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Life Change and Substance AbuseMajor life changes can lead to substance abuse or relapse. When someone is struggling to accept life changes, he or she may experience stress and turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism. Major life changes that may cause an increase in stress levels include the following:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Martial separation
  • Imprisonment
  • Job loss
  • Career change
  • Birth of a child
  • Moving
  • Retirement

Even positive life changes, such as marriage, a job promotion, or the birth of a child, can lead to stress. Healthy stress levels allow a person to work hard toward a desired outcome, but excessive stress can trigger mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. When a person turns to substance abuse for relief after experiencing a major life change, he or she is essentially self-medicating for mental health issues. Unfortunately, substance abuse only leads to further problems, such as the risk for addiction and increased levels of stress, anxiety, or depression.

Substance Abuse and the Loss of an Immediate Family Member

The loss of an immediate family member, such as a spouse, child, or sibling, is perhaps one of the most difficult and jarring of all life changes. When a person is unable to manage the sadness and other intense emotions that follow the death of a loved one, the individual may wish to experience the temporary escape offered by substance abuse. Although a rush of euphoria provides brief relief from sorrow and devastation, continued substance abuse leads to addiction and major health risks, financial problems, and the detriment of personal relationships. Those who suffer from unresolved grief and substance abuse must seek treatment for both issues in order to achieve recovery.

How Substance Abuse Treatment Can Help

In a professional treatment program, patients are treated for both physical and psychological symptoms of addiction. Recognizing that significant life changes can lead to substance abuse can be a breakthrough moment for someone in treatment for addiction. When patients understand the root cause of their substance abuse problems, they are often able to successfully complete treatment. During treatment, patients attend classes and counseling sessions that help them learn healthy ways to cope with significant changes and the stresses of daily life.

Need Help Finding High Quality Substance Abuse Treatment?

If you or someone you love is experiencing a major life change and struggling with substance abuse, we can help. Call our toll-free number today to reach one of our admissions coordinators who can connect you to a high quality substance abuse treatment program. We are available 24 hours a day to take your call and provide our services. Please don’t hesitate to call us at any time.