Category: sobriety

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.

How to Kick Addiction

Here’s How to Kick Addiction and Reclaim Your Life

According to a survey conducted by SAMHSA in 2009, over 23 million people over the age of 12 needed to seek help for a drug abuse problem that they were dealing with,  These numbers are staggering and it is no wonder that rehab facilities are becoming the norm for most people who have drug issues. If you or a loved one has a drug problem, there are quite a lot of things to know when it comes to seeking treatment, what types of treatment facilities are available and what to do in terms of kicking the addiction and getting control of your life once again.

Acknowledge the Drug Problem

Identifying a drug problem is one of the first steps to seeking recovery. If you feel that you might have issues with drugs, there are a few things to look for. You might find yourself spending all of your time thinking about or even doing drugs. You might wonder where you’re going to get drugs next or you could even panic if you know you are out of them. These are signs that you might have a drug addiction and require help to get over it and put it in your past.

If you feel that someone you love has this type of addiction, there are a few other things to look for when it comes to this issue. The person might be withdrawn, complain of pains within their body or just avoid the topic altogether. When dealing with someone else who has a drug issue, it is important for them to identify the issue on their own and for them to take the incentive to seek treatment. This will help them to have a better chance of recovery than if they are forced into treatment.

Choose the Appropriate Treatment Program

When seeking help through a rehabilitation center, it is important to decipher the differences between an inpatient facility and an outpatient facility. In general, most people do better in an inpatient facility because they are not able to be influenced by outside sources. The Treatment Episode Data Set conducted a survey and found that over 56 percent of individuals who went into a rehab center were taking more than just one drug at the time (source). Because of this reason, it is a good idea for someone with a drug problem to be away from any influence that they might deal with out on the street.

During their time in the program, the individual is protected from external resources that could supply them or tempt them with drugs. They are in a healthy and clean environment that allows them to have professionals around them at all times. This will help the process of detox so that they can live a healthier life. Self-detoxing can be incredibly dangerous, so seeking help through an inpatient facility can help the process to go a lot more smoothly and a lot healthier for the individual who has the drug problem.

While many individuals use outpatient facilities, these rehab centers may not work for everyone. The person who needs this type of treatment must be home or work or school every day and may be around drugs or other drug users on a constant basis. They are virtually never away from the temptation of using drugs, which can make the issue worse or cause it to stay the same. Inpatient treatment for drug abuse is definitely the better option and can be beneficial for both teens and adults who have major drug addictions and are seeking help for this specific issue.

Finding the right rehab center might require a bit of research on your part. It is a good idea to stick with a center that is within your budget range. Many insurance companies will pay for your stay in one of these facilities, but you may be limited on the ones that you can choose. Knowing which facilities are available and which ones have the best success rate can help you to find the one that is going to be the best choice for you when you choose to get clean and live a healthier life.

Commit to Doing Your Part to Become Clean

When you find a good quality inpatient facility, you can go there and have a director give you a tour of the center itself. They will tell you about how they treat addiction, the amount of people staying there at the moment and different activities that they might have available to you when you begin staying there yourself. You will also be able to discuss the budget of staying there and whether or not your insurance company will cover the costs. Visiting the center before checking yourself into it is a good way for you to feel more comfortable about this process.

It is important to remember that regardless of the program you choose, it can only be effective if you are committed to doing your part in getting clean and rejoining the real world.

There are quite a lot of benefits that come with going to rehab and getting clean. While drug addiction is a lifelong struggle, the benefits of going to a rehabilitation center are countless.  Just a few of the benefits are as follows:

  • You will be surrounded by individuals who are there to help you.
  • You will be learning new life skills to combat drug addiction.
  • You can speak with others who are dealing with drug addictions just like you.
  • You will have a clean and healthy environment to get clean and the support that you need.

Treatment in an inpatient facility can help you to live a clean and healthier life. Once you identify that you have a drug problem and that you want to get help for it, it is important for you to find a local rehab center that you can enter right away before things get any worse.  Being surrounded by caring professionals and others like yourself will make the detoxification process much easier and the rehabilitation more effective so that you can soon walk out of  those doors and take back control of your life.


teaching kids about drugs

Why Kids are Drinking at a Younger Age

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 are as follows.

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Can Rehab Work If The Patient Is Forced 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.

Alcohol and Consequences

16 Unfortunate Long-term Effects of Alcoholism

Posted by Myra Davis to Sobriety

Long-term drinkers stay off the wagon for a number of reasons. I’ve met alcoholics who are afraid to face painful emotions, don’t think they can quit, or worry about living without their crutch. Whether you’re an alcoholic or know someone who is, consider 16 effects of long-term alcoholism that can motivate you to get sober.

Man chained to alcohol bottles
Photo by: Sammis Reachers (Flickr)

1. Cancer

Chronic drinkers face an increased risk of developing mouth, throat, esophagus, breast, rectum, and colon cancers.

2. Liver Disease

Hepatitis and cirrhosis are two liver diseases that alcohol can cause. I encourage you to stop drinking as soon as possible, though, to reverse hepatitis and reduce your risk of dying from cirrhosis.

3. Heart Disease

Drink long enough, and your risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease increases.

4. Malnutrition

Fill up on alcohol, and you’re consuming empty calories that make you feel full but contain no nutrients. Additionally, drinking affects your body’s ability to absorb nutrients when you do eat a healthy meal.

5. Insomnia

You drink to fall asleep, but alcohol actually interrupts your sleep cycle and causes insomnia. The next day, you can’t stay awake, so you drink to fall asleep, suffer from insomnia again, and repeat the vicious pattern.

6. Pancreatitis

Drink heavily for five to 10 years, and your chances of developing pancreatitis increase as your overconsumption puts added pressure on this organ that digests the food you eat. Stop drinking, and pancreatitis symptoms may disappear.

7. Tremors

Quit drinking, and tremors could start as you withdraw. Likewise, the shakes can occur when you drink for years.

8. Brain Damage

Long-term drinkers can experience spatial processing challenges since overconsumption of alcohol kills white brain cells and some gray cells in the part of your brain that’s responsible for this important function.

9. Dental Problems

Consistently expose your teeth, gums and tongue to alcohol and resist regular dental care, and you could experience tooth decay and loss, painful abscess or gum disease.

10. Anxiety

Alcohol does inhibit your central nervous system and stems anxious feelings in the short term. However, prolonged use affects your brain’s ability to handle and cope with anxiety. It could also cause panic attacks.

11. Depression

Because alcohol lowers your brain’s serotonin and norepinephrine levels, long-term drinking causes depression.

12. Erectile Dysfunction

Long-term alcohol consumption damages blood vessels and prevents erections. Overconsumption can also cause hypertension, one cause of erectile dysfunction.

13. Lost Employment

Repeatedly arrive on the job with a hangover, sloppy appearance, or poor work performance and I can guarantee you won’t have a job much longer.

14. Deep Debt

Drinking every day isn’t cheap. Especially as your drinking progresses and the volume of alcohol you consume increases, you’re going to find yourself in deep debt.

15. Broken Marriages

An alcoholic’s lies, neglect, resentment, blame, and anger strain almost every marriage to the breaking point. It’s no wonder that alcohol contributes to as many as seven percent of all divorces.

16. Homelessness

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 38 percent of homeless people are alcohol dependent. When drinking becomes more important than anything else, you risk losing everything.

I know getting sober takes hard work, but you can do it, especially when you allow these 16 effects of long-term drinking to motivate you or an alcoholic you love to jump on the sober wagon.

Friends & Family

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 10 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.

Friends & Family

1. They Sometimes Crave Drugs

Most recovering addicts want sobriety, but they can’t control when a craving will strike. 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’ former 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 really 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 huddles 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 people 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 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.

Crave Sign

14 Things You Can Do When You Have a Craving During Recovery

Posted by Myra Davis to Sobriety

How many drug cravings do you have a day? I’ve known recovering addicts who struggle 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.

Crave Sign
Photo by: (Flickr)

1. Realize That Cravings are Normal

I know you’re tempted to beat yourself up and feel ashamed or guilty because you crave drugs, but don’t. Cravings 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

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

4. Call Your Therapist

Whether you’re 10 days or 10 years into 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 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.

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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