Everyone deals with normal, everyday stress. Some thrill seekers even look for stress to add a little zing and excitement to life. However, chronic stress is another animal, and it is linked to a higher likelihood of addiction.

When stress is chronic, overwhelming, and part of a person’s general state of being, self-medication and ultimately drug addiction can result. Professionals in Florida drug rehab facilities understand the relationship between stress and addiction and can help you find a better, healthier balance.

Some Stress is Good; Chronic Stress is Not

The human body is designed to kick into high gear in a sudden stressful situation. Your heart races, your blood pressure increases, and the blood rushes to your muscles so that you are ready for what is to come. Chronic stress is something different.

According to Psychology Today, long-term stress may stem from a trauma in childhood, serious financial difficulties, unemployment, the death of a friend or family member, and numerous other possibilities. Unlike the positive results of acute stress, chronic stress can cause:

  • Depression
  • Increased likelihood of catching colds or viruses
  • Tension headaches
  • Eating disorders

Healthy coping mechanisms for stress help you handle life situations without letting them control you.

Chronic Stress and Substance Abuse Go Hand in Hand

How many times have you seen an actor in a movie or on television come home from a stressful day at work to grab a beer or glass of bourbon?  With recreational marijuana becoming legal across the country, if not specifically in Florida, it is not unusual to see the same people smoking a joint instead of having a drink.

Once in a while, decompressing with a drink after work is a somewhat normal reaction. But if chronic stress is part of your life, one drink can turn into a few drinks every day and more on weekends. That is not just a screenwriter’s idea of alcoholism, it is a reality. In a 2007 Al’Absi study, researchers found a bonafide connection between chronic stress such as early trauma, domestic abuse, or a terrible job and substance abuse.

Stress is Linked to Food Disorders, as Well

Drug and alcohol are not the only substances you can abuse. Chronic stress also increases the likelihood of developing an unhealthy relationship with food. Some people may become addicted to food. Obesity or bulimia may result. For others, anorexia may result.

Researchers at Yale University Department of Psychiatry found in 2013 that obesity and addiction are not just possible, they are common in people who deal with chronic stress. It can also impair recovery, as stress can create a pathway that leads to substance abuse relapse.

Florida drug rehab understands the role that chronic stress plays in addiction and recovery. That is why patients have access to a custom-built program with inventive therapies, such as yoga, art, and music that address a host of stressors.

If you or any of your loved ones bear an unusual burden of stress, you or they are in the high-risk category for addiction. Florida drug rehab can help. Contact us and learn about medically assisted detox, residential care, and the many therapies that help eliminate stress in a healthy way.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.