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What Are Drug Dreams and Why Can’t I Stop Having Them?

Recovering from addiction can bring up interesting challenges. One of them can be really stressful unless you are prepared ahead of time that it may happen. Even then, it can bring up lots of emotions and feelings. Drug dreams are not just an individual thing, they happen to many people in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. It is normal to have them but learning to cope is the best way to combat the negative feelings associated with them.

What They Mean

The subconscious mind is a funny thing. Even for people in recovery, cravings still pop up time to time. The conscious mind knows having one more sip, or a slip up, can lead to negative consequences. The subconscious mind may still be fixated on the addiction. Once a person falls asleep, it is the subconscious mind that slips back into the vivid imagery of drinking and over-indulging in drugs which seem very real at the time.

Effects of Dreaming

Waking up from a dream about using drugs or alcohol can be frightening. It might even seem so real you question whether you must have done something the night before you don’t remember. It takes awhile to realize it was only a dream, but it does not stop the flood of negative emotions from entering the mind and body. The impact of it may include:

  • Feeling the longing or desire to use the substance again which precludes a possible relapse
  • Recovery affirming dreams where you realize it was a dream and feel relieved it was not real. Feelings of repulsion occur which helps feel less anxious or stressed about whether relapse is on the horizon

How to Cope

It is really hard to stop drug dreams from happening. It’s simply the mind’s way of coping with a new state of being in recovery. If you take some steps to cope in a positive way, it will help create space for your recovery:

  • Understand the feelings that came up. Write down the dream and associated feelings.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Speak with a sponsor or attend a recovery meeting where you can speak to someone you trust. Talk out loud which may help uncover some hidden feelings within the dream.
  • Be mindful of triggers. Sometimes wandering past an old hangout or seeing an old friend can trigger a dream. Maybe something that was said at work or home. Work to avoid these in the future if it seems this triggered the dream (and residual feelings).

It helps to relieve stress and exercise every day to prevent drug dreams. Sometimes the body just needs to release pent up energy so it does not revert to old habits (thinking of using, dreaming, etc). Mindfulness practices and relaxation before bed can be helpful in calming the mind before bed. It may not totally prevent it but it can help alleviate them and offset the negative charge it gives afterward.

If you are concerned about drug dreams, triggers, or cravings to use drugs or alcohol, The Serenity Recovery Center can help. We will design a program with you in mind created by our professional staff. You do not have to cope alone with addiction. We are available 24/7 at our toll-free number: 844-339-6964. Call now.