Grief Counseling and Addiction Recovery

Grief Counseling and Addiction RecoveryWhen a person experiences grief from any loss, substance abuse may feel like the best way to overcome such painful feelings. Unfortunately, grief and substance abuse sometimes lead to drug or alcohol addiction. Addiction creates a new concern, especially to someone who has not successfully overcome the grief that initiated it. Grief counseling can be a necessary aspect of recovery from a loss, and may be used in combination with addiction recovery for those suffering from both.

What is Grief?

Grief is caused by an actual or perceived loss, which come in many different forms. A person may feel grief from the death of a person or pet, the diagnosis of a chronic or terminal disease, or miscarriage. There are many other causes of grief, depending on what an individual considers a significant loss in his or her life.

Grief creates a deep distress that may be overwhelming to the suffering individual. It can interfere with the way a person lives, though each person grieves in a different way. Some experience numbness and shock while others experience heightened emotions of depression, anger, or guilt. Many people also experience physical symptoms from their grief, in the form of stomach aches, headaches, sleep changes, or reduced concentration.

Grief and Addiction

Regardless of the cause of grief, each person copes with it in a different way. Utilizing support systems, journaling, and exercising are all healthy ways to cope with the negative emotions brought on by grief. However, many people fall into unhealthy means of coping when they are faced with a loss. Many turn to drug and alcohol abuse, choosing to cover up their feelings of grief with the effects of a substance. Unfortunately, this leads many grieving people into an even more troublesome scenario where they are dealing with not only grief, but addiction as well.

Grief and Addiction Treatment

When a person is experiencing grief, counseling is always a recommended step to take. Because each person grieves in a different way, it is important that a trained professional be utilized to help overcome grief before it becomes dysfunctional. Grief counselors can help their clients to accept the reality of the loss, work through the grief, and adjust to the changes of life caused by the loss.

Involvement in grief counseling is highly beneficial, and can help to prevent unhealthy coping strategies. For those that have already fallen into addiction, either before or during the grieving process, specialized treatment is often needed.

There is a wide variety of treatment options available to those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. Some may decide that an inpatient treatment is most appropriate so that they are under constant care, while others chose an outpatient program or support group. Regardless of what method is chosen, it is important that the treatment focus not only the addiction, but also the grief that triggered it.

Get Help for Grief or Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from grief or addiction, please call our toll free number today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about grief or addiction treatment.