How to Safely Cope with Cravings
January 14, 2019
If you are recovering from Substance Use Disorder, then cravings are perfectly normal. Just because you experience a craving does not mean that you will relapse.
Often, cravings feel more intense when you encounter a “trigger.” Each person will have unique triggers: thoughts, feelings, and memories of substance use. Common triggers for individuals in recovery include:
- Experiencing Stress
- Being Offered a Drink or Drug
- Attending Sporting Events
- Holidays and Other Special Occasions
- Feelings of Loneliness or Depression
You can steer clear of some triggers. For example, you may choose to distance yourself from people who you associate with substance use or check to see if substance use is featured in a movie you would like to see. Other triggers, however, are unavoidable. That is why you need to develop strategies before you encounter a trigger and experience a craving.
Get Away from the Trigger
If you move away from a triggering situation, then the craving will quickly lessen. Separating yourself from a trigger may mean physically leaving a location or turning your mind to a new activity.
Wait Out the Craving
If you do not give in to a craving, then it will go away. Get up and do something else for 15 minutes, such as taking a walk or listening to music. When that 15 minutes has passed, it’s very possible that your craving will have passed, too.
Dispute the Craving’s “Logic”
When a craving arises, it can be difficult to see the big picture of why you must resist it. The negative consequences of substance use may be hard to come up with in the moment. You may want to prepare a counterstatement to combat any self-destructive thought processes.
Accept the Current Situation
The more you try to fight a craving and argue against it, the more you are focusing on that urge. One way to cope with a craving is to accept it and acknowledge the thoughts and sensations you experience. Describe these thoughts and sensations to yourself until you no longer feel the urge to use.
Reach Out to Your Support System
There are people in your life who want you to succeed. They will gladly pick up the phone or come for a visit if it means that you continue to live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to reach out when you’re struggling.
At Beacon Point Recovery Center, a trusted provider of alcohol, opioid, and heroin inpatient rehab in Mercer County, we strive to create a dedicated support system for each client. If you are in recovery from Substance Use Disorder and are looking for residential inpatient treatment in Philadelphia County, then please call 215-344-7578.