Using Alcohol as a Stress Reliever

As COVID-19 continues with the nation slowly re-opening businesses and workplaces, the stress of it all seems to carry on. Individuals are understandably fearful of what the re-opening of our country may mean to us all. Is coronavirus going to surge again? Will I be safe if I return to my workplace with others who might possibly be carrying the virus? Will I still have a job when all of this is over? The questions in our minds just go on and on. It makes sense that many individuals may be using alcohol as a stress reliever during these times of anxiety and distress.

Using Alcohol as a Stress Reliever Can Lead to Bigger Problems

Using alcohol as a stress reliever over a short period may seem to be okay in your opinion. However, if your stress and anxiety continue over weeks or months, you very easily could develop an alcohol use disorder. If you are continuing to self-medicate with alcohol, you will probably develop a tolerance to the substance. 

Once you develop a tolerance, it will take more of the alcohol to relieve your stress than it did before you started using alcohol as a stress reliever. Tolerance to a substance usually leads to dependence on the substance of choice. In the case of alcohol, you could very easily develop an alcohol use disorder which in turn, leads to alcohol addiction.

Social Distancing during COVID-19

These times of social distancing can be especially difficult for those individuals who are prone to depression or anxiety attacks. If you are an alcoholic who is living in recovery, it can be very dangerous for you to be away from your support groups during this time. Virtual meetings are good, but they are not the same as having that physical and emotional contact with others who are going through the same struggles as you. In addition, some individuals do not have the money for a home computer and internet connection, especially those who have been addicted to drugs or alcohol.

If you live alone, you may think that you can drink alcohol “just for this short period of time” until things return to normal and then go back to your life in recovery. Doing this will only lead to more problems for you when things do return to some sort of normalcy. You will need alcohol addiction treatment again or some type of counseling or outpatient treatment services. If you have been addicted to alcohol, chances are you won’t be able to stop on your own anytime you choose to do so.

Find Ways to Relieve Stress Other than Using Alcohol

Think about it before you mix that drink or open that bottle of wine. There are other ways of reducing stress. If you are feeling highly stressed, go for a walk. Walking can clear your mind as well as make you feel better physically. Prepare a nutritious and tasty meal instead of sitting and drinking. Call a friend or family member and vent if you are upset or anxious about something that may or may not happen. Things are not always as bad as you imagine them to be. Sometimes talking to someone else instead of sitting alone and dwelling on it can make you realize this.

What to Do if You Have Been Using Alcohol as a Stress Reliever

If you have been using alcohol as a stress reliever during the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for you to take charge of your situation. There are support group meetings and counseling available to you. Don’t come out of the pandemic with a bigger issue. If you have been living in recovery, but have relapsed, seek help immediately.

Contact New Beginnings Drug Rehab to discuss with a representative the best way for you to proceed and get back to your sobriety and a life in recovery. Don’t look at yourself as a failure. The past months have been unprecedented in our lifetimes and truly trying for all individuals. 

One of our representatives at New Beginnings Drug Rehab can answer any questions you may have about treatment programs that we offer and what program you need for your individual needs. 

 

Resource:

Psychologytoday.com – Why Relapse Isn’t a Sign of Failure

 

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