Everyone has their reasons for why they struggle with addiction, often being very personal and deeply emotional. However, one of the most common underlying causes of addiction is grief. When someone goes through grief, they are often looking for something to make the pain go away. Without proper coping mechanisms, individuals will often turn to drugs or alcohol. By understanding grief’s role, individuals can avoid potential addiction, relapse, and learn how to heal totally and completely. 

What is Grief?

Grief is the emotional and physical response that often comes through a loss of some kind. This could be experiencing a loved one’s death, the end of a relationship, or a significant personal change. Everyone grieves for different reasons and in different ways, with the grief period lasting anywhere from days to years. At times, grief can derail a person’s life by causing them not to fulfill their typical daily responsibilities. Some turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain, which can often result in addiction.

Grief and Addiction

Those that have experienced grief most likely understand how traumatic it can be. Grief is not just a psychological response, but it can also cause physical reactions within your body. Grief can often lead to suppressed or increase appetite, sleep loss, oversleeping, headaches, and feelings of sadness or hopelessness. To cope with these symptoms, some people turn to drugs and alcohol. While this may seem like a good option at first, drugs and alcohol often prolong the grieving and healing periods because they do nothing for the long term. Instead, they distract you from the pain for a short period until you sober up and once again have to face it. Ultimately, the grief won’t go away until you find proper ways to heal, which is why many find themselves in an addictive cycle as they try to forget their pain.

There is Hope

For those suffering from grief and addiction, there are treatment centers out there to help you. Grief is a common cause of addiction, so professionals are accustomed to finding the right ways to help individuals heal when caught in a cycle of grief and addiction. All you have to do is take the first step and reach out.


Grief is never easy to go through, and everyone finds ways to cope with their grief differently. Unfortunately, some individuals turn to drugs or alcohol because they believe these substances will take away their pain. The reality is that drugs and alcohol will only take away your pain temporarily until you are sober again and have to face it. At Alta Loma Transformational Services, we have seen many men who struggle with addiction because of grief and loss. Through our programs focusing on mental health and addiction, these men have found success and healing for long term sobriety. Grief can be painful, but it is possible to remember the loss without feeling the pain it caused. To learn more, call us today at (866) 457-3843.