Coping with Cravings

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How Do I Deal with Cravings?

Coping with Cravings

Cravings for one's drug of choice are an inevitable part of the recovery process. Some people experience cravings only as an early part of the process, and others will have intermittent cravings for the rest of their lives. The difference between a craving, however, and indulging in one's drug of choice, is that the craving can be used as a warning sign that you need to stop and do something to protect yourself against the disease of addiction.

Cravings do not generally last more than a minute or two, unless, that is, you allow your mind to indulge in the thought and to become obsessed with the idea of drinking/drugging. Here are some suggestions that can help you, literally, "move your head" to another place BEFORE you take a drink:

  • Immediately call sober supports until you reach a person who is available to talk you back to reality.
  • Think about all of the rewards you have already gotten in recovery and the fact that you do not wish to lose them for the sake of a drink/drug.
  • Start running down the street and release the energy that is consuming your brain. You can also do jumping jacks or run up and down a flight of stairs.
  • Clean your car, your office, your apartment. Don't stop until the craving goes away.
  • Call someone who may need help, like a sick friend or a lonely neighbor.
Change your environment for the time being-if you are in your apartment, go for a walk. If you are in your office go to the bathroom. The simple act of changing can help shift the mind. It is also suggested that you stay away from "triggers" for use. Triggers can vary with each addict, but can include people, places and even objects, smells or songs.

   

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