Addiction is so hard to overcome because it is accompanied by changes in the brain that make your body dependent on the drug. Addicts come to crave their abused drug of choice constantly and their addiction gets worse. Treatment helps addicts to stop abusing these substances, but during and even after a drug detox, these addiction cravings do not just go away. Certain stimuli that can prompt a drug craving, also known as drug triggers, can be everywhere for someone in recovery and sometimes hard to ignore. Unfortunately, many recovering addicts are left to cope with drug cravings even years after getting sober.
How to Deal with Addiction Cravings
The good news is that it does get better. Addiction cravings in early recovery typically tend to be stronger and more frequent than those much later after initially getting sober. That being said, dealing with drug cravings at any point in your recovery can be difficult and lead to relapse if not properly managed. Instead of letting these cravings derail your progress, our luxury dual diagnosis treatment center is sharing some insight on how to fight addiction cravings.
Especially if you feel like a relapse is imminent, you need to reach out for support immediately. Call a loved one you trust or your sponsor so that they can help talk you through this craving. When your addiction cravings are strong, it is best if they are nearby so they can come to you and ensure that you do not relapse.
Sometimes the best way to deal with drug cravings is to get away from the drug trigger that caused it. Your brain may associate your former drug or alcohol abuse with certain situations, environments, or people. When you come in contact with these triggers, your brain is more likely to experience addiction cravings. By simply removing yourself from these situations, you will find that your drug cravings often go away.
Find Another Way to Cope
Many former addicts abused drugs or alcohol to cope with their negative feelings. Now that they are sober, they need to find new ways to deal with their issues, including those that come with the pull of addiction cravings. Exercising, journaling, drawing, listening or music, or even cleaning are all good choices. These activities not only distract your mind, but they also train your brain to find healthier ways to cope instead of drugs or alcohol. With repetition, your brain will be more likely to turn to these healthy habits instead of craving substance abuse.
Remind Yourself of Your Progress
While taking one hit or having one drink may be tempting, it can quickly lead back to full-blown addiction and a return trip to rock bottom. When you are feeling weak, try to remind yourself of what it was like to be addicted and why you decided to get sober in the first place. Next, take a second to recognize your progress and future goals. Focusing on the big picture of your sobriety can help you undermine your temporary addiction cravings.
Even if you know how to fight addiction cravings, it is still possible to slip up. Relapse is a part of the recovery process for many, but it is important to make sure that it ends with that one mistake. At Seaside Palm Beach, we not only work with patients on overcoming their addiction, but also educate them on relapse prevention techniques like SMART recovery to help them stay on track.
If you or a loved one recently relapsed or have yet to take the first step to recovery, let us help. To learn more about our facility or to get started, call us today at 561-677-9374.