It is well understood that the effects of stress can lead to substance abuse. Stress is a part of life and there is no way to completely avoid stress, but what links stress and substance abuse is largely due to the inability of the individual to deal with an increase in stress. Many substance abusers believe that turning to drugs and alcohol helps them deal with the stress, but in reality it is exacerbating the problem.
What is Stress?
Stress is one of those words that cannot be easily defined but you know it when you see it. Stress depends on the individual. What is stress for some may be nothing for others. Being late to work or school, or turning in late assignments is incredibly stressful for many individuals, while for others it is not that big a deal. Financial woes are stressful for just about everyone. Relationship problems can create an enormous amount of stress and at the same time, stress experienced in another part of an individual’s life can create problems in relationships, so they essentially go hand in hand. A great number of individuals believe that they work best when under a certain amount of stress.
However too much of a good or bad thing can be devastating and that can be said of stress. Too much stress can be psychologically and physically damaging, in other words, too much stress can kill you. Stress causes the immune system to go into overdrive. Constant stress can cause the immune system to be ineffective. What happens is the immune system turns on itself, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Stress can lead to severe depression and impact mental health. Ulcers are created by stress.
Too Much Stress Can Lead to Substance Abuse
Unfortunately, many people who experience stress turn to substance abuse for relief. Alcohol is a depressant and so individuals with a great amount of stress in their life, will turn to alcohol, or a prescription depressant, as a way to calm down and feel as if they have the stress under control. As a result of the calming effect that alcohol produces, the individual may turn to alcohol more often and in larger amounts to remain calm.
Increasing alcohol consumption or drug use as a means to deal with stress can lead to alcoholism or addiction. Once alcohol or drug use becomes habitual, it may be difficult to stop the substance abuse. Substance abuse can lead to the additional stress of losing your job, your family, a decrease in finances, legal problems, a decline in health and the list goes on and on.
How to Relieve Stress
Substance abuse does not make the stress go away, if anything it creates more undue stress in the individual’s life. While it is impossible to eliminate all the stress from your life, there are ways to decrease stress and to deal with it as it comes to keep your life running smoothly such as meditation, learning breathing techniques to release stress, increase your exercise, take up golf or tennis, listening to music or start a hobby. For many individuals journaling is a great way to let go of the stress. If none of these suit you, try talking to a nonobjective person, such as a counselor, clergy or friend.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse as a result of stress and are in need of detox, Gallus Detox Centers can help. Gallus Detox Centers specializes in IV therapy medical detox, a safer and more effective method for detox from substance abuse, and will provide you with a customized plan to meet your individual needs. Call Gallus Detox Centers today at 855-338-6929 to see if our treatment program is right for you.