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Chronic Stress and Opioid Addiction

by General Marketing

Stress is more than a feeling — it can have significant effects on your overall wellness. For some people, stress can also be chronic. People dealing with chronic stress feel consistently pressured and overwhelmed for extended periods.

Stress is a primary risk factor for opioid addiction. It can increase cravings, contributing to relapse and treatment failure. What’s more, opioid use can change the way your brain processes stress.

Learn more about the connection between stress and opioids, and discover tips for managing stress during recovery.

Stress and Opioids

Some people use opioids to cope with chronic stress. Opioids have a strong euphoric effect that can alleviate feelings of pressure and anxiety. However, opioid use can affect your body’s stress response over time.

Your body has natural opioids and opioid receptors. Stressful situations activate your opioid system to regulate your reaction, helping you feel more calm and relaxed. When your body becomes dependent on external opioids, it can lose its natural ability to regulate stress.

4 Tips to Manage Stress When Recovering From Opioid Addiction

Since stress can increase the risk of relapse, many coping mechanisms seek to help you reduce stress without turning to opioids. Constructive ways to manage chronic stress include the following.

1. Exercise

Exercise is one of the most effective stress management solutions. Physical activity can increase endorphins and serotonin levels, helping to improve your physical and mental health.

2. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a balanced diet and eating three meals a day can be a vital part of your recovery. When you don’t eat, your blood sugar levels drop, which releases cortisol — your body’s stress hormone. Cortisol produces physical stress symptoms, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, which may tempt you to seek relief from opioids.

3. Connect With Loved Ones

If you’re dealing with stress, reach out to your support network. Sharing your struggles or engaging in light-hearted conversation can help you gain perspective on your situation and alleviate your stress. Studies also show that hugging can help reduce stress in adults.

4. Try Different Relaxation Techniques

Practicing meditation and mindfulness are effective ways to manage stress. In aromatherapy, floral scents like lavender and jasmine can also help promote relaxation and lower stress levels.

HCRC Can Help You Manage Chronic Stress Through Your Recovery

HCRC Can Help You Manage Chronic Stress Through Your Recovery

At Health Care Resource Centers, we’re committed to helping people recover from opioid addiction. We provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT), addiction counseling and compassionate, personalized care. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.

Medically Reviewed By:

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

Health Care Resource Centers Clinical Team

The Clinical Team at Health Care Resource Centers is our team of physicians and medical directors within the organization. HCRC is a CARF accredited organization and has been providing addiction treatment services for over 32 years in the New England area.

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