Cravings can happen at just about any moment. Have you ever sat at your desk and thought, ‘Gosh, I wish I had a strawberry ice cream’? Of course, for you, this is a craving that you know will pass and so it is easier to just forget about it. For an addict, a craving for drugs or alcohol becomes one that consumes them and they can think of nothing else and focus on nothing else until that craving is satisfied.
That is why there are so many ways to get through the times of craving once you have left rehab.
This is a basic strategy of dealing with day to day substance craving.
Here is something a little more left-field but certainly many people have had great results from EFT techniques and stress relief (Eastern medicine).
For one, remember that you are not alone, so pick up the phone and talk to someone about the craving. Even the distraction of talking about mundane aspects of your life can help you forget your need for drugs or alcohol.
If no one is available, why not try to distract yourself? Go for a long walk, play with your pets, take up a hobby or even read a book. Do anything you can think of besides give in to the craving. If this doesn’t work, go to your nearest meeting. There are support groups for narcotics and for alcohol almost everywhere and to be surrounded by those who are in the same position as you are makes it easier to forget your craving.
Another technique that works is to focus on the bad times, the times when you were at your lowest because of drugs or alcohol. Those times are undoubtedly filled with shame and regret and by focusing on them, you will likely feel that you never want to experience that again.
Of course, the best way to deal with a craving, but also the hardest, is to focus on the emotion behind the craving. How do you feel at that exact moment? Are you depressed, bored, angry or simply want to hide from the world? This will help you determine the reason behind the craving and you can then focus on working through that to stop yourself from plunging back into the old habits you know are bad for you.
Here are some more techniques on coping with cravings in a more point by point guide.