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Stress Management: What You Should Know About Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs..When You Are Feeling Stressed
STRESSED OUT?<br />Is alcohol, tobacco and another drug one of your tools to help calm things down? <br />Rethink…are you helping or increasing your stress?<br />Office of Health Education and Promotion, Health Services<br />University of New Hampshire<br />www.unh.edu/health-services<br />Facebook/Twitter: UNHHealth<br />
I feel clamer when I smoke or chew tobacco. <br />FACT:<br />Nicotine is a stimulant. Instead of calming you down it is actually speeding up bodily functions.<br />Sometimes when people are dependant on nicotine, smoking or<br />chewing does seem to calm them down, but really the feelings of <br />stress are being caused by withdrawal. As nicotine leaves the body, <br />withdrawal kicks in, increasing stress and anxiety. Then the person <br />uses nicotine products to relax. It seems that nicotine helped but <br />really the feelings of withdrawal are subsided for the time being. <br />Unfortunately, those feelings will be back and the person will need <br />more nicotine. <br />
Nocotine can also impact ….<br />sleep patterns, which can increase<br />stress.<br />and<br />immune systems which can increase a<br />person’s chances of getting sick.<br />
I know misuing drugs may be harmful but it really does seem to relieve stress. <br />FACT:<br />Some drugs affect the brain the same way stress does. Long-term drug use makes the users more sensitive to everyday stress than non-users. <br />
I use drugs occassionally when I am stressed out – it is not like I use all the time. How bad can that be?<br />FACT:<br />There are several reasons why using drugs to handle stress can lead to problems. <br />Drugs can often have the reverse effect than expected, therefore increasing stress levels.<br />Drugs can affect sleep and eating patterns which can actually increase overall stress.<br />Stress can put people at risk for substance abuse, especially if using drugs to off set the stress. <br />
I find having a few drinks relaxing.<br />FACT:<br />Alcohol relaxes people due to its depressant qualities. <br />Women and men can have 1 – 2 drinks, per day and not be negatively impacted physically by that amount. Some may actually see a health benefit. <br />But when people drink over these quantities, they risk a variety of impairment problems and unwanted consequences and also increase their stress levels. <br />
About High-Risk Drinking<br />One night of high-risk <br />drinking may make the <br />stress seem better in the <br />moment, but the <br />causes of stress will <br />remain and may be <br />worse the next day. <br />High-risk drinking can<br />cause physical stress to <br />the body. It can take <br />up to 72 hours for the <br />body to repair itself <br />from a night of high-risk <br />drinking. In the <br />meantime, the causes <br />of stress may continue. <br />
About High-Risk Drinking<br />Drinking may help you <br />fall asleep but it will<br />disrupt impair<br />sleep which can <br />increase stress the next <br />day. <br />High- risk drinking can <br />decrease the immune <br />system, making it more <br />likely that you will get <br />sick.<br />Research has shown that when one is experiencing highly stressful events (a death, sickness, breakup) this can influence their use of alcohol. When alcohol is used in these situations the more likely it may be that people will develop patterns of drinking that can be difficult to change later on. <br />
All stress is bad for you.<br />FACT:<br />Stress can help you deal with tough situations. It can also be used as a motivator to finish projects, a paper, or study for an exam.<br />Stress can also be associated with positive changes such as starting school, a new job or deciding to study abroad. <br />
Build Your Stress Toolbox<br />Learn how to manage stress and leave alcohol, tobacco and other drugs out! <br /><ul><li>Take a nap
Learn stress management techniques with a Wellness Educator/Counselor at Health Services (862-3823)
Or use any other tool you find relaxing and that will put you in the right frame of mind to tackle your next task.</li></li></ul><li>The Office of Health Education and Promotion, Health<br />Services offers the following services to help you manage<br />stress:<br />- Stress management education/counseling<br />- Alcohol, tobacco and other drug education/counseling<br />- Individual and group meditation sessions<br />- Biofeedback<br />- Massage therapy <br />- Check out books, videos and CDs on a variety of<br /> wellness topics from the Resource Library <br />- And more…! <br />(603) 862-3823<br />www.unh.edu/health-services <br />Resources at UNH <br />