6 Tips for Developing Healthy Coping Skills for Drug Cravings
Drug cravings are a normal part of recovery from drug addiction – everyone experiences them. While they can be unpleasant, fortunately, there are many tools and skills that you can learn to cope with cravings in healthy ways.
Below are six tips for developing healthy coping skills to help you prevent relapse and live a happy, sober life free from drugs and alcohol.
1. Talk to Someone
Talking to someone when you experience cravings can help you feel stronger and more in control. It may help to have a sponsor, mentor, or sober companion to support you through the first months of the recovery process. You can call your sponsor in times of need and benefit from their company and advice.
Support groups and recovery meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous can help you develop a strong network and coping skills for cravings. Recovery meetings are a chance to share skills with others, learn from each other’s experiences, and remain committed to addiction recovery.
2. Good Self-Care
Practicing good self-care helps you improve your health and overall well-being. Self-care can take many forms – it may involve eating well, exercising, resting, meditation, or setting healthy boundaries.
Feeling healthy, energized, and happy can reduce the desire to use drugs in the first place. It also makes you stronger and puts you in a better position to cope with cravings when they do arise.
3. Get A Hobby
Drug cravings are usually short – they often last only ten to fifteen minutes. Therefore, distracting yourself during this time can be a good strategy to cope with cravings.
Hobbies such as sports, cooking, dancing, or arts and crafts provide something else for your mind and body to focus on. When you start experiencing a craving, you can practice your hobby instead. Hobbies that are accessible and do not rely on specific locations, resources, or people can be the most helpful. You can engage in these activities at any time, no matter when your cravings arise.
Cravings often arise out of boredom or the desire to fill some kind of void in your life. However, acquiring hobbies and establishing a full and productive daily routine can help reduce cravings in the first place.
4. Surf the Urge
Surfing the urge is a form of mindfulness that involves accepting a drug craving rather than trying to resist it or make it go away. Research suggests that surfing the urge may improve your response to drug cravings and decrease the chance of you using the drug.
You can practice this by stopping and acknowledging your craving. For example, you can close your eyes and observe your body’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Understanding your experience in this way helps you to accept the craving for what it is and realize that it will pass.
5. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment approach for addiction recovery and relapse prevention. It helps you identify the thought and behavioral patterns that underlie addiction and develop skills to overcome them.
Attending CBT sessions can help you develop skills to cope with cravings. For example, you can spot patterns in your thinking that make it difficult to resist cravings and learn how to change these patterns. This may involve reducing cognitive distortions that make you feel like a situation is worse than it is, so you can cope with the situation without turning to drugs.
Accepting that drug cravings are normal and not a sign of failure is key to overcoming them. If you feel guilty or inadequate when you experience a craving, it often intensifies the situation. Recognizing that a craving is manageable helps you stay calm and take the necessary steps to cope with it.
Enlightened Solutions Detox offers medical, clinical, and holistic addiction treatment approaches to guide you on the path to sobriety. We understand that recovery is a lifelong process and provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to stay sober in the long term. Call us today at 833-233-7336 for more information.