5 Signs You Use Drugs or Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism

Most people use drugs and alcohol to cope with their problems. While some use it as a means of dealing with work stress or family issues, others use it to deal with depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders. Regardless of how someone uses alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism, it’s essential to understand that the use of these substances won’t change the situation.

It can be tough to tell if someone is using drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism; hence, it’s important to know what signs to look for. If you’re one of those people who turn to drugs and alcohol when life gets tough, or the feelings of depression and anxiety make you want to numb out and escape into drugs and alcohol, then you may be using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. Better still, you can visit a drug rehab in Austin for proper examination and diagnosis.

Read on to discover five signs to look out for.

Daydreaming About Drugs or Alcohol

If you’re a heavy drug or alcohol user, you may find that your mind wanders when you’re not using drugs or alcohol. This could be because your body is still physically addicted to the substance and needs it to function properly. Daydreaming about using drugs or alcohol could also be a sign of addiction. A person who daydreams about drugs or alcohol may have a hard time controlling their thoughts and actions when they are not under the influence of these substances.

If you notice yourself daydreaming about using drugs or alcohol even when you’re not actually under the influence of them, it’s a good idea to check into what’s going on with your mind.

Mood Swings

You may have mood swings when you use drugs or alcohol. It is normal to experience these mood swings when you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, if they occur frequently and affect your ability to function normally at work or school, it could be a sign that you’re abusing drugs or alcohol. Mood swings can range from mild to severe, but they are never fun to experience.

Always Using Substances in Social Situations

If you’re jonesing for alcohol or drugs at a party, then it may be a sign that you’re using them as a coping mechanism. If you find yourself using substances when around friends who aren’t also using them, it’s important to evaluate whether your behavior is normal or not. Even if everyone else in your group uses drugs and alcohol, you still need to check the volume of use. While others may be social experimenting, you may have become a heavy user unknowingly.

Secretive Behaviors

You may find yourself always hiding or even lying to your friends or family when you are using drugs or alcohol. This may be because you’re having a hard time admitting that you need help because of the shame associated with drug abuse or alcoholism. You may also have to neglect your old friends and hang out with a different set of friends every time.

Needing Drugs or Alcohol to Sleep

If you’re stressed out at work and need a drink to relax, this is not a problem. However, If you’re only able to fall asleep after drinking alcohol or using other drugs, then it may be a sign that you use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism, and you need to seek help immediately.

Alternative Methods of Coping in Recovery


Exercise is a great way to cope with stress. It helps to keep your body healthy and fit, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease and other health problems. Exercise also boosts your mood, reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure or heart disease, and reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.


Humor helps people get through difficult situations by helping them laugh at them instead of focusing on them. It helps in times of stress and is also a very effective way to relieve anxiety and depression.

Communication and Support

Communication and support are two important ways to cope with stress. You can talk about your feelings and discuss what you need from others. When you have someone who cares about you, it will help you feel better by giving you the support that you need. Your friends and family members should also be aware of your situation so they can provide support when needed.

Although drugs and alcohol are often associated with recreation or fun, they can still cause you serious harm, both short and long-term. However, the earlier you seek help, the better for you. Ensure you talk to someone you trust and get professional help for your anxiety and stress.

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