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Turning Off Alcohol and Drug Cravings

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Turning Off Alcohol and D rug Cravin gs 1. Make an Allowance for Cravings 2. Action and Mental Techniques 3. Sharing with Others 4. Preventive Strategy


1. Make an Allowance for Cravings

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Part of this is just acceptance: you have to realize that you are going to have some cravings when you are early in recovery and that you need a plan in place to handle it. Later on cravings will become far less frequent. Each time you face an old trigger you are teaching your brain how to deal with that trigger without resorting to drug and alcohol abuse. Doing so allows you to retrain your brain that you are not going to be giving it drugs and alcohol just because it is Saturday night.


2. Action and Mental Techniques

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When you get a craving to use drugs or alcohol, you have to deal with the craving all by yourself. You can do this mentally. Here are the methods that I have used: Talking with someone else in recovery about my craving. Exercise – and in particular, what I would call a “max workout.” Vacation as distraction. Live entertainment as distraction. Sleep. Food as distraction – in particular, long slow meal with friends/family.


3. Sharing with Others

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This takes some guts. I know it is not comfortable or easy to tell other people when you are craving drugs or alcohol. The release that you get from talking about your craving with another person is huge. “A problem shared is a problem cut in half.� This is doubly true for triggers and urges in recovery. Find someone you trust and tell them about your craving. If you keep this bottled up inside then it only gets stronger. If you go tell someone about your craving then it gets weaker right away. Instantly.


4. Preventive Strategy

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In the long run your strategy should be this: * Prevent triggers and cravings from happening. * A holistic approach that includes fitness, personal growth, spirituality, education, etc. * Taking positive action every single day and “accumulating� positive benefits in your recovery.



Turning Off Alcohol and Drug Cravings