If you’re trying to recover from drug addiction or are currently in recovery, drug cravings are to be expected. How long drug cravings last varies from person to person. While some people may only experience them for a short period, others may have cravings for a year or longer. If you’re working on staying sober and need the extra boost, below are some simple tips on how to deal with drug cravings at home that can help.
Fighting addiction cravings can be tough no matter how long you’ve been sober. These urges are often relentless and tend to pull at your weakest point. Many people relapse because of their cravings, an unfortunately common issue in early recovery. But this doesn’t have to be you. Below are some simple tips on how to deal with drug cravings at home that can help you avoid relapse and have the upper hand over your sobriety.
Exercise, in general, can help you get through a bout of drug cravings, with walking being at the top of the list. In addition to distracting you, walking boosts your mood and reduces stress, both of which can be greatly affected by an urge to use drugs. If you’re not physically able to walk, going outside to get some fresh air can help distract you from your cravings and lift your mood.
Going outside and taking in some fresh air and your surroundings with the purpose of feeling better really helps. Taking a walk also separates you from any triggering situations. For instance, if you’re recovering from alcoholism and you find yourself surrounded by people who are drinking, this can be distressing. Taking a walk can help because it physically separates you from the situation, taking your mind off any sudden urges to drink again.
For many people, talking about their drug cravings helps them feel more in control. It’s always great to have someone to talk to when you’re recovering from addiction or quitting drugs or alcohol. If you have someone you are close to, try to communicate your feelings with them whenever you’re coping with drug cravings. Assure them that they don’t have to say anything but that you just need someone to hear them out.
Not only is having someone close to talk to good for you emotionally, but it also keeps you accountable. It’s easy to give in to temptation when we don’t share our struggle with others. When you’re alone with your thoughts, there’s no one in the loop to set you back on track. This can easily end in relapse. Instead, the moment you feel any urges coming on, call that person and tell them.
Nothing beats a warm bath. If you’ve ever looked forward to a nice, warm bath at the end of a long day, you’re not the only one. Taking a bath is a great way to soothe the mind and body, helping you through a slew of cravings. It also cleanses you and eases any physical discomfort, like aching muscles or fatigue. Some people also find that putting Epsom salts in their bath makes it extra soothing.
Meditation clears the mind and reduces stress. It’s also a free and easy skill to teach yourself. Self-awareness is extremely important during addiction recovery, especially when it comes to recognizing triggers and moments of temptation. Meditation helps you develop mindfulness and self-awareness, helping you not only relax but manage any cravings that come your way. You can also meditate anywhere at any time, making it a tool you can take with you wherever you go.
Hobbies are great distractions from drug cravings. However, they also offer a sense of accomplishment that can help you feel encouraged and motivated during recovery. Addiction recovery and coming off drugs is tough, and sometimes we just crave a sense of satisfaction. Putting energy into a cool hobby instead of your cravings can help you avoid relapse and develop a skill that you can enjoy with your loved ones or even make a career out of.
Surfing the urge is a mindfulness technique founded on the principle of accepting a craving for what it is rather than resisting it or wanting it to go away. You can practice urge surfing by acknowledging a craving when you feel it coming. Take the time to close your eyes and focus on your thoughts and physical sensations. It also helps to verbally acknowledge the feelings you’re experiencing.
For instance, you might say to yourself, “My heart is beating fast, and my hands feel sweaty.” Describe as many thoughts and sensations as possible until you don’t feel the craving anymore. Surfing the urge can help you realize that cravings come in waves and don’t always last very long.
During addiction recovery, certain people, places, and things will bring on the urge to use drugs or drink. It’s kind of like smells associated with certain memories. For example, your spouse’s cologne or perfume may remind you of them. In this way, certain things that you come across in recovery may remind you of using drugs or drinking alcohol, otherwise known as cravings. Knowing your triggers can help you avoid your cravings and prepare for moments where you may experience them.
As someone who’s recovering from heroin addiction, Brandon Novak understands how difficult it can be to fight addiction urges. Long-term drug or alcohol abuse can take a huge toll on your health, career, and relationships. However, Brandon was able to get to a good place in his sobriety with the help of professional addiction treatment. If you know someone who’s struggling with drug or alcohol use and hasn’t accepted help, he can help. As a certified intervention specialist, Brandon’s helped numerous families get their loved ones away from addiction and closer to recovery.
Whether you’re dealing with addiction cravings or need to take that first step, Brandon can help. If you’d like to learn more about his intervention services or sober home for men, Novak’s House, call him today at (610) 314-6747.