Recovery from a substance abuse problem won’t happen overnight. There will be many roadblocks in your journey during addiction treatment in Princeton Junction, not the least of which will be cravings for your drug of choice.
Cravings can be prompted by triggers, but they can also seemingly come from nowhere. You may experience cravings that develop with no obvious catalyst, spurred by things as simple as free time, sexual arousal, mood swings and daydreaming. Because cravings can be so unpredictable, it will help to develop a plan to deal with them now, before they have the chance to take you by surprise.
When you feel cravings during addiction treatment, take away some of their power by:
- Getting help. When a craving strikes, immediately call, email or visit a member of your support system. Talking out your cravings with someone who supports your abstinence can be a powerful help in preventing them from leading to drug use.
- Doing something else. When you feel a craving, take your mind off drug use by occupying your mind and body with another activity. Though it may not seem like your situation has caused your cravings, new surroundings can give you visual cues that focus your attention on the outside world. Instead of wallowing in your cravings and dreading where they may lead, leave the room and do something that distracts you and is completely unrelated to drug use, like going for a walk or exercising.
- Looking at the whole picture. When you’re craving a drug, you may idealize the thought of using, reminiscing of little but the positive effects. It’s a sensation known as euphoric recall that distorts the truth of the substance’s impacts. Remember to think past the high to the crash and consequences that follow, giving your cravings a reality check.
- Riding it out. Remember: cravings will fade with time. If only for five to 10 minutes, delay your intention to use and detach yourself from your cravings, thinking of how they might appear to an outside observer. Cravings typically peak and then recede in less than 30 minutes, so do whatever you can to stave them off until they subside. Relaxation and stress management techniques can also help with this.
Though cravings are a frequently troublesome aspect of addiction treatment, they do not have to lead to relapse. For more advice on managing your cravings, speak with your addiction specialist.