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Understanding What Causes Stress
The first stage in preventing
and lowering your own levels of stress is recognizing what stress
is and what the major causes of stress are.

How is Stress Affecting YOU?
How stressed out are YOU?
Let's take a look into what may
be causing your stress levels to
be where they currently are.

Develop a Stress-Relief
Action Plan

Here are some tips for staying
healthy throughout the year on campus and more.

YOUR Stress Relief PLAN : Managing Daily Habits
Knowing how to manage stress
on a day-to-day basis can be just
as tough as dealing with the
stress itself. Here is a guide to
help you along the way.

Stress Relief Products
In addition to a regular stress management program, there
are many tools available to
assist you on your path to a
stress-free lifestyle. Stress Health Network

Stress & Alcohol, Drug Use

There's a strong, well-established connection between how much stress a person is under and their susceptibility to abusing drugs and alcohol. It's also known that people who grew up in an emotionally or physically stressful environment are at a much higher risk for substance abuse.

In a post-September 11 world, many Americans have turned to drugs and alcohol to help combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Because of this, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has issued an alert about the connections between stress and addiction. Among its points:

Stressful events not only influence the abuse of alcohol and drugs, they're also a major contributor to relapse after a period of abstinence.
Exposure to severe stress in childhood increases the likelihood of substance abuse. Among the most common stresses are loss of a parent, child abuse, poverty and living in an unsafe environment.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) typically develops after exposure to a frightening event in which physical harm either occurred or was a substantial threat. Among individuals with substance abuse problems, 30 percent to 60 percent are believed to have underlying PTSD.
Children diagnosed with PTSD have a much greater risk for developing drug and alcohol problems. Early professional intervention with these children is critical.

Prevention

Relying on a network of friends and family, plus healthy behaviors like exercising, can help reduce the desire for drugs and alcohol.
Learning and avoiding personal triggers is critical. Stay away from people, places and events that cause stress or trigger cravings.
Counseling can help people learn better coping and problem-solving skills, thus reducing stress. It's also vital to develop a network of friends and family who can help you abstain from drugs.
When supervised by a physician, some prescription medications can be useful in treating stress-related symptoms, depression and anxiety.
For best results, treatment for PTSD and substance abuse must be simultaneous.

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