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Avoid Relapse by Managing Cravings

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Last Updated on

Those who struggle with addiction know all too well the tug of cravings. They are the itch that begs to be scratched… and when one satisfies that craving, it is commonly referred to as relapse. We offer this article to provide the reader with a few options that might help in managing cravings in recovery, and in so-doing, gain mastery over them by avoiding relapse.

Managing Cravings May Be Easier than You Think

It is important to note that you cannot necessarily control the appearance of cravings. What you can control however; is your response to those cravings. You do not have to give in to them. You can overcome even the strongest urge to scratch that itch by having a plan – made in advance.

Get Your Zen On

One of the biggest triggers to our cravings comes when we become agitated, stressed or upset. Starting your morning with some form of meditation, focused quiet time or yoga is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the day. Learn several different relaxation techniques, and implement them on a regular basis, and you’ll find yourself in a much stronger position when those cravings show up.

Power Up

Sometimes, when those ugly cravings show themselves, it takes a little more than a yoga pose to shake the urge. That’s when we recommend getting up and getting out! Whether it be as simple as going for a walk, or a little more involved like going to the gym – doing something physical can put those cravings where they belong: in the rearview mirror.

Change Your Scenery

Finally, you may notice that certain cravings tend to show up either at the same time, or in the same place(s). When you notice such behavioral patterns, it may be wise indeed to change your scenery. Get out of the office, or out of the house. Take a walk, ride a bike, or jump into your car and go for a ride.

You can also call someone who supports you in your recovery, and ask for his or her assistance in walking you through the craving.  The good news is, cravings don’t have to be a death sentence. By taking action and surrounding yourself with those who care about you, you stand much improved chances of managing cravings and avoiding relapse.

  • Robert J. Johnson, SAP, MAC, LAC

    Robert J. Johnson is a Substance Abuse Professional, Master Addiction Counselor and a Licensed Addiction Counselor. His experience includes private practice, residential in-patient, intensive residential treatment, outpatient, sober living and therapeutic communities. He is the Executive Director of A New Outlook Counseling Services serving the Denver metro area of Colorado.

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