Category: sobriety

college drinking culture

College Drinking Culture: How to Talk to Your Child About Avoiding Peer Pressure

As we grow up, it is quite inevitable that we are exposed to drugs or alcohol at some point in our lives. There are several areas where this happens quite frequently, with one of these being college. In fact, it is accepted that drinking is a part of the college norm. Many college kids go out binge drinking or hit up parties every weekend, and this is all just considered “the college life.” Of course, it is far from the truth that this is just the way it is, as every college goer has the choice to say no and avoid those types of activities. You can help prevent your child from falling into this situation by talking with them about handling peer pressure and the college drinking culture.

Alcohol and Peer Pressure

Realistically, alcohol and peer pressure are pervasive within the college realm. Those college students that are throwing/attending parties and frequently drinking may try to convince new students or those not involved that they should participate for various reasons. They may say it is the cool thing to do, or that is how they fit in. Of course, these are not good reasons to delve into these activities whatsoever. People that require a person drink to be cool or fit in are not the type of people that one should associate with.

To give a little context on the prevalence of the college drinking culture, one can only look at the statistics. According to a national survey from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 60 percent of college students ages 18-22 had drunk alcohol within the past month, and almost 2 out of 3 had binge drank within that month. So, while parents may simply hope that their child will avoid it, they should still talk to them about the college drinking culture as a prevention tactic.

Approaching Your Child About the College Drinking Culture

There are certain ways that you should approach your child regarding this matter. Some may feel that threats or harsh words are the best way to put the fear of drinking into their child, but this can often have adverse results. Here are some useful methods for talking to your child:

  • Compassion – Let your child know that you are not there to accuse them or assume that they will be drinking, but merely that you care and want them to have the information.
  • Dangers – Explain the various risks that can be associated with drinking and alcoholism. These dangers could include things like drunk driving, hangovers, alcohol poisoning, poor decisions, etc. You can include providing exit strategies as well. Offer to come get them if they do happen to get in an uncomfortable situation or have no transportation. If far away, offer to pay for a cab or Uber if they need it.
  • Peer Pressure – Address the fact that if someone pressures them, they have absolutely no obligation to agree. Give them some options of how they can say no, such as simply saying it straightforward, walking away, or even avoiding college parties altogether. Offer preventional methods, like carrying around a non-alcoholic drink so that if anyone offers them a drink, they can say they are all set.
  • Questions – Let them know that you are open to any questions that they may have regarding alcohol and peer pressure. This allows them to satisfy their curiosity on anything they may be wondering about.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Best Drug Rehabilitation can help. We help thousands to overcome addiction every year through our comprehensive treatment. Give us a call today, and one of our staff can answer any questions that you may have about our program.

chronic relapser

Chronic Relapser: How to Help Someone Who Can’t Stay Sober

Addiction can be a complicated condition, and truthfully, sometimes a person can be a chronic relapser. Addiction can completely take over a person’s life and utterly change them. For this reason, you often see individuals who lose their home, family, career, etc. in the pursuit of their substance of choice. Addiction becomes their sole motivation in life, and they are willing to cast anything else aside for that next high.

Fortunately, even with cases that reach this point, addiction can be overcome through the proper level of treatment. Some can break free of addiction after their first treatment endeavor, but this is not true for everyone. For others, it may take several goes at treatment before they achieve lasting sobriety. Many families may not know what to do when an addict relapses, as there are cases where it’s their first relapse and others where it may be their tenth. Hence, we have the most difficult cases, the chronic relapsers. These are the cases that despair families, friends, and treatment professionals at times. They are the individuals that despite numerous treatment attempts and interventions, they can just not seem to maintain sobriety. And while these cases can seem hopeless sometimes, there are appropriate ways to handle them that can often result in success.

Who is a  Chronic Relapser?

There are a few different factors to address when it comes to handling a chronic relapser. Because of the nature of their situation, they often tend to be resistant to treatment or help only because they feel it’s pointless. They usually have a history of treatment attempts and a lot of knowledge in the various tools and methods that are supposed to help them remain sober. In fact, they may even use this knowledge as ammunition for the point of treatment not helping them. While they may seem resistant or hostile toward wanting to get clean, the reality is that many of them are hopeless and despaired that they are unable to stay sober, which can cause them to lash out. They pretend they don’t want more help, when in fact, they are afraid to try and fail again.

What to Do to Help a Chronic Relapser

While you may not necessarily be able to treat your loved one directly, it’s beneficial to have some idea of what to do to help a chronic relapser. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Length – When seeking help for your chronic relapsing loved one, duration of treatment is crucial. If you are involved in locating treatment, make sure that the facility is a long-term rehab. Realistically, the longer, the better. A chronic relapser requires very comprehensive treatment, and they are not going to get it in any 30-day program typically. There are programs out there that can be up to a year, and also include follow-up treatment with lower levels of care.
  • Familial Fortitude – While this is not always the case, a chronic relapser is often good at getting their way with family members. They convince them that they are doing well, and this allows them to fall back into old patterns of behavior. You must show compassion, but also be strict in not allowing the recovering addict do whatever they please or enable them. Many family members cave in when the person continues to push, and when the family members cave, they may allow the person to use or even help them to use. You must foster an environment that’s conducive to their sobriety. The person must recognize that family will offer no support financially or otherwise unless they are working toward recovery or in treatment, even including custodial leverage in some cases. It may seem threatening or wrong, but these individuals have often continued to get their way no matter what, and this allows them to believe they still can.
  • Accountability – The person must understand their accountability and responsibility in their condition and life. There must be rules to establish proper behavior, along with action on their part to display that they are working at maintaining their sobriety. Give them tasks and duties to perform in the home to keep them on track and productive. Boredom or inactivity can easily lead to relapse in many cases.
anger and addiction relapse

Why Anger is a Dangerous Trigger for Addiction Relapse

Everyone gets angry occasionally when a situation becomes frustrating, or a person feels they were mistreated. At the same time, everyone shows their anger in different ways. Some are more open about it while others keep their anger hidden. Violence, especially if it’s built up, can act as a trigger for addiction relapse and create all sorts of consequences emotionally and physically. Classes on managing anger in recovery are vital for those who are recovering from addiction. Anger is a dangerous trigger and here’s why:

Alienates Friends and Family

When a person has excess anger built up inside of them, they will come to points where they have outbursts. These eruptions can cause friendships and families to fall apart. Because the person or family member didn’t know the recovering addict was angry in the first place, the outburst tends to come out of nowhere. Learning how to manage anger with anger management programs will help keep friendships and families together. Learning to avoid angry outbursts can assure that you will avoid an addiction relapse in the future.

Increases Chances of Committing Illegal Acts

When a person is angry, they can sometimes act impulsively and not think clearly. Acting impulsively can lead to criminal acts, such as breaking and entering, stealing, vandalizing property, etc. When a recovering addict has gone through anger management, they have more control over their actions and emotions.

Increases Risk of Relapse

Along with acting impulsively, a recovering addict who is angry may go back to their old ways and interfere with the progress they have made. The early months of recovery can be an emotional rollercoaster, and when they haven’t learned how to manage their anger properly, they have a higher risk of an addiction relapse.

Can Cause Health Issues

Anger can cause insomnia, fatigue, and violence, all of which can put stress on the body. When a person becomes exhausted and fatigued on top of their anger, not only does that affect their health, but they can act in ways they otherwise wouldn’t by being rude or violent. It’s vital for recovering addicts to learn how to handle their anger in a way that keeps their body healthy so they can live a high-quality life.

Can Hurt Relationships

Excessive anger can cause a person to shout, be aggressive, and rude to their significant other. These actions can create tension between the two and cause the relationship to decay. It’s important for the significant other to understand anger management just as much as it is important for the recovering addict to learn how to control their anger healthily. When both people understand the anger and how to manage it, they can work together as a team and create a tighter bond.

Can Lead to Loss of Employment

If uncontrolled anger reaches the workplace and affects too many colleagues or clients, the recovering addict may find themselves losing their job. This can put a significant amount of stress on the recovering addict and their family, which can make it even harder to control one’s anger.

Anger Management to Avoid Addiction Relapse

At Best Drug Rehabilitation, we understand that recovery comes with highs and lows, along with the recovering addict feeling intense emotions such as anger. We know that excess anger can wreak havoc in all aspects of one’s life. However, we have the anger management tools needed to help recovering addicts get back in control of their emotions and life.

We do our best to offer a unique approach to addiction treatment that encompasses all the many different aspects of the physical, spiritual and emotional issues involved with addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or would like to learn how you can incorporate anger management into your treatment program, please contact us.

Maintaining Sobriety in Recovery

Staying Strong for Summer: Maintaining Sobriety in Your Recovery

Summer is a time of a variety of enjoyable events, including parties, socializing, and many outdoor activities.  But, this is unfortunately also a time that the rates of substance use and abuse can increase quite heavily.  Substances can be involved in many of these different activities.  It is difficult for those in recovery to find activities without being exposed to these substances.  Fortunately, there are many methods that these individuals can use for maintaining sobriety during the summer months, including:

  • Recovery Plan – An individual can plot or write out a plan of steps to take or how to react to certain situations in their environment. This plan could include ways to better exit an uncomfortable situation, leave an event, turn down substances, etc.  Plan ways to efficiently accomplish things like this so that you are not caught in an awkward situation and have no idea how to handle or react to it.
  • Sober Activities – There are many different activities that an individual can do that do not expose them to substances. For instance, they could throw their party or event with fellow recovery mates, or sober friends.  This way, substances will not even be an issue, and they can enjoy themselves without the worry of temptation.  There are even organizations that have events and activities specifically for those in recovery, such as sober cruises.
  • Triggers – Being able to identify, avoid, and handle one’s triggers is one of the most important factors of recovery. This trigger can be an even more critical situation during the summer months.  It is important for an individual to know their triggers.  If they see or experience them, know how to manage them.
  • Pick Up a New Hobby – Find a new hobby or activity to keep oneself busy during these summer months. Hobbies can keep the mind off of substances or give a person something worthwhile to enjoy.  An individual could take classes, such as music, dancing, yoga.  Or they could volunteer at one of many different organizations, such as a charity or animal shelter for instance.

Maintaining Sobriety in Recovery

Recovery from addiction can be painful at times with so many substances available.  But it is entirely possible and worth it to remain steadfast.  And while it may require some brainstorming and planning on the part of the individual, it is easily possible to have a fun time during the summer months while still maintaining sobriety.

Best Drug Rehabilitation Can Help You to Overcome Addiction

Addiction can be a challenging and arduous condition, but it is treatable.  The right detox and treatment can help a person to finally address and overcome their addiction, even those that have lasted many years.  Best Drug Rehabilitation helps thousands to overcome their addiction every year, and much of our success lies in our unique approach to addiction treatment.  We individualize a program for every single person that comes to our facility, and this allows it to address the specific factors and conditions of their addiction.  Take the first steps toward a clean and sober life and give us a call at our toll-free number.  Also, if you would like more information on maintaining sobriety, call today.

Sober Living Environment

What Determines a Supportive Sober Living Environment After Treatment?

There can often be many different components to a person’s recovery program.  Of course, this can include detox, inpatient treatment, or counseling.  But many need continuing support once out of the main segment of their treatment.  One form of support once they finish primary treatment is to go into a sober living environment.

What is a Sober Living Environment?

A sober living environment, also called a halfway house, transitional living, or sober home can be extremely beneficial for an individual to reside in after treatment.  They provide a person a safe environment to attend after treatment that can help them to transition back into regular life.  It can be difficult to jump right back into the trials and tribulations of day to day life. Sober living can help a person integrate back into it gradually.

There can be significant variations between sober living environments.  Their rules or regular operation can be very different from each other. While this may be the case, there are certain qualities to look for that make a proper and supportive sober living environment.  These could be things such as:

  • Proper Supervision – Who is watching over and managing a sober living environment can make a large difference. Ideally, there is an on-site person who accurately administers the home and ensures smooth operation.  They can help to make sure that structure stays in, and that peer support is being maintained.
  • Recovery Requirements – There should be requirements that the person needs to meet each week for their recovery. Meaning, they could be attending an outpatient program or meetings several times a week.  A well run sober living home could also offer in-house meetings which are a requirement for all residents.  Such meetings help to ensure that each person is getting support and staying on track with their recovery.
  • Regular Drug Testing – Unfortunately, the reality is that not everyone stays in recovery, and some can have a slip-up. A quality sober home should have a regular urinalysis to discover if anyone has fallen off the wagon per se.  Doing this helps more people stay away from substances, being that they know they will be tested.  If a person is found to have used drugs or alcohol, they can be helped immediately without it going unknown for a long time.  Catching it early on can contribute to preventing it from becoming full-on use again.
  • Responsibilities – It is vital that a recovering individual in a sober living home have structure and responsibilities. Structure helps them to integrate back into day to day life.  This development could include having chores and a proper schedule.  It also should include having to obtain or continue employment.  In place of work, it could also be enrolling in and attending school.  All of these things help a person to construct and maintain a consistent routine, which keeps them busy and away from using substances.  Relapse can easily come about when a recovering individual has too many periods of inactivity. Filling in these gaps with responsibilities helps to avoid that, and brings about a sense of accountability.

Best Drug Rehabilitation Can Help You or Your Loved One

Addiction can completely take over an individual’s life.  For this reason, it is so critical to seek help immediately when you or your loved one have a moment of clarity and desire help.  Our treatment program has shown to be very successful in helping people to overcome their addictions.  The success lies in the fact that we create tailored treatment programs based on each’s needs.  Give us a call today, and we can answer any questions you may have.

Recovery Encouragement

5 Ways to Positively Affect a Loved One’s Addiction Recovery

Overcoming addiction and achieving one’s sobriety is one of the greatest accomplishments.  It takes tremendous courage and confront to be able to face the difficulties and issues that need to be addressed as part of it.  While they have achieved an amazing thing with overcoming addiction, recovery is something which needs to be continuously maintained throughout life.  This is where the loved one’s of the individual become very helpful in encouraging and promoting them in their recovery.

There is a multitude of things that loved ones can do to help encourage and positively affect a person’s recovery.  As the people that the recovering individual most closely associates with, you can have a very powerful positive influence within their life and can help to keep them in recovery.  Loved ones opinions and viewpoints can be highly valued by them and it is important to use this as a way to encourage them.  Ways to positively affect a loved one’s recovery could include:

  1. Offer Words of EncouragementWords of encouragement can be great to help the recovering person stay on the path. The reality is that recovery can sometimes be extremely difficult.  When cravings or triggers hit, encouraging the person can help them to maintain their sobriety and overcome these difficulties.
  2. Make Note of Improvements – If you notice marked positive changes in them or their behavior, then let them know about it. Small comments such as, “I noticed you have seemed much happier,” can help a person to realize that what they are doing is worth it and that they should continue on with it.
  3. Stay In Communication – Sometimes the individual in recovery just needs someone to talk to, whether it be about their recovery or not. Having loved ones that they can communicate with gives them positive people in their life that are supporting their recovery. They then also have someone to vent or talk to when times get rough.
  4. Encourage Rather Than Condemn – If the individual in recovery makes a bad choice, help them to realize there are better options, rather than condemning them for having erred. For instance, if they begin to associate with the old crowd that they were using drugs or alcohol with, you can encourage them to find a better group to associate with, rather than punishing or criticizing them for their negative choice.
  5. Monitor Your Own Behavior – While living with an individual in recovery, it can be beneficial to tweak certain behaviors of your own to help set a good example. This could include trying not to drink around them if they are in recovery from alcohol.  While this may require some lifestyle changes, it is very beneficial for you to assist in creating a good recovery environment for your loved one.

When You or Your Loved One Are Seeking Help With an Addiction

When you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, seeking treatment should never be deferred.  Addiction can get worse very easily, which is why it needs to be addressed before it ends up in dire consequences.  Here at Best Drug Rehabilitation, we treat every person uniquely to ensure that they are getting all individual issues of their addiction addressed.  Basing our program around this premise allows us to have great success in the treatment of addiction.  Give us a call today and our advisors can answer any questions you may have about our program.

Why Kids are Drinking

Why Kids are Drinking at a Young Age Today

The youth of today are choosing to experiment with alcohol at very young ages. In fact, studies have shown that most teens have consumed alcohol at least once by the time that they graduate from high school. Not only are teens drinking beer or wine, but they are also consuming hard liquor. There are many reasons teens are consuming alcohol, but some of the most common answers about why kids are drinking at a young age are discussed here.

Read more

Can Forced Rehab Work if the Addict Doesn't Want to Go?

All or Nothing: Complete Abstinence in Recovery

In recovery from addiction, “Just having a few” is not okay

Too often, one of the biggest problems facing a person in recovery is experienced when they get too confident in their sobriety. Many begin to believe that they are “cured”, and that they now have the strength to have a couple of drinks or use just a little of their drug of choice without worrying about backsliding into their old mindset and way of living. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The program at Best Drug Rehabilitation is designed to give our patients a strong foundation in recovery, with the tools they need to face life head-on without resorting to using drugs or alcohol. Our patients discover a sense of confidence in themselves and in their recovery, with the understanding that they have a personal responsibility in their continued sobriety.

In absolutely no way does this mean that our program has “fixed” or “cured” them. For a person in recovery, the idea that they can have “just a few” is not their strength and resolve giving them power over their addiction. It is their addiction talking to them, trying to take control over their minds and lives again. Complete abstinence is the only path to take in overcoming addiction and staying clean and sober.

There is also the idea that a person can use a different drug than the one that they might have had an addiction to. For example, a person might say, “Well, as long as it’s not heroin, I can smoke pot and I’ll be okay.” But, marijuana is a mood-altering drug, and using it or any other drugs can and will lead the person back to a full-blown addiction. The simple fact is, while they might have been addicted to heroin, cocaine, meth or alcohol when they got treatment, their addiction is not restricted to just that one substance. Addiction is, in large part, a result of an uncontrollable desire to “escape from reality”, and in that aspect, any drug will do.

The Science Behind Abstinence

An analysis of a 2014 Addiction Health Evaluation and Disease Management study, conducted by the Department of Community Health Services at Boston University’s School of Public Health, found an association between marijuana use and the ability to abstain from the use of other drugs. In short, the results showed that using marijuana led to a 27% increase in the odds of a person in recovery going back to heavy drug or alcohol use. And marijuana isn’t the only culprit.

Often, heroin users who quit without treatment attempt to find some solace in alcohol. It seems to help stave off the cravings and, at least for a while, keeps them from using. This is because of the similarities between the effects of alcohol and heroin on the brain. Both of these substances affect the neurological pathways in the brain that regulate the flow of dopamine, a chemical that, in large doses, gives the user feelings of pleasure, euphoria and sedation. In fact, all addictive substances affect dopamine levels in the brain, but none are as similar in their effects and processes as alcohol and heroin.

But, ask any drug abuser who has tried this method, and almost without exception, you will find that this did not work and that eventually they went out and used again. Drug replacement in recovery doesn’t actually address the causes of addiction, but rather tries to “fix” the symptoms. This is true even in the medical world, when doctors or clinics prescribe other drugs to treat addiction, such as methadone or buprenorphine.

Clean Living: Completely Removing Substance Abuse From Our Lives

In order to remain on the path to recovery, it is critical that a person abstain completely from using any drugs or alcohol at all. There must be a complete lifestyle change. Often, this means that a person can’t hang out at the same places with the same people that they were hanging out with before. For many, this may require completely removing themselves from that environment. Many of the patients that come to Best Drug Rehabilitation for help in overcoming their addictions move to a different town or even a different state after they have graduated our program. But, above all, the patient must understand that “just having a few” is never going to be okay. Complete abstinence is the only option for a person in recovery to stay clean, sober and free from addiction.

The recovery program at Best Drug Rehabilitation is designed to help our patients discover the strength and abilities that they hold within to remain free from the bonds of addiction after they graduate from our treatment center. Understanding that there is much more to recovery than just getting clean, we help them to address the underlying causes of their addictive behaviors. Beginning with a thorough detox process under medical supervision, we show our patients that they have the ability to solve problems in their lives without depending on drugs or alcohol. We help them to discover that they can lead a healthier and more productive lifestyle with the promise of a brighter and more fulfilling future.

Recovering Addicts

10 Things Recovering Addicts Want You To Know

Posted by Myra Davis to Sobriety

How would you rate your knowledge and understanding of addiction recovery? Maybe you’re walking the journey today with a loved one or barely understand the struggles a recovering co-worker is facing. I encourage you to discover ten things recovering addicts want you to know about their experiences and realities. Use this list to understand and help the recovering addicts in your life.

 

1. Recovering Addicts Sometimes Crave Drugs

Most recovering addicts want sobriety, but they can’t control when a craving strikes. Something as simple as a song on the radio, odor in the air, or stressful day at work could trigger a craving.

2. They Need to Cut Ties With Former Lives

Old, unhealthy friends and hangouts were all part of recovering addicts’ previous lives. To maintain sobriety, they frequently need to cut ties with their negative past and start fresh with influences that align more closely with their new life choices.

3. They Need to Track Sobriety Time

Whether they’re clean for 30 minutes, 30 days, or 30 years, sobriety time motivates recovering addicts to keep going. Encourage your recovering friends to count every second of their sobriety. They’ve earned that time with work, sweat, and tears; and those seconds will turn into a lifetime, as they see continued success.

4. They Might Relapse

Even after rehab, relapse is possible. Drugs affect a person’s brain chemistry, and that reality makes staying clean challenging. I’m not saying every addict will relapse, and I don’t want you to expect your recovering friends to relapse, but realize that it’s possible. Respect the struggle they face and the hurdles they must overcome.

5. They Need Your Support

Recovering addicts value support. Even if you don’t understand addiction, I encourage you to support your friends by becoming an exercise buddy, offering rides to meetings, or listening when they need to talk.

6. They Need Holistic Treatment

Weekly psychotherapy sessions and meetings are part of the treatment plan many recovering addicts embrace; however, success hinges on using a variety of treatment tools that address physical cravings, emotional strongholds, and spiritual needs. The most successful treatment plans provide holistic and well-rounded treatment.

7. They Aren’t Waiting for a Cure

Maybe scientists will discover a cure for addiction. Until then, recovering addicts keep working their program. They know they’ll achieve sobriety today only through hard work, holistic treatment, and generous support.

8. They are More Than Statistics

You can find statistics about everything from the number of addicts in the U.S. to the relapse rate; however, every recovering addict is a living, breathing person who deserves respect and value. Look beyond the statistics and see recovering addicts as unique individuals who need your support and understanding.

9. They’re Not Hopeless

Maybe the recovering addicts you know dropped out of school, left a string of broken relationships behind them, or are serving life sentences in jail. Despite these circumstances, these men and women are not hopeless. They can successfully recover and live a healthy and whole life.

10. They Have Dreams for the Future

I encourage you to look beyond the struggles recovering addicts face. They have a career, relationship, and personal dreams of things they’d like to accomplish and achieve in the future, and they can make those dreams come true.

Are you surprised by any of these 10 points? If so, I challenge you to learn more about addiction recovery. Talk to your recovering friends, attend an open meeting, and read recovery literature. As you understand the experiences and realities of recovery, you’re better equipped to help your friends find success in their recovery journeys.

Things you can do when you Have Cravings During Recovery

14 Things You Can Do When You Have Cravings During Recovery

Posted by Myra Davis to Sobriety

How many drug cravings do you have a day? I’ve known individuals who struggle with cravings during recovery anywhere from a few times a week to dozens of times a day. No matter how often you crave your substance of choice, you don’t have to give in. Try 14 things that help you stay clean and recover successfully.

1. Realize That Cravings During Recovery are Normal

I know you’re tempted to beat yourself up and feel ashamed or guilty because you crave drugs, but don’t. Cravings during recovery are normal. Accept that, and you’re better able to handle and resist them in a logical way instead of giving up in defeat.

2. Exercise Your Body

Cravings for drugs aren’t purely physical. You can resist them, though, when you exercise. Jog, dance, skate, or bike as you move your body and do something productive instead of doing drugs.

3. Change the Scenery

Naturally, you can’t walk away from the cravings in your brain and body. However, a change of scenery goes a long way toward helping you fight the cravings you feel. So, get up and go to your backyard garden, friend’s house or the mall.

4. Call Your Therapist

Whether you’re ten days or ten years into your recovery, stay in touch with a professional who understands you and addiction’s power.

5. Lean on Friends

Call a trusted and sober friend, neighbor or sibling, and head to a museum, concert or coffee shop. Spending time out with friends stops you from thinking about your substance of choice and reminds you to enjoy your clean life.

6. Meditate

When a craving hits, your mind becomes obsessed with your drug of choice. Meditations restore your peace, calm, and resistance.

7. Remember Why You Don’t Use

In the midst of an intense craving, you don’t think about why you gave up drugs. That’s why you need to write a list before a craving hits. It includes all your reasons for not using, like living for your kids, keeping your job, and staying healthy. Remembering why you don’t use substances can be a powerful way to resist your cravings.

8. Practice a Hobby

If you like to paint, bowl, or carve, your hobby can save your life. Pick up your tools when you feel a craving, and fill yourself with an activity that fulfills and distracts you.

9. Help Someone Else

During a craving, you remove your focus from you when you help others. Visit a nursing home, walk a dog, or find another volunteer position that’s an outlet for your energy and a distraction from using.

10. Talk Through the Craving

Retreating when you want drugs is easier than opening up, but I encourage you to talk when cravings hit. Call a supportive friend, text your sponsor, or write a blog post and talk through the craving.

11. Go To a Support Meeting

Whether you attend a 12-step meeting or visit an AA or NA chat room, surround yourself with people, who encourage you to stay clean.

12. Take One Moment at a Time

While I know you want to stay clean for the rest of your life, you can’t focus on that goal when you’re in the midst of a craving. Take one moment at a time, stay sober for the next minute, and you’ll find the success you want.

13. Escape Into a Movie or a Book

From comedy to mystery, a movie or book distracts you from the cravings. Have a few drug-free movies and books on hand to help you stay clean.

14. Eat a Healthy Snack

Keep your mouth occupied and you’re less likely to use. I know it seems simplistic to say that celery, apples, or salad can help you stay clean, but I’ve seen many addicts use this trick to get through cravings during recovery.

No matter what you try, drug cravings will strike. How you handle them determines if you achieve sobriety or not. So, which of these 14 tips will you try today?

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