Addiction and Withdrawal Coping Strategies for Teens

There are two types of coping strategies; problem-solving strategies and emotion-focused strategies.  Problem-solving strategies are efforts to do something active to alleviate stressful circumstances.  Emotion-focused strategies involve efforts to regulate the emotional consequences of stressful or potentially stressful events.  

Not every treatment or coping mechanism works for every person.  Everyone has a different addiction and a different reason for using so not every treatment works for everyone.  It’s imperative to remember that if something doesn’t work for you, you can try a different method.  

A few possible examples of coping skills are

  • Attendance at a support group
  • Working with a sponsor
  • Practicing mindfulness meditation
  • Exercising to remove tension from the body
  • Managing the relapse triggers; hunger, anger, loneliness and tiredness
  • Keeping a journal
  • Attending therapy sessions
  • Helping other addicts
  • Developing a strong support network
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Physical activity
  • Recognizing your relapse triggers are a huge part of coping with your recovery because relapse prevention is absolutely critical.  If an addict doesn’t have a plan to fight relapse, it is absolutely imperative to get a plan in place as soon as possible.

There are many ways to deal with mental urges to relapse but a few techniques are

  • Spend time with people who are positive influences and lead healthy lifestyles
  • Stay busy!  An exercise routine or an absorbing hobby are great ways to stay distracted
  • Learn relaxation exercises and techniques like yoga or mental imagery
  • Remind yourself of the positives changes that recovery has brought into your life for both yourself and your family
  • Share your fears of relapse with someone you trust
  • Most of the time, the mental urges last 15-30 minutes.  It may feel like an eternity, but focus on your relapse plan to help get through it
  • Increase your attendance in 12-step programs

In the end, it’s important that you’re honest with yourself.  Addiction requires lying.  You have to lie about all aspects of your drug - getting it, using it, hiding its consequences and parlaying your next relapse.  Recovery requires your complete honesty.  You must be 100 percent honest with everyone in your support group because when you’re 100 percent honest, your addiction has no place to hide.  Honesty is not easy and it certainly won’t come naturally.  You will have to work at it every day but every day it will be slightly easier than the last.

Remember that now is the chance to change your life.  Addiction recovery isn’t easy but if you arm yourself with the tools to cope and surround yourself with people you can trust, each day will be easier.


Published on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 18:53
By Addiction Recovery