There are seven characteristics of effective coping behavior:
- Actively exploring reality issues and searching for information.
- Freely expressing both positive and negative feelings and tolerating frustration.
- Actively invoking help from others.
- Breaking problems into manageable bits and working through them one at a time.
- Being aware of fatigue and pacing coping efforts while maintaining control in as many areas of functioning as possible.
- Mastering feelings where possible, being flexible and willing to change. Trusting in oneself and others and having basic optimism about the outcome. When these coping methods break down, and the individual turns to drugs as their preferred method of coping, then the need for an intervention becomes much more likely.