Cravings are a natural part of recovery. Anyone who’s been addicted has experienced cravings; there’s nothing to be ashamed or worried about. Although cravings may feel awful, if you can stick them out they will decrease in both strength and frequency. All you need to do is wait and stay strong. However, there are some ways that you can help guide yourself through a helpful recovery.
The key to resisting cravings is being able to say that you are not going to give in. Even though you feel the urges and want the substance, you are not going to give in to your desires. Although this sounds simple enough, the drug changes your brain to think that if you want something then you get it. Resisting this urge can be extremely difficult, but it is possible.
The DEADS strategy can help you fight the urges you experience when in recovery. DEADS consists of five steps: Delay, Escape, Accept, Dispute, and Substitute. Cravings will eventually disappear overtime. If you refuse to give in to your urges, they will gradually stop being conscious and eventually fade away completely. Urges usually last for ten minutes, and if you experience very long urges, then you are probably still exposed to the drug. Being able to deny the cravings and get through the tough urges helps you realize that you can recover, and you can beat addiction. Once you manage the cravings, you know you can manage them again.
The next step is escape. Try to get away from any situations or triggers that cause those cravings, and immediately remove yourself if you are in one. If you are in a situation where the craving is constantly brought to the front of your mind, you will be less likely to succeed. By focusing your mind on something else, you can help your urge fade to the back of your head until it eventually disappears.
Accepting that the cravings are going to happen and move on is crucial. Everyone should know that cravings are normal during recovery, and they will not last forever. You need to accept the discomfort you are experiencing and be able to sit through it. Cravings are not the end of the world. By denying yourself the cravings, you are teaching yourself to feel positively about what you are learning and achieving in your recovery.
Make a plan to fight the cravings when they arrive. By creating a grounding statement to help you fight the irrational and insistent cravings, you can better fight relapse. If you look at the things that have caused cravings in the past, you can better create a plan to fight them in the future. All of this will help cravings pass more easily and quickly.
The last step is substitution. You should think of a new activity or thought to engage your mind and body in. Every time an urge appears, fight it by distracting yourself. You can even make a list ahead of time to effectively and quickly stop the urges and distract yourself.
Lead Recovery Center can help guide you on the path to a healthy, happy life. Learn the skills you need to stay independent from addiction and be able to thrive in a healthy life. Call (800) 380-0012 to begin the road to recovery. Lead Recovery Center can help support you while you begin the road of recovery. No one has to battle addiction alone.