What Are Coping Skills for Different Types of Addiction?

July 10, 2023

Written By: Katie Noetzel, BSN, RN, CEN

Addiction is a disease that impacts every part of your life. To recover, you will likely need to get support from a treatment center. When you go to treatment, you will learn how to build a life that supports your sobriety. This includes finding coping skills for addiction that help you to manage your life after treatment. However, these tools will be unique for different types of addiction. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, the coping skills you will need will be distinctly different than those needed for an addiction to painkillers. Every situation is different. Addiction treatment at Buena Vista Recovery takes these differences in mind and provides individualized treatment that will help you find freedom from addiction.

Different Types of Addiction

As a whole, addiction is a disease that hijacks the brain. When you use drugs or alcohol, those substances impact how you feel. Over time, you build up a physical dependency on a specific substance. This creates a drive to continue to use this substance, since without it, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. However, different types of addiction have unique characteristics, which is important to understand when considering how to cope with the type of addiction you are struggling with. 

Alcohol Addiction

When compared to other substances, alcohol is a substance that is widely accepted in current culture. People go out and drink socially after work or at family gatherings. However, alcohol addiction is a physical dependency on alcohol. Alcohol differs greatly from other substances. 

However, because it is so widely accepted, many people use alcohol as a way to cope. This may include coping with stress, social anxiety, or other challenges of life. As a result, alcohol addiction can be more than simply physical dependence. You may also have an emotional or mental dependence. 

Painkiller Addiction

Having chronic pain or physical discomfort is very difficult. It disrupts your life and makes it challenging to do everyday tasks like going to work, cooking, or cleaning your house. Therefore, many people turn to painkillers as a way to cope. Every person’s experience with painkillers is different. However, an important part of healing from painkiller addiction is learning new coping skills to manage pain.

Stimulant Addiction

There are many different kinds of stimulants. As a class of drugs, stimulants give you energy, help you stay awake, and improve alertness. When you are struggling to get through your day, taking stimulants can make a big difference. However, stimulants are also highly addictive. Therefore, while they were initially a way to cope, you may find yourself addicted to stimulants. 

Coping Skills For Different Types of Addiction

Your challenges and contributing factors to addiction are unique to you. However, commonly certain skills will help you to cope with different types of addiction with more success. Learning self-care and trigger management are both important. But how they will look will vary depending on the type of addiction you are struggling with. 

Self-Care for Different Types of Addiction

Caring for your needs is an important and necessary step in managing your risk of relapse after treatment. Self-care in general includes caring for your needs in every aspect of your life. Your self-care plan may include things like exercise, meditation, therapy, and more. However, self-care looks different for different types of addiction and will be unique to each individual. 

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, caring for your needs will include ways to manage the challenges that have led you to abuse alcohol. For example, if you have tended toward using alcohol to manage stress, self-care will include stress management techniques. Similarly, self-care for painkiller addiction will incorporate other methods to manage pain or stress that plays a role in your level of pain. 

Learning to cope when in recovery from a stimulant addiction will involve incorporating ways to care for your needs without the use of stimulants. This may include working on sleep, adjusting your schedule, or improving your diet. However, it may also include changes to your overall lifestyle that likely played a role in your continued desire to abuse stimulants. 

Trigger Management

Managing triggers is an important part of recovery. Triggers are external or internal events or situations that cue your brain and body. In addiction recovery, triggers refer to things that make you feel cravings. When you manage triggers, you learn to cope with life while reducing your need to reach drugs or alcohol again. Treatment at Buena Vista Recovery helps you to better understand your unique triggers and how they impact you. 

Trigger management will look different for each person. However, it will generally include being aware of situations that may make you feel cravings. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, this might include staying away from bars, clubs, or the later stages of your company holiday Christmas party. 

Managing triggers for painkiller addiction might include having other ways to address pain, since pain may be a trigger for using painkillers. If you are struggling with stimulant addiction, there is likely a combination of places, people, and sensations to consider as possible triggers. As a rule of thumb, it is helpful to have a good grasp on your triggers. Having an awareness of what triggers you and how to cope with those triggers it will go a long way toward helping you achieve long-term sobriety.

Every individual’s experience with addiction is unique. However, certain coping skills will be most helpful for certain types of addiction. At Buena Vista Recovery, we understand that your challenges with addiction are unique. We work with you as an individual to help you build coping skills that are applicable to your type of addiction. Buena Vista also strives to adapt treatment plans to your situation and who you are as a person. Healing from addiction is a challenge and takes time and effort. However, with support, you can heal and move forward in your life. To learn more about the programs at Buena Vista Recovery and how they can help you heal from addiction, call us today at (480) 741-9414.