Cravings are a normal part of the recovery process. Most people find that they are strongest in early recovery, but they can return at different points in your life. It’s possible that some people are predisposed to substance abuse, so when stressful situations arise, they automatically crave drugs and alcohol. This is why our dual diagnosis rehab in California reinforces the notion that addiction recovery is a lifelong process that requires vigilance.
Fortunately, you are not alone when it comes to drug cravings. Because they are normal, there are many known ways to work through them. If you need immediate help, be sure to reach out to your sponsor, an addiction hotline or a treatment center. There are also a number of sobriety apps that can prove helpful.
In the meantime, here are six ways to beat drug cravings.
If you are in a position to do so, talk yourself down from your feelings. Use logic and reason, such as by thinking through all the consequences of using again. It’s helpful to have a list of the reasons why you quit in the first place. This way, when you’re faced with a craving, you can read the list.
Reach Out to Someone
If you are not in a position to talk yourself down, get help from a trusted friend or sponsor. There are online support groups and forums as well. Talking out your feelings can be incredibly helpful in working through the craving and understanding why you are experiencing the desire to use again.
Keep Yourself Busy
Distraction is a great tool. When temptation arises, direct your attention towards something else. This could be reading a book, volunteering your time or cooking meals for the family. It’s important to have hobbies because they keep you busy and enrich your life. It’s common for cravings to arise out of boredom.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective ways to change destructive behaviors. By practicing this therapy with a counselor, you will learn how to cope with cravings when they arise. Some of the techniques learned in CBT are redirection, distraction and visualization. Redirection and distraction involve shifting your focus to other things. Visualization refers to envisioning relaxing settings.
Ride the Wave
Riding the wave, or surfing the urge, is a mindfulness technique that involves accepting the craving for what it is and waiting for it to pass. Rather than resisting, you stop and acknowledge the craving and the feelings you are experiencing. This is not easy to do and requires that you be in tune with yourself, but it can be helpful in waiting for the craving to pass and preserving your energy.
Sometimes, giving yourself some TLC is enough to get through a craving. Often times, people will go through periods that are filled with more cravings than others, so this is a good indication that you need self-care. Eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep and exercise daily. You may also want to increase counseling and support groups during this time.
An intensive outpatient drug rehab in Agoura can be extremely helpful in managing temptation and staying on track with your sobriety goals. To learn more about starting a program of this sort at any point in your journey, contact Awakenings Treatment Center today.