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Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

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The Importance of Stress Management in Addiction Recovery

Stress and substance abuse often go hand in hand. Stress can inspire people to self-medicate using drugs and alcohol–a temporary fix that usually leads to addiction and other consequences. On the other hand, addiction can be stressful. You have to hide your addiction from certain people, struggle with financial problems, and face difficulties in your relationships. As a result, addiction is correlated with increased levels of stress.

While addiction can cause stress and vice versa, many people who struggle with addiction and enroll in a treatment program are unable to cope with stress in a healthy way. The inability to cope with stress, a normal human response to perceived danger, can increase your risk of relapse. That’s why it is crucial to learn how to cope with stress if you are embarking on a journey of recovery.

Find Help Today

Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we not only want to help you get sober, but we want to help you revitalize your life by teaching you how to cope with day-to-day stressors in a healthy way. Our addiction treatment program combines evidence-based therapies with stress management techniques that can help improve your recovery journey. If you or a loved one struggles with chronic stress and addiction, we can help. Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment has state-of-the-art treatment programs that can help you get your life back on track. Call now to get started.


  1. https://www.apa.org/topics/mindfulness/meditation
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5114797/
  3. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/fulltext/2013/05000/stress_relief__the_role_of_exercise_in_stress.6.aspx
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Addiction treatment specialist

Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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