How Can Work Stress Lead to You to Turn to Substance Abuse?
Let’s clear up a common misconception: stress can be a factor for anyone doing any job. High-stress work environments don’t just refer to high-stakes jobs such as first responders, emergency room staff, and military personnel. Whether you’re near the top of the corporate ladder or work in the service industry, you may feel the burnout that’s caused by work that follows you home, difficult management or customer relations, or the physical toll from years of manual labor.
For many people, burnout leads to substance use. It may start with going out for drinks at the bar after a stressful shift, taking pain pills for your back after a long day unloading deliveries, or looking for something that will help “get you through” a day of nonstop meetings.
The problem is that an occasional outlet can turn into you needing these substances just to feel normal. For example, casual alcohol consumption is considered acceptable in society, but it can quickly escalate into alcohol dependence, even when drinking socially. Other drugs, like painkillers — even those prescribed by your doctor — are highly addictive.
How Can I Manage Work Stress?
Maintaining a positive work-life balance is essential to managing the stressors that come along with regular employment — that means being able to separate your career from your private life and making sure your days off give you a chance decompress fully.
Take time for yourself. This can be as simple as not checking your work email on the weekends or muting work notifications on your phone on your days off.
It’s also important to keep your mind and body occupied. One of the best ways to reduce stress during your free time is to get active — lifting, running, doing yoga, or simply taking a walk or a hike are all great ways to unwind and let your mind and body do something else. It’ll also keep your body healthy, and that boost can make you less tired during the week!
Find a new, healthy hobby. Craft that thing you’ve been meaning to make; read that book you’ve been meaning to pick up; try that new recipe; take that trip. These projects are far healthier, and more fulfilling, than going to the bar or turning to drugs.
Managing Work Stress with Substance Abuse Treatment in Cleveland, OH
Some of us are more susceptible than others when it comes to turning to substance abuse to manage stress. If you struggle with mental health issues, or have a genetic predisposition for disorders like alcoholism, you’re at greater risk for developing a substance abuse disorder. But even without these factors, it’s entirely possible that your drinking or self-medication can become an addiction if you don’t have healthy, sustainable coping mechanisms and resources to turn to, especially if you’ve already been through substance abuse treatment.
If you or a loved one have started to rely on drugs or alcohol to manage work stress, don’t delay — contact Prosperity Haven at 440-253-9915 today to get the substance abuse treatment you need.