Drug and alcohol cravings are an unfortunate part of recovery that all of us have to deal with. While they can happen no matter how much time sober one has, they are particularly difficult to deal with in early sobriety. No matter how bad the craving is, however, it is only temporary. Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks to dealing with a craving, rather than just sitting with it and letting it fester. Here are five tips to stop a craving for drugs and/or alcohol when it occurs.
Candy or sweets
Addiction trains our minds to expect instant gratification. This is exactly what each drink, pill, smoke, etc gives us- instant gratification. When a craving occurs, often times a piece of candy or a sweet will provide a small amount of instant gratification, and thus help end the craving.
Physical activity, such as working out or going for a run, is a great way to release natural endorphins that will fend off a craving. It also has the added benefit of taking the mind off the craving and putting the focus on something healthier.
Going to a meeting
While going to a meeting is always a good idea, it is particularly important if you are experiencing a nagging craving that will not go away. Only people in recovery will understand what experiencing a craving is like and can offer support to get through it. Meetings are also the perfect reminder of all we have worked to achieve, and how far we have come.
Boredom is often one of the chief causes of cravings. Drugs and alcohol often took up the large majority of our lives before we got sober. This leaves a major void, which in turn often leads to boredom and craving. Thus, it is crucial to try and fill this time up with healthy hobbies. Often we have put off learning a new hobby for years as our addictions ran our lives. Sobriety offers the perfect time to finally learn these hobbies.
Calling your sponsor or a member of your support group
One of the most powerful and important tools in getting rid of a craving is vocalizing the craving to either our sponsor or a member of our support group. When left simply craving in our own heads, it can often last for long periods of time, only getting worse. Once we vocalize it to another person, however, it often brings the craving to an immediate halt.
Sometimes we simply need to be reminded of the drastic consequences of relapsing and be reminded that we are powerless over what happens to us after the first drink/drug enters our bodies.
Most importantly, never forget the classic recovery slogan: This too shall pass….
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.