The Link Between Weather & Substance Abuse

For those who are currently struggling with addiction, or have struggled with addiction in the past, cold weather can pose as more of a problem than one might expect. For, it is during the cold months, when a small amount of light shines through the overcast of clouds, that many who face seasonal depression, and even those who don’t, begin to notice a change within their mood. Some might not understand it, while others might not even be aware of the effect that the weather has on them, but it does, and creeps in ever so slowly, making it difficult for recovering addicts, as well as new ones. This can be seen especially in the area of Michigan, as the substance abuse outweighs the amount of rehab centers. For, even in googling Michigan rehab, several of small red dots scatter themselves clear across the state map.

Sadly, according to one recent article dating back to May 14, 2018 “one study found that Michigan ranks fourth in the United States for states with the highest drug use in 2018.” And although weather isn’t the only factor to blame, it can still make a big difference as it causes individuals to experience “Lethargy, Difficulty concentrating, Oversleeping, Depression, and Anxiety.” This often happens as a result of individuals being unable to get outside, and/or getting active like they normally would, as they find themselves trapped inside due to cold conditions.  

In turn, this is a season in which it becomes hard for individuals to keep busy, and begin to lack activities to take part in. As a result, this can cause addicts to relapse, especially if they are prone to spending the holidays alone, while people they would normally engage with travel home for the holidays. In fact, loneliness, boredom, and other such feelings/emotions that one might experience during the holiday season can pose as a trigger causing addicts to potentially relapse.

In Detroit, the average annual snowfall for one year totals at 42.7. Detroit’s worst snow storm totals up to be 24.5 inches, with the second being 19.3 inches. In addition, Michigan is known for temperatures in the single digits, as well as in the negatives. As a result, the pain and uncomfortability that addicts might feel as a result of the cold, can also cause them to turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, or to keep warm. In relation to alcohol, many might feel warm by drinking it, but even though it feels as though their body temperature is rising, it in fact “lowers the core temperature of your body”.

In conclusion, the cold weather that the people of Michigan are faced with can very well cause a plethora of other factors to come into play, and affect several struggling with substance abuse, no matter whether it comes in the form of alcohol, drugs, or both. That’s why it is so important that one makes sure to find healthy ways to keep their addiction at bay in the midst of such months, and surround themselves with people, and things that keep their joy up, rather than to isolate themselves indoors from the world that surrounds them.