Stress in Washington State

The stress of life can make recovery more difficult if there is no understanding of how to manage stress in safe and healthy ways. Free by the Sea, a drug and alcohol recovery center located in the State of Washington, assists individuals in developing the skills needed to manage and control stress.

Serving the Pacific Northwest, including Washington (Seattle), Oregon (Portland), and Alaska.

If your goal is long-term sobriety, our program can help you as it has helped many others achieve successful sobriety. We will teach you techniques to manage stress and help you meet your goals and reclaim your life.

Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, such as a violent act or deadly accident, can lead to acute stress disorder (ASD). Fear and hopelessness are feelings that are often described by those who experience ASD. The feelings often begin to show themselves within a month of the traumatic event. ASD can sometimes lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

People who suffer from ASD can exhibit erratic behavior, have panic or anxiety attacks, experience depression, or develop substance abuse.

Signs of Acute Stress Disorder

A person’s body reacts physically when a person feels threatened or perceives a dangerous situation. The response is often referred to as “fight-or-flight” mode that may manifest through

  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Profuse sweating
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Increased respiration or panting

The response is a result of the body releasing adrenaline into the system to prepare itself to run or fight, and it happens when a person is under acute stress. Acute stress disorder is when a person reacts this way when people who do not have ASD would ordinarily not perceive a threat or feel stress under the same circumstances. ASD typically happens after the experience of a traumatic event and the emotional aftermath.

Examples of Trauma Events

Any of the following events may trigger ASD:

  • Rape
  • Violent injury
  • Natural disaster
  • Near death experience
  • Abduction
  • Vehicular accident
  • War or combat
  • Witnessing a violent attack or death
  • Terrorist bombing

Stress and the Addiction Cycle

All people experience some level of stress in their lives. Stress is simply the mental and emotional strain experienced during challenging situations. Adrenalin and other stress hormones are released in mild amounts in the body every day. Severe stress is when these hormones are at higher than normal levels. People with ASD typically have these higher than normal levels, and the intense stress can overwhelm the person and cause them to seek out ways to dull their senses and limit the stress. This can ultimately lead to substance abuse issues.

Signs of Addiction

Addiction is the dependence on alcohol or chemicals found in prescription drugs or illegal substances. People with this dependency are unable to control their drug use or alcohol consumption, and they cannot stop taking the substance, even when they want to after seeing the harm it is causing them. Casual drug or alcohol use can still lead to addiction if a person is no longer able to control their craving for the substance. Health deteriorates as a result of substance abuse, both physically and mentally. Workplace and personal relationships suffer and jobs are lost. Addiction symptoms include the following:

  • Inability to stop using drugs or alcohol
  • Neglect of personal appearance
  • Inability to cope without using drugs or alcohol
  • Difficulties at work or school
  • Constant feeling of need for drugs or alcohol
  • Change in personality
  • Severe mood swings
  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies previously enjoyed
  • Excessive spending on drugs or alcohol and increased debt
  • Criminal behavior
  • Accidents and physical health problems

People who suffer from addiction spend their lives focused on the substance they use. They are concerned only with acquiring it, taking it, and handling the consequences. Becoming a substance abuser to dampen acute stress disorder only makes those symptoms worse in the end with the added stress of handling the addiction.

Dual Diagnosis and Treatment

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recognizes that people diagnosed with anxiety or mood disorders are more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. For alcohol or drug addiction to be treated successfully, it is necessary to also treat acute stress disorder at the same time. This dual diagnosis means that the issues of both the mental disorder and the addiction must be treated, each in their own way, but simultaneously. If the ASD is not addressed, then the condition can become more severe, and there will be resistance to the treatment for substance abuse and a very high chance of relapse after the treatment.

Why Choose Free by the Sea?

Free by the Sea is a beautiful campus, located on the Long Beach Peninsula in Ocean Park, WA. Our community of dedicated professionals are committed to provide care to all individuals with dignity and respect. Client centered care respectful of individual needs and concerns is the foundation of our approach. We adhere to evidence-based practices which are focused on successful outcomes for long term recovery. Services provided include:

  • 77 treatment beds.
  • Professional staff including psychiatrists, addictionologist and psychologist.
  • Medical team includes Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse and Physician’s Assistant
  • Masters level addiction counselors.
  • High quality evidence-based addiction treatment, including gambling.
  • DBT, CBT, EMDR and trauma informed treatment addresses underlying issues of addiction that include depression, anxiety, self-esteem and relationships.
  • Relapse Prevention, Life Skills, Addiction education provided in groups and individual sessions
  • Twelve step meetings include celebrate recovery, wellbriety, dual disorder and AA/NA/GA
  • We offer residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient levels of care.
  • Peaceful and safe setting located on five acres facing the Pacific Ocean.
  • Multi-sport areas that include volleyball/basketball courts and an exercise room.
  • Nutritionally designed meals to restore health

Don’t Wait. Call Today.

Addiction ruins lives and destroys relationships. The addicted person can lose everything if treatment isn’t sought to end the dangerous cycle of addiction. Contact Free by the Sea at 907-331-0724 for more information on stopping addiction.

Contact Free by the Sea

Free by the Sea is the State of Washington’s premier treatment facility where addicts and ASD sufferers can begin recovery in a peaceful environment. The staff at Free by the Sea fully understand the addiction process and the underlying stress you are under. We are trained to help you develop coping skills and handle the stress unique to you and your life. Contact us to obtain more information about our treatment plans designed to help you or your loved one effectively manage stress and successfully recover from addiction.