The Meaning Behind Drug-Related Dreams

woman waking up from a dream

Everybody dreams. Some you remember, and some you do not. Some are enjoyable and some are less than enjoyable.

When processing past trauma, such as living with a substance use disorder, it is common for drug-related dreams to manifest. These can be dreams portraying relapses or even snap-shot memories of past substance misuse. To get the most out of professional addiction recovery, it is important to learn more about the connection between sleep and recovery.

Dreams serve many purposes for mental health, including processing certain information and experiences. If you have been through life with a substance use disorder, you are not alone in experiencing drug-related dreams. This is how your mind is processing what you have been through to properly heal.

Understanding Dreams

A dream related to past alcohol or narcotic substance misuse could signify a disturbance in your mental state. This is common in addiction recovery, as the process of overcoming a substance use disorder can induce both stress and anxiety, common triggers of intense dream states. A drug-related dream may delve into the unconscious urges from past substance use disorders that need to be addressed in addiction recovery.

The best way to begin to process your specific drug-related dreams, particularly during your addiction recovery, is as a tool to further your self-awareness. Dreams offer a glimpse into your unconscious mind and underlying distresses or concerns. Instead of looking at a drug-related dream as a cause for shame or distress, it instead can be an opportunity to learn more about what you specifically need to concentrate on with your mental health.

A woman sitting in bed while writing in a journal

Processing Drug-Related Dreams

Group and individual therapy is a huge part of addiction recovery and can be a forum to process your drug-related dreams. Your protocol of treatment can be adjusted to help treat whatever increased stressors or anxieties you could be facing through your addiction recovery to further help lay the foundation for long-term success. Mental health professionals are equipped to give you the guidance you need to turn a drug-related dream into a learning experience rather than a method by which to derail addiction recovery.

One report from the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour in London found that more than 85 percent of individuals within their first six weeks of living substance-free had drug-related dreams, and each person averaged about two of these dreams per month. People who experienced these dreams were more likely to relapse prior to the six-month mark. These statistics underscore the importance of addressing drug-related dreams in addiction recovery.

Professional addiction recovery and Washington State addiction treatment resources can help you learn about your dreams and provide you with the support network to be successful in addiction recovery.  A residential treatment facility can be an effective format to help address your mental health, including your dream state, while treating a substance use disorder. Help is always available and mental health professionals are standing by to answer your questions about treatment options. Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield today.

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