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Numbing Emotional Pain through Drug Use

Numbing Emotional Pain through Drug UseDrug use is a common sign of poor coping skills. Many San Diego residents use drugs to numb emotional pain such as anger, grief and anxiety, but the temporary relief found by escaping reality creates problems. Quality of life, relationships and mental health can suffer as a result of drug use.

How Drugs Numb Emotional Pain

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain. Drugs can boost levels of the “feel good” neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. When these neurotransmitter levels are high, people do not feel physical and emotional pain. Uncomfortable feelings like anxiety, grief and stress disappear temporarily. When a drug’s high wears off, serotonin and dopamine levels fall, sometimes to lower levels than before. Feelings such as anxiety and sadness return to the user’s life in San Diego.

Healthy Ways to Cope with Emotional Pain

Relief from emotional pain is one reason why people start using drugs. It is also a frequent factor in continuing addiction and relapse. Learning to manage feelings rather than anesthetize them is an important part of recovery. Healthy coping strategies include the following:

  • Reaching out. Talking about feelings decreases stress, anxiety and grief. Call a supportive friend or professional to regain perspective on a situation.
  • Mixing up your routine. Identify times during the day and week when you are most likely to use. Schedule a different activity like going to the gym instead.
  • Journaling. Putting feelings on paper can bring relief.
  • Getting support. Attending a support group meeting breaks the isolation created by drug use.

These and other coping strategies provided by recovery specialists can ensure you remain drug-free while enjoying a life in San Diego with manageable emotions.

Natural Ways to Feel Better in San Diego

The following are some natural ways to feel better, but discuss these options with a recovery professional and use them as part of a recommended treatment plan:

  • Eat dark chocolate. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that generates feelings of well-being, pleasure and motivation. Studies show that the chocolate raises levels of tyrosine which in turn creates dopamine.
  • Avoid too much sugar. Carbs and sweets provide a quick fix by releasing serotonin, but they do not give neurotransmitter levels a long-lasting lift.
  • Soak up the sun. Sunlight has been linked to increased serotonin levels.
  • Meditate. Meditation increases serotonin levels and boosts alpha brain wave patterns associated with feelings of calm and focus.
  • Exercise. Moderate aerobic exercise like walking enhances mood and elevates serotonin levels.

These and other alternative options for emotional health can play an important part in an overall addiction or mental health recovery plan.

Getting Help for Drug Abuse and Emotional Pain

Learning to cope with painful emotions and overcome drug use is hard work, but there is help. Recovery counselors available at our toll-free 24 hour helpline can guide you and your family to wellness. Our counselors can help you understand your treatment options and help you find affordable solutions that may save the life of you or your loved one. Please call today, and take the first step toward a better life in San Diego.