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Can an Addiction Treatment Center Help Me Deal With Grief and Loss?

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grief and loss during addiction treatment

Addiction is a serious condition that impacts all parts of a person’s life. Without treatment, the risk of serious consequences grows. People with addiction face risks to their physical and mental health, financial wellbeing, and loss of important relationships.

There are many reasons a person might develop an addiction. Many people experiment with drugs or alcohol and lose control after a period of heavy use. Others may desire certain effects that drugs and alcohol provide. Some people begin to use drugs and alcohol as a way to numb the pain of grief after a significant loss.

While grief is part of the human experience, it can also be overwhelming and impair a person’s ability to function in their daily life. When a person’s ability to cope is overtaken by grief, they may turn to anything available to get through the experience. For some, this means starting to abuse substances.

People who are grieving and addicted need extra support during treatment. The structure and around-the-clock support of an addiction treatment center can offer a healing environment where they can heal from addiction and learn healthy ways to cope with their grief. In fact, due to the constant support, an addiction treatment center can be one of the best places to cope with grief and loss.

If you or someone you love is grieving and needs substance abuse treatment, reach out to the caring staff at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment. We offer a range of substance abuse treatment programs and services designed to help people overcome addiction and get the support they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives in recovery.

What is Grief?

Grief is a natural reaction to a significant loss. Many people think of the grief that often follows the death of a loved one, but grief can follow any kind of big loss or life change. Some people experience grief after the end of a life stage, divorce, or a change in their health.

Grief is usually thought of as sadness, but it is more complex than that. Instead, grief is a complex experience with both emotional and physical symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Numbness
  • Exhaustion
  • Changes in sleep or appetite
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Nightmares
  • Preoccupation with the loss
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Physical weakness

There is not a single, all-inclusive list of the symptoms of grief. It is an experience that is unique to each person who goes through it. The type of grief, the length of time someone experiences it, and the way they move through it vary greatly from person to person.

Grief has no timeline and can be unpredictable. Someone may develop grief immediately after the loss or years afterward. Some people have a short period of grief, and some live with grief for years.

Since grief and loss are so unpredictable, they can be difficult to identify, but effective addiction treatment is available and can help people move forward.

Understanding the Connection Between Grief, Loss, and Addiction

When grief overwhelms a person’s ability to cope, people often look for any way possible to dull or numb the pain. Some turn to drugs or alcohol.

While using drugs and alcohol may provide a temporary numbing of the symptoms of grief, it can keep people from moving forward. It also puts people at increased risk of developing an addiction that can bring other harmful consequences.

Many substances, including alcohol, act as a depressant in the body. The effects of these substances can worsen depression. Substance abuse often prevents people from keeping up with basic daily activities like eating regularly, sleeping well, and making good choices about their health. All of this can lead to prolonged depression and worsen other mental health problems.

Many factors can make it more likely that a person will become addicted to drugs or alcohol. These include biological factors, genetics, environment, and mental health. However, any person can develop an addiction if they use drugs or alcohol for a prolonged period. Experiencing grief increases a person’s chances of developing an addiction, regardless of other factors.

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Get The Care You Need and Deserve

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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Grief and Loss Healing During Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment generally happens in stages. Many people start the process in a medically supervised detox program. In detox, people receive support and treatment that allows them to have a safe, complete detox from drugs or alcohol.

After detox, people must begin a treatment program that gives them the support and skills they need to heal from their addiction, live a healthy, sober lifestyle, and avoid relapse in the future. During treatment, people participate in a combination of evidence-based and holistic therapies that support healing and recovery. These therapies can help people move through grief, too.

  • Individual therapy helps people identify and heal sources of grief or trauma
  • Group therapy supports emotional processing and community healing
  • Education gives people skills and resources to manage their emotions and adapt to challenges more effectively
  • Holistic therapies promote physical and emotional healing and provide healthy ways to manage grief, anger, and other challenging emotions

In both grief and addiction recovery, having support is essential. During treatment, people will be referred to community resources that can give them long-term support after their program ends.

Learn More About Grief and Loss Treatment at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment

To learn more about treating grief during addiction treatment, reach out to the caring staff at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment. You do not have to go through this alone. Help is available. Call today to find out how we can support your recovery.

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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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