Cravings are having strong urges to want to use again after recovery. Cravings may not necessarily lead to relapse but it is important to make sure that they do not head in that direction. You can maintain control of your cravings by using exercises and meditations to prevent relapsing.
Cravings come from a variety of thoughts and feelings that makes you feel like quitting substance abuse is nearly impossible. There is a part of you that wants to stop drinking and the other part that still wants to feel the euphoric effects produced by alcohol. There are internal triggers where your thoughts and feelings are what make you want to use, like if you feel angry or sad. External triggers are outside circumstances which remind you of using, like certain people, places, and things. You are more at risk if you have a strong dependency to abusive substances as well as if you have a mental health disorder.
There are plenty of medications to take during medical detox to decrease your cravings such as Vivitrol which blocks the effects of opiates on the brain as well as reduces heroin and alcohol cravings. Entacapone works with the dopamine receptors of the brain and decreases marijuana cravings. Baclofen is a muscle relaxer that decreases cocaine cravings. Rivastigmine reduces methamphetamine cravings. Risperdal and Ritalin reduces MDMA cravings. These medications work best if you are experiencing short-term cravings.
For long-term cravings, you can do mindfulness techniques to be in tune with how your body feels, paying attention to your breathing, and even doing yoga postures for your body to be at ease. You can also distract yourself with an activity to prevent you from focusing on your cravings like reading a book, watching a movie, cleaning, and working out. If you decide to cook or eat out, making sure that you are not binge eating as that will bring about a new craving for food. You can also try urge surging where you notice where the craving is in your body, what it feels like, and keep picking areas of the body where the craving goes until it passes. It also helps to reach out to others so you are not keeping these thoughts inside and to know that you are not alone. By identifying the triggers and reminding yourself of the consequences of relapsing, you will feel more motivated to achieve sobriety.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.