If you are a recovering alcoholic or drug addict you know all too well the severe impulse of a craving. Your palms might sweat, you might not be able to think about anything else. Your brain might be telling you why just one drink or one hit is no big deal. Your heart might be pounding out of your chest. What do you do when cravings hit you out of nowhere?
- Call someone. As addicts and alcoholics many of us are used to dealing with things on our own. We are independent and self-sufficient, or so we told ourselves. Sometimes just picking up the phone and telling someone we are having a craving can take the power out of it.
- Eat something sweet. Eating something sweet like candy, ice cream, or fruit can reduce the craving. A candy bar is better than a drink.
- Go on a walk. Take a walk outside and breathe in the some fresh air. If you can get into a natural habitat like a forest or beach that is best.
- Try prayer. It can be a prayer from your faith, the serenity prayer, or something as simple as please help this craving pass.
- Write a gratitude list. Make a list of 5 things you are grateful for. Not sure where to start? Look down. Are you on fire? If not, you can be grateful you are not on fire. Have arms and legs that work? You can be grateful for that.
- Seek professional help. Many alcoholics and addicts benefit from professional support which might include a therapist, counselor, or rehab.
- Change your environment. If you are at a party with drinking and the cravings hit, leave.
- Go to a 12 step meeting. Even if you aren’t a member of a 12 step program being in a room with other recovering addicts and alcoholics can be a great remedy for cravings.
- Rest. That might mean taking a nap, reading a book, or watching a movie.
This may be the most difficult question for a recovering alcoholic or drug addict to face. If you stay sober long enough, experiencing a craving is inevitable. Having a plan of action for how to deal with the craving is a great thing to have in your pocket.
New Vista Behavioral Health is committed to helping you on your road to long term recovery. Begin our partnership today by calling 888-316-3665.