In a world where technology allows us to do so much at once, it seems that if you’re not multitasking you’re doing something wrong. In addition to a career and a family, many people do volunteer work and pursue a degree as well as countless other activities that pull them in all directions possible. Hefty ‘to do’ lists though can cause stress, and although the human body has adapted to handle certain levels of it, stress can cause headaches, indigestion, and trouble sleeping.
To relax people may turn to alcohol or drugs, but often this can become habit-forming; you feel overwhelmed by all you have to do, so you use alcohol or drugs at the first sign of stress. The next time you feel stressed, your first response is to do what you did before: use alcohol or drugs. A terrifying cycle begins when your consumption reaches dangerous levels, and you begin to worry; should I seek out an addiction treatment centre? Do I need drug rehab? These concerns only increase stress and drug abuse; what was once an alleviator of stress now is the source of anxiety. Until daily stress is reduced or managed in a healthy way, alcohol and drug use will increase in tandem with stress levels. This cycle could lead to addiction and a subsequent need for drug rehab.
“Experience has shown that stress can lead to addiction. Take the example of a smoker: he will light a cigarette immediately when he gets nervous,” Dr. de Jong of the Netherlands’s Leiden University said in a 2007 issue of Science Daily. Though professionals acknowledge the connection between stress and alcohol and drug addiction, science is still catching up. “We still don’t understand the physical mechanisms by which stress contributes to the development of an addiction,” said Dr. de Jong.
There are healthy ways of dealing with stress; exercise, meditation, and journaling are all productive ways to manage stress. But should you feel that you are stuck in an unhealthy cycle of stress management, an addiction treatment centre is the best place to learn how to cope with stress, and it’s a tool that is useful for life.