Cravings can be a major problem for the alcoholic or addict. They are not equivalent to craving some ice cream or wanting a piece of cake, but rather they can be an overwhelming physical and mental need for drugs or alcohol. They can seemingly come out of nowhere and sometimes are so powerful that without the proper support in place, they can lead a sober person back to a drink or drug.
That being said, drug cravings are not something that are insurmountable and in fact, they are something that pretty much every single person who gets clean and sober will have to contend with.
In order to understand what drug cravings are and how you can deal with them when they arise, you first must understand the difference between being dependent on drugs and being an addict. The two sound almost synonymous, but they are not, and a person who is only physically dependent on drugs, but is not an addict, will experience drug cravings in a much different manner than an addict will.
A person can be physically dependent on drugs but not be an addict, and for people like this, cravings are usually the physical and mental manifestation of their body’s need for the substance. But for people of this type, who are not in fact addicts, they can usually overcome their cravings by sheer willpower and go about their business after the physical withdrawals are done. This, however, is not the case for people who are addicts and for them cravings can be much most insidious and persistent.
Someone who is an addict will experience all of the same physical and mental cravings that a person who is physically addicted to drugs will experience, but they will also experience an obsession of the mind that is not so easily contended with. This obsession of the mind will often times not subside in an hour or two but can persist for extended periods of time, causing the person to go back to drugs in order to scratch their itch. For someone who is an addict, cravings must be dealt with in a manner befitting their illness and as such below are some suggestions for how a person who is an addict can about dealing with their craving.
How To Deal With Drug Cravings
First and foremost, the main way that many addicts deal with cravings is that they work the Steps. Working the Steps offers the addict the ability to pause in between the thoughts of craving and react sanely and normally to them. Before working the Steps, an addict’s ability to resist cravings is usually not really that great but after the completion of the Steps, they will find that they have a new found ability to not only resist cravings but resist them almost instantly.
Working the Steps also reduces the amount of cravings that occur in a person. For those people who are just abstaining from drug or alcohol use and are not working towards a solution to their problem, they will usually get intense and numerous cravings throughout the day, but once the Steps are completed, cravings become infrequent and a lot less powerful.
Why this is, I cannot say for certain, but millions of addicts around the world have found this to be true and they have found that after working the Steps, they no longer feel compelled to drink or use drugs and they are able to functional normally.
However, just working the Steps does not mean that cravings will not appear from time to time and when they do, it is important to know what to do so that you can deal with them appropriately.
The first thing that you should do is call someone and tell them what is going on. The act of picking up the phone and talking about your craving is often time enough to reduce its impact on your mind and it will also break the infinite loop of thought that cravings produce. Even just getting a pause for a minute or two can be enough to stop a craving in its tracks.
Sometimes, though, just calling someone is not enough and the urge to use drugs or drink persists. When this occurs it is a good idea to get to a meeting as soon as possible so that you can be surrounded by support, and people who can help you through the obsession.
Many times just going to a meeting and sitting and being present can help to alleviate the craving and if for nothing else, it will allow you to be in a safe space for an hour and give your mind some time to rest.
A lot of the time people experience cravings while they are in certain situations. They may occur when we are at social gatherings where drugs or alcohol are present or stressful situations that we would like to get out of. If you find that your craving is linked to a situation that you are currently in, then get out of that setting as quickly as you can. If it is a social gathering, you can just make an excuse as to why you have to leave, and if it is business related, step away for a minute, breath and collect your thoughts before going back in
The good thing about cravings is that they do not last forever and as long you have a desire to remain clean and sober through the craving, you will be fine. Yes, they can be uncomfortable and unwanted, but with time, cravings will become less and less of an issue.
Seeking Treatment for Drug Addiction
If you think that you may have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse then call the professionals at Dream Center for Recovery today at 1-877-978-3148. We can help you make it through the initial cravings involved with getting off of drugs and alcohol and give you the tools necessary to contend with further cravings down the road. You no longer need to struggle alone, so give us a call today.