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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety-related mental health disorders make it difficult for some people to manage challenges during recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Sometimes, life stressors become overwhelming and abruptly cause a mental health crisis. Knowing how to handle unexpected stressors reduces the risk of relapse. Studies have shown that “Effective techniques for stress management . . . typically include behaviors that improve physical health, such as nutrition and exercise, but may also incorporate strategies that improve cognitive and emotional functioning.” The clinical team at West Coast Recovery Centers uses therapy and other techniques to help clients develop essential life skills and crisis management strategies. 

Coping With a Crisis During Long-Term Recovery

Life is full of stressful events that cannot be controlled or anticipated. Clients in recovery from SUD have a higher risk of experiencing distressing events in their personal or professional lives. In addition, SUD also reduces a person’s stress threshold, making it more difficult for them to cope with challenges during early recovery. Individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders may struggle to manage their condition if they feel overly stressed. 

Mental health disorders and SUD affect the brain and how it reacts to strong emotions. According to Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, “[T]he stress experience, whether acute or chronic, induces different effects that have been characterized in brain regions such as the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex (PFC) that mediate fear-related memories, working memory, and self-regulatory behaviors.” Coping with stress is more difficult for individuals with a history of chronic stress or trauma. Relapse prevention education helps clients find healthy ways to manage their condition and anticipate issues clients may encounter during and after treatment. 

What Is a Crisis Management Strategy? 

Moments of crisis often happen when people least expect them, making it difficult to anticipate circumstances or establish helpful coping mechanisms in advance. However, crisis management strategies allow clients in recovery to plan ahead and prepare for a wide range of possible crises. Everyone encounters challenges sometimes. How a person responds to the stress affects their sobriety and mental health. 

Individuals with co-occurring disorders like PTSD may have more severe reactions to life stressors and develop maladaptive or self-harming behaviors if they don’t have a healthy way to manage stress. A crisis management strategy reduces the risks by providing clients with a plan for coping with problematic moments in early recovery. 

Crisis management strategies usually involve the following: 

  • A step-by-step guide for responding to unexpected, stressful, or distressing situations 
  • Education about how stress and other factors may impact physical and mental health
  • A list of potential triggers and how to effectively manage them during a crisis 
  • Contact information for all members of a person’s support system and when to contact each one of them

Crisis management strategies usually address general potential issues rather than specific scenarios since clients rarely know what might trigger them.

How Does a Crisis Management Strategy Reduce the Risk of Relapse?

A crisis does not have to be something huge or life-altering to affect a person’s recovery and mental health. Sometimes, a crisis is a small moment that feels unmanageable to someone in recovery. For example, partners may have a small argument over something inconsequential, and the emotional reaction might cause someone with an anxiety-related co-occurring disorder to catastrophize and feel unable to cope. In those moments, having a plan in place and knowing how to react reduces the risk of relapse or self-harm. 

How Does West Coast Recovery Centers Help People Prepare for Long-Term Sobriety?

Long-term sobriety requires sustainable and realistic goals. West Coast Recovery Centers helps people prepare for long-term recovery by ensuring they understand the challenges they may face and how to overcome them in the moment. The clinical team uses psychotherapy, peer support, alternative holistic therapies, and other methods to help clients feel confident in their ability to move forward in their recovery. Coping with co-occurring disorders is more manageable when people successfully manage their health and well-being. 

Gaining Confidence During Treatment and Aftercare

Clients diagnosed with multiple co-occurring disorders often have low self-esteem and self-confidence. Creating a plan to manage symptoms and reduce stress makes it easier for clients to feel comfortable with their ability to manage their condition. 

Clients often gain confidence during treatment and aftercare by doing the following:

  • Confiding in their care team, peers, and family 
  • Playing an active role in their own recovery 
  • Collaborating closely with the care team to identify potential problems and find solutions 
  • Overcoming challenges in early recovery

West Coast Recovery Centers provides clients with the tools they need to feel more secure in managing SUD and meeting recovery goals. The personalized treatment plans address any co-occurring or underlying issues they encounter during rehabilitation. 

Individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring mental health disorders often find coping with everyday stressors or significant life changes more challenging. People in recovery may feel overwhelmed by their symptoms or situations outside their control. Creating a crisis management strategy during treatment makes coping with challenging moments during ongoing recovery easier. The dedicated care team at West Coast Recovery Centers provides clients with the tools they need to create a comprehensive crisis management strategy that covers a wide range of potential scenarios. To learn more about our programs and how we can help you heal from SUD, call our office today at (760) 492-6509. The clinical team can help you successfully recover from mental health disorders and SUD.

West Coast Recovery Centers ( 370135CP), Valid through July 31, 2025
Jackson House Visalia (540056AP), Valid through May 15, 2025
DHCS Licensing and Certification Division