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The Connection Between Grief and Addiction


The natural response to pain and sadness that accompanies loss is grief. Most people may ask how long grief lasts but the answer to this is that nobody knows.

A lot of us may experience grief as long as it takes for us to adjust to the different changes that occur with loss in our lives. It may take months or years. Grieving individuals may also feel numb or removed from their daily life, causing more and more emotional stress that can disrupt regular duties and responsibilities. Grief can also trigger anger and frustration, even anxiety disorders and depression.

People’s natural reaction to grief is to avoid it. While everyone deals with the pain differently, many may turn to drugs and alcohol just to cope with the overwhelming suffering. This is why substance abuse treatment is very necessary. It addresses all types of root causes of substance abuse, including loss and concomitant grief.

A research study shows that some forms of grief increase the risk of developing a substance abuse disorder. Another study found that men bereaved for two years are more than twice as likely to have an alcohol use disorder than those who are not grieving.

Complicated grief, according to research, can activate the nucleus accumbens – a part of the brain’s reward center that plays a vital role in addiction-related behaviors. Undeniably, a person who carries emotional stress and pain from the death of a loved one may easily find dealing with it very challenging. Hence, our drug treatment center in California can be the right intervention.

Call New Hope Drug & Alcohol Treatment Program, Inc. Let our recovery program in Los Angeles, California help you deal with both grief and substance abuse.

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