Drug Cravings: Avoiding and Coping Strategies
Recovery from addiction is a long process and you will experience craving and urges to use drug along the way. This is because your brain time still needs time to recover or repair connections that were affected while you were addicted. Craving can be intense, but this will subside and become less frequent as you learn to deal with them.
Renaissance Ranch Outpatient and other Salt Lake City drug addiction recovery centers share a few ways on keeping cravings in check:
Stay away from those who use drugs. If your friends and colleagues are still using drugs, stop hanging out with them. The best thing you can do it to surround yourself with people who motivate you to become better and sober, instead of turning back to your old habits.
Avoid certain places like bars. Environments, such as bars, clubs, and other establishments associated with drug use, can increase your risk for relapse. Even if you don’t have alcohol problems, drinking can impair your judgment and lower your inhibitions, tempting you to try sampling or using drugs again.
Use prescription drugs with care. It is advisable to avoid drugs that put you at risk for abuse. Only turn to them when needed or use such drugs with caution. Common medications with a potential for abuse include sleeping pills, painkillers, as well as anti-anxiety drugs.
For the times that you cannot avoid cravings, it best to find ways to cope:
Get busy with other things. Distracting activities, such as going to a movie, reading a book, learning a new hobby, and others make the urges less appealing. When you find something interesting and rewarding to do, the cravings will go away.
Change your thinking. In the event of a craving, you may think about the positive effects of drugs. This is why you should remind yourself that giving in will not really make you feel good. Think about the repercussions, so you’ll avoid doing drugs.
Get support. Talk to family members or friends when you feel the need to use drugs. This can help you identify the source of craving. Talking can also relieve your negative feelings and build honesty in relationships.
Guidance from a medical team can also help you cope with cravings. They may suggest behavioral strategies or prescribe an anti-craving medication.