Stress and Addiction

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  • Stress and addiction can be deeply intertwined.
  • For recovery to be successful, addicted people need coping strategies and treatment for stress- related disorders.

Stress and addiction produce some of the same changes in brain systems and so they are intimately connected.. Animal studies have shown that the brain changes associated with stressful experiences are also associated with more sensitivity to the effects of drugs of abuse. For people who have addictions, stressful life experiences such as divorce, job loss and conflict are often associated with craving and relapse. In addition, people with addiction often have poor coping strategies and turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve stress. While it is impossible to remove all stress from the lives of individuals with addictions, teaching coping strategies and treating stress-related disorders is an important factor in stable recovery from addictions.