I want to cut down or stop, I have stopped but still need help
Dealing with cravings
Learning to deal with cravings can be an important part of making changes to your drug or alcohol use.
Cravings can occur when you try to reduce or stop using drugs or alcohol or even when you haven’t used for a while.
The more you understand about your own use the more predictable cravings will become. Cravings always pass eventually so if you can learn ways of dealing with them it can make trying to reduce or quit using much more manageable.
Try these strategies:
- Notice when the craving begins so you do something about it.
- Change the situation you are in. Go for a walk or run, get out of the house for a bit.
- Delay using or scoring for a few minutes. You might find it’ll go. When the time is up, delay using for few more minutes, and then another, and so on. It is easier to resist cravings bit by bit rather than saying you’ll never ever use again!
- Remind yourself that cravings are a normal they’ll pass. The more you can get through the weaker they become and the less often they will come back.
- Distract yourself- even if just to delay scoring or using
- Talk to or visit someone supportive when you start to get cravings.
- Do something relaxing and enjoyable instead.
- Have a bath or shower. Or a massage.
- Go for a walk or run, or do other physical exercise.
- Listen to a motivational song or two
- Watch a video or go to the movies.
- What else helps you to deal with cravings?
Ever tried mindfulness meditation? Check out the smiling mind website!
Remember if you use or can’t get through a craving you haven’t failed and you are not weak. Like anything it can take practice. Chances are you know more about how to achieve your goals or manage cravings than you did before. If you do use after going without for a bit, remember to be as safe as you can. There are a few extra risks involved.