How to Manage Stress Without Turning to Opiates

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Stress is everywhere. Whether it is a traffic jam on the freeway, an impossible deadline at work, or financial problems at home, stress seems nearly inescapable. For many, opiates become their way of coping with all of the stresses of everyday life. However, this is a very dangerous practice. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40 people die every day from overdosing on prescription painkillers. Not only that, but opiates are highly addictive, and can cause a myriad of health, financial, and personal problems. Fortunately, there are ways to manage stress without turning to opiates.


One method of managing stress is to avoid it in the first place. Learning what stresses you out the most, and then doing everything in your power to stay away from it can greatly reduce the urge to use opiates as a coping mechanism. Some examples of this are:

  • staying off of the freeway while driving,
  • staying away from people that increase your stress levels,
  • taking a low-stress job, and
  • being careful to live within your financial needs.

Doing all of these things can help reduce stress. However, this is not always possible, and trying to avoid stress may cause stress, in and of itself.


listening to music

Listening to music can help you relax.

Another method of managing stress is distracting yourself with a pleasurable activity whenever you get stressed out. Often times, doing something you enjoy can make you forget about your stress, and replace it with the calm that comes from enjoyment. There are as many activities as there are people, but some of the more popular ones include:

  • exercise,
  • martial arts,
  • listening to or playing music,
  • cooking,
  • reading,
  • watching a movie, and
  • spending time with family and friends.

Participating in these activities whenever stress starts getting out of control can help reduce that stress, and prevent the urges to use an escape method like opiates.


The most widely accepted method of managing stress is relaxation. Structured relaxation has been shown to reduce stress, and make it much easier to put things in perspective. This, in turn, makes it easier to resist the urge to take opiates. According to the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health, there are a number of relaxation techniques that can combat stress. These include:

  • yoga,
  • meditation,
  • deep breathing,
  • progressive muscle relaxation, and
  • self-hypnosis.

All of these techniques lead to a relaxed body and mind, thus reducing stress.

Getting Help

There are times when, no matter what you do, the stress of everyday life just becomes overwhelming. It is at these times that resisting the urge to take opiates feels like an impossibility. If this happens, get help. Whether it is from a doctor, counselor, or rehab center, the most important thing is getting the help you need to ensure that you do not continue down the path of opiate abuse and addiction. For more information on managing stress without getting addicted to opiates, call us at 800-442-6158 Who Answers? .

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