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When Cravings Hit, What Should I Do?

Cravings are a pesky part of recovery, but as long as you don’t give into them, you are doing sobriety perfectly. In early recovery, cravings may seem like a never-ending occurrence, but just know, they will get better. With time, cravings lessen, sobriety gets easier, and life is simpler.

Until then, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for when the urge to drink or use strikes. Remember, cravings are just a feeling. Some cravings may be mild while others are more intense. The disease of addiction uses these feelings to push you into getting what it wants. The more you are able to work through them, the easier it is to identify and acknowledge them for what they are, then handle them accordingly.

If you can identify triggers that may set cravings off, you can plan ahead to cope with them more easily. For instance, stressful family get-togethers may create a lot of anxiety for you; if you can plan to leave when you need to or are prepared to answer uncomfortable questions, the cravings you experienced in the past may lessen. It is also helpful to have a list of people who you trust and who you can call when you feel on edge. Talking it through takes the power out of these feelings, and allows others to keep you in check.

Another good tool, is to play the tape through. Think about your addiction, and remember what happens if you pick up. Addiction is a progressive disease, and everything that you have put into where you are today, will disappear once you take a drink or a drug. If you thought your life was bad just before you got clean and sober, a relapse will make it exponentially worse. You could lose your freedom, job, family, relationships, home, car, and everything else that matters to you.

We all have experienced cravings at one point or another. The key is to ride them out and wait for them to pass. Try getting out for a walk or a swim. Call a trusted friend, or try meditation and yoga. Journaling is also a helpful tool to get the thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Whatever you do, don’t pick up. When you look back at what you’ve been able to get through without using, you might just realize you are stronger than you thought. Detox and treatment can help you build the skills you need to handle stressors like cravings. Call us today, we can teach you what you need to know and help you move into recovery safely and comfortably.

The Serenity Recovery Center stands as a landmark of the Encino Hospital Medical Center offering the best of detox. Committed to providing comfort and care, our private detox program supports the first foundational steps of sobriety. Contact us today for information: 866.294.9401