Does Cold Weather Really Affect Addiction?

alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NCThe weather is a tricky thing that can affect your mood, energy levels, and associations more than you realize. Even progress with drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC can be affected. There are four meteorological seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter— and with those seasons come all sorts of activities, holidays, and weather changes. Think about your mood on days when it’s bright, sunny, and warm outside. Do days like that inspire you to get up and do something active? It makes you feel happy and alive. On days that it’s gloomy, cold, and overcast do you want to stay bundled up inside feeling kind of down?

Since the weather can affect your mood and activity levels in this way, do you think it’s safe to assume it can also affect substance abuse and addiction in a person? A key reason as to why addiction rates appear higher in the winter season is because of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the common winter weather patterns and holidays.

However, there are also steps that can be taken to help yourself or a loved one combat addiction through the winter months. If you have a family member who is suffering with addiction issues, or if you are dealing with a substance abuse problem, give Legacy Freedom a call. We want to help you in 2017 with quality alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC.

Can Cold Weather Affect Addiction Problems?

Many addicts will admit that they’re more likely to use when feeling depressed and sad because it’s a lot harder to really care about anything at all. And everyone has heard of the “winter blues,” right? Due to a fall in temperatures and less hours of sunlight there is a decrease in serotonin and melatonin levels in the body, which can directly affect one’s mood.

People who are affected by this change from warm to cold seasons typically have what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). However, there are a very small percentage of people who are affected in the same way, but for the opposite seasons, meaning they fall into a depression during spring and summer.

Some key signs to look for when watching out for SAD include a sudden change in appetite, concentration problems, lethargy, depression, anxiety, and oversleeping. These symptoms can lead to withdrawal from social situations, having problems at work or school, and can even lead to substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. SAD is genetic so people who have family members with a history of this disorder are more likely to have it as well. In addition, females and those who live far from the equator are more likely to be affected.

A study released in 2007 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that around 60% of people who are substance abusers also have a mental health disorder. This information suggests that the disease of addiction and mental health disorders may have some similar genetic makeup.

If you, or someone you love, are combating the winter blues and feel the urge to use, please contact Legacy Treatment Center today. We can get you the help you need towards recovery. Legacy offers a wide variety of treatment plans for drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC and we are sure we can find one to help you on your journey to a sober and happy life. Keep reading to learn other ways the cold weather could affect your recovery and learn some tips to prevent a relapse.

With winter comes many holidays that are celebrated throughout all different religions. With holidays, come traditions and sometimes traditions might not be the best thing when trying to fight an addiction. Many holidays like Halloween and New Year's Eve are celebrated by partying. Holidays like Thanksgiving may cause stress-inducing tension due to family gatherings. The response to these triggers could be the desire to use or drink, especially if there are other people around you doing it.

alcohol and drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NCA report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and Administration in 2012 showed that more kids between the ages of 12 to 17 years old drink alcohol for the first time in the month of December than in any other month. If parents let kids try alcohol for the first time in celebration of the holiday season, this could later lead them to feel as thought they have permission when the urge to drink kicks in around this time of year. Many people spend the holiday season alone that, along with SAD, can lead to deep feelings of depression and this could be a trigger for some to use. If you fall into this category, call Legacy Freedom for quality drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC.

With the colder seasons come drastic weather changes like snow, sleet, freezing rain, and lots of ice. When the weather changes barometric pressure changes as well. Air pressure is the force exerted onto a surface by the weight of the air. So, in essence, barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere. Some people experience more joint pain, inflammation and swelling in the colder months due to a drop in this pressure.

The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry published a study stating that the drop in barometric pressure is associated with an increase in impulsive behavior. The study also stated that there was an increase in emergency room visits and violent incidents. During bad weather, people are less likely to brave the roads to go out to do something and this results in boredom. Any of these things could make a person want to drink or use drugs because they think there just isn’t anything else to do.

While it could seem that the odds are against you during these winter months, there are steps you can take if you’re a recovering addict, trying not to over indulge, or are helping a loved one on their journey to sobriety. The first step to helping yourself or a loved one is to be aware that it will get harder during this time. Perhaps it would help to list certain situations that could arise and possible solutions to those problems.

For example, if you know Uncle Jim is going to break out the traditional bottle of liquor at the end of the family Christmas party, perhaps it would be smart to get there early so you can still spend time with everyone, but leave before you’re put in a high risk situation. If you have thought about a wide range of possibilities and how to handle them, it will be much harder for you to be caught off guard. Make sure you have someone you trust and feel like you can honestly communicate with if you find yourself slipping and be sure to reach out to them as soon as you need to.

Always reach out for professional help if you begin to show signs of a mental health disorder like SAD. Make plans, like movie days or snowy walks for the days you know you’ll be bored due to bad weather conditions. Don’t put yourself in situations that you will be tempted if you can help it.

Affordable and Dependable Drug Rehabilitation in Raleigh NC | Legacy Freedom

If you want a second chance at having the life you deserve in 2017 but are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today. Located in Raleigh, NC, Legacy Freedom Treatment Center has programs that are tailored to your needs. You won’t find a more comprehensive rehab program in North Carolina. We want to help you overcome your addiction so that you can begin to love a happier, more fulfilling life. When you call, you will speak with an admissions counselor ready to answer any questions you may have about our drug rehabilitation in Raleigh NC. We hope to hear from you soon.

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