As someone who is just beginning their journey to sobriety or who has only been in recovery for a short time, it is important for you to understand that your strong addiction cravings are a normal and expected part of recovery. If you don’t have a full understanding of cravings in addiction recovery, your cravings may become a stumbling block or source of discouragement during your treatment.
Here at 12 Keys Rehab, we want you to be successful and to feel empowered while in recovery, so we have put together a resource of five tips for managing cravings and urges to use substances:
#1. Be Aware of Your Triggers
For many individuals in recovery, their strongest cravings are triggered by certain circumstances or old habits associated with their previous substance abusing ways. Since your recovery will be unique, managing your cravings and urges to use substances is reliant on identifying your own personal triggers.
#2. Make a Plan for Resisting Urges
Even with a clear awareness of your triggers, you’ll still experience urges and cravings during recovery. While avoiding your triggers is always helpful, it is vital to your success that you have a plan in place for when you do experience cravings. Who will you call? What will you do instead of using?
#3. Create a Support System
Managing your addiction cravings is difficult for you to do alone. That’s why programs such as AA are built around the sponsor relationship. Whether or not you are in a formal program like AA, it’s important to have a strong support system in place. Determine who in your life can best support and encourage you when you’re experiencing strong cravings and urges during recovery.
#4. Change Your Routine and Environment
If you’re like many individuals who are managing cravings in recovery, your old routines and environments can be the worst triggers for cravings. Here are a few ideas for changing up your routine and environment:
- If you typically drink while watching TV after work, ask a friend to meet you for a walk after dinner each evening.
- If you abuse illicit drugs with a certain friend group on the weekends, join a support group on the weekend in place of that old weekend routine.
- If loneliness triggers your cravings, spend as much time as possible with supportive friends and family. When you’re alone, try to spend time in places, such as libraries or museums, where drugs and alcohol are not allowed.
#5. Get Professional Help
Getting professional help during your recovery may be the best decision you can make. In a professional environment, you can get the support and treatment you need to successfully resist cravings to use the substance you are addicted to. There are many solutions for dealing with severe cravings, including medication during withdrawal, therapy for any mental or behavioral health issues or healing from the past wounds that contributed to your addiction.
To learn more about managing addiction cravings and to get help now, contact 12 Keys today. A knowledgeable and judgment-free representative is available to answer your questions about recovery 24 hours a day, seven days a week.