Going through addiction treatment can be one of the most rewarding things to do for any person struggling with the likes of alcohol or drug problems. It’s a step that helps get a person’s life back on track and can lead to a much healthier and happier lifestyle.

But one thing everyone will be taught in an addiction treatment centre, it’s that the hard work continues in recovery and there will be difficult periods, especially when it comes to cravings.

How a person copes with cravings can make or break their sobriety, and while there’s no shame in relapse, doing what you can to prevent that is important.

So, if you are in recovery and are worried about cravings, here are some top tips to help combat them…

Identify Triggers and Avoid Them

If you’ve been through rehab, you’ll have been through a lengthy process on identifying triggers and how to avoid them. It’s so vital to be able to do this.

Identifying situations, emotions and environments that had previously led you to drink, take drugs, gamble or whatever your addiction may be can be really important in essentially avoiding them. The less you find yourself in such situations, the less chance you have of encountering triggers that may lead to cravings.

Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Where once you may have turned to your addiction in times of stress or more difficult emotions, developing and consciously trying to choose healthier coping mechanisms is really important.

The likes of meditation, yoga, exercise and even things like journaling and getting creative can all provide more therapeutic distractions that can ease cravings in a much more effective way. What’s more, they can be much more empowering and promote positive mental health, social interaction and more.

Reach Out for Support

Ultimately, the best thing you can do is reach out for support. Whether that be trusted friends, family members or support groups like AA who will understand what you’re going through, they can all have a positive impact on working through those cravings and strengthening your resilience to them.

Finding empathy, support and experience can be invaluable in getting through such periods, which you can also then use to help others in their time of need too.

Practice Mindfulness and Distraction Techniques

As mentioned, healthy coping mechanisms are key and mindfulness is well worth mentioning as a standalone. Staying present in the moment can be really useful for navigating addiction cravings with more self-control and awareness.

Use distraction techniques and engage your brain in other ways, whether it be through meditation and yoga, or through things like puzzles, watching movies and various other hobbies. This will help break the cycle of obsessive thoughts on a substance and allow cravings to pass with fewer troubles.

Create a Relapse Prevention Plan

Finally, creating a relapse prevention plan is a good first step for managing cravings, while putting something in plan for the event of actually relapsing is also a good idea.

Work with a counsellor or therapist to develop a plan that suits you and your needs, identifying the triggers and the plan of action if you come across those.

Review and update this regularly as you progress through recovery and it’ll reinforce your commitment to sobriety and put you in the best possible position to cope with cravings.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].