Does My Anger Cause My Drug Use?

drug use

Anger is often associated in the public mind with substance use. Most drug treatment programs today actually treat drug use as if it were a real disease. These programs promote the disproven theory that an addiction gene is inherited, that the addiction “disease” cannot be cured, and that individuals who have a substance use problem are powerless over their “disease.” According to 12 step programs, anger can result in relapse and therefore should be avoided at almost all costs. For the individual seeking help for a drug use problem, this may be easier said than done.

However, according to many behavioral scientists and researchers, anger is a learned coping mechanism and it not always bad. Indeed, it can serve to protect and benefit us.  Drug use can also have a very powerful effect on our emotions: your anger does not cause your drug use, but your drug use may be causing your anger.

Many professionals agree that the best approach to dealing with drug related anger is a cognitive behavioral program. Cognitive behavioral education demonstrates that emotions and behaviors, including anger and drug use, are choices that we make. The fact is that you are in control of your choices and decisions and you have the power to reevaluate the decisions that are related to your drug use. Unlike 12 step programs that judge, label, and manipulate individuals to control them, cognitive behavioral education helps individuals identify and correct challenging behaviors that are related to drug use.

Cognitive behavioral education helps individuals end their drug use by identifying the choices, habits and behaviors that result in drug use and changing those choices, habits and behaviors. As individuals consider their choices and the positive and negative outcome of their choices, they are able to make better, more productive choices that lead to positive outcomes.

Your anger does not cause your drug use. In fact, according to many cognitive behavioral scientists, there are no causes for drug use, only reasons for drug use. You have the power to control your reasons for using drugs and your choices about drug use or non-use. Stress will always exist in life and cognitive behavioral education teaches people struggling with substance use how to deal with stress in a way that does not result in drug use.

St. Jude Retreats use cognitive behavioral education to teach their guests effective self-assessment and self-change. The Retreats’ guests learn how to reevaluate their goals, choices, habits and behaviors and to be proactive by making choices that are productive and positive and developing habits and behaviors that lead to a more purposeful and happy life.

St. Jude Retreats provide a non-treatment program. Traditional treatment programs follow the disproved and counterproductive theory that you cannot change and that you will need treatment therapy for the rest of your life. St. Jude Retreats help their guests understand that they have the power to change and to go on to have long term success without ever resorting again to the use of drugs.

St. Jude Retreats are non-religious, non-profit, and demonstrably highly effective.