Every person who experiences recovery will encounter triggers and urges to drink. It is a natural part of the process which will fade as time goes on. Setting expectations early on for what is ahead in recovery can help build positive coping strategies for the inevitable.

 

Cravings in Recovery

Cravings are an intense feeling or desire to drink again. During recovery from alcoholism, cravings are a usual part of the process, particularly in early recovery when thoughts and cravings to drink can pop up out of nowhere anytime. Experiencing cravings does not lead a person to relapse but support does exist to cope with the feelings as they arise.

 

Symptoms of Cravings

An intense desire to drink can lead a person to feel the need to relapse which starts with self talk in the mind before an action ever happens. Alcohol cravings are both manifested in physical and mental feelings. As habitual drinking habits are reduced, a person can expect positive thought patterns to emerge. Cravings have a basis in more negative thought patterning which is a result of physical and mental urges to drink and may be triggered in the following ways:

  • When a person is in contact with people, places or situations which are associated with past drinking behavior
  • A person stops drinking
  • A person tries to escape from unpleasant feelings (depression, anxiety, boredom, stress)
  • A person wants to enhance a positive mood (like when the individual used to get from alcohol)
  • Triggers which make a person feel hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness

 

Dealing with Cravings

Many ways exist to deal with cravings in recovery. The best way to cope include the following strategies:

 

  • Avoid triggers. Certain people, places and activities will trigger cravings for alcohol. Avoid the situations even if it means changing social or private life and old hobbies
  • Practice saying ‘no.’ Willpower is a strong way to combat cravings even when the world throws curveballs. In social situations, people may offer a drink but a person can refuse rather than accepting. Having a prepared response will help (firm, polite turn down of drink).
  • Manage triggers. Talking with trusted friends, sponsors, counselors or loved ones can help offset the effect triggers have on a person’s recovery. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
  • Relaxation techniques. Anxiety, fear, anger and stress can be common triggers for cravings. Learning how to stay calm and breathe deeply (meditation, yoga) can help when situations arise.
  • Medication. Medicine can be a powerful support for individuals who struggle with cravings but should be done under the consult of a therapist or program overseen by professionals.

No one-size-fits-all approach works in treatment to stop cravings completely. It helps to have support and strategies for coping with cravings which will arise from time to time throughout recovery. The key is to find trusted individuals within whom to confide and seek support when it feels too much to handle.

 

Hired Power helps individuals recover from the power of addiction and substance use. The journey of recovery is best done in community. Call us to find out how we can support your journey with resources, tools and information about addiction recovery.

 

Most Recent Blog Posts

5 Ways To Forgive Yourself In Recovery

    Sometimes, in active addiction, we do things we aren’t proud of. We may have hurt the ones we love, do things we are ashamed of, and caused harm to ourselves. We may feel guilty, embarrassed, and angry. Although you may have gotten substance abuse treatment and are...

    Read More

    Recognizing A Problem With Alcohol

      It can be fun and relaxing to go out for drinks with your friends on Friday nights after a long work week or have a cocktail before bed. Many people drink alcohol and do so regularly, but how do you know when your drinking has become a problem? When many of us think...

      Read More

      Which 12-Step Program Is Right For Me?

        12-Step programs are a common part of addiction recovery. Many treatment programs utilize a 12-Step approach, and many of those recovering choose to attend meetings after they complete their treatment. Attending meetings can help individuals maintain their recovery...

        Read More

        HIRED POWER

        21062 Brookhurst St. #201, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

        ©2021 All Rights Reserved. Design & Development by Goldman Marketing Group | Sitemap | Privacy Policy The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions. If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact us at