When you try and deal with addiction cravings alone it can become very problematic, especially if you are in recovery from a substance use disorder. While your recovery has likely included tips and tricks on how to deal with cravings, you may find that you are really struggling to obtain sobriety with specific events or holidays. This is normal for everyone, as the holidays can be a stressful time. Especially in today’s world where we are faced with a pandemic on a daily basis, trying to celebrate anything is especially difficult. If you are finding that your addiction cravings are becoming more challenging than usual, know that you are not alone. It is imperative that you focus on avoiding and managing cravings so that you do not suffer a relapse.
Warning Signs of Relapse
A relapse is not something that just occurs out of the blue. Instead, there are stages to a relapse. Each one of these stages follows the other until an actual relapse of drug or alcohol use occurs.
The first stage of relapse is known as emotional relapse. This occurs when a person begins to neglect their emotions and behaviors rather than addressing them in an appropriate manner. For example, someone experiencing an emotional relapse may keep their emotions bottled up or experience unexplained mood swings. Other symptoms of an emotional relapse can include:
- Isolating from others
- Not going to meetings or attending meetings but being disengaged
- Changes in eating habits
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Focusing on other people’s issues rather than one’s own
As an emotional relapse carries on, a mental relapse is bound to occur next. That is because our emotions and behaviors deeply influence our mental state, therefore ignoring emotions congruent to those experienced when under the influence can affect our mental abilities. Mental relapse is defined by a number of signs, including the following:
- Glamorizing drug or alcohol use
- Downplaying past use
- Considering drinking or using drugs
- Making actual plans to drink or use drugs
- Seeking out opportunities to relapse
When these signs become obvious, they should be considered warning signs of relapse. Seeking professional assistance and support at this time is critical in order to avoid severe consequences.
5 Tips for How to Deal with Addiction Cravings
In your recovery, you learn how to deal with cravings. This is extremely imperative, as you are going to experience cravings one way or another. This is normal for those in recovery. However, cravings can be so powerful that they can jeopardize your recovery and your life. For some, cravings are never as strong any other time of year as they are when holidays and special events are happening. Being prepared to deal with cravings is absolutely critical.
#1. Wait It Out
When a craving comes on, it is easy to give in to it right away. Why not? If you want something and know how to get it, then why wouldn’t you do it? This is often the thinking of someone experiencing a craving. Next time you develop a craving, wait it out for a few minutes. Impulsivity is a trait of the disease of addiction, and you are likely used to being impulsive in your use. Therefore, wait it out.
#2. Accept It For What It Is
During a craving, remember that cravings happen. They are going to happen. This craving you are currently having is not going to be your last. Accept that cravings are what they are. Know that when you give in to them, you may experience some relief from a short period of time, but the damage that is caused lasts much longer. Let your craving wash over you and move on to the next part of your day.
#3. Get Active
When a craving hits, instead of ruminating about it, get out and get active. Go for a walk or a run. Roll out a yoga mat and do some yoga exercises. Even vacuuming the floors of your home counts as being active! Whatever you can do to move your body– do it. This can help you avoid giving in to the craving you are experiencing.
Meditation is something that you can do at any time, anywhere. When a craving happens, take a deep breath and step back from whatever it is that you are doing. Find somewhere quiet to sit and work to clear your mind of any and all thoughts you are having. Practice finding stillness and allow yourself to reconnect with your own spirit.
#5. Go Away
Sometimes, cravings happen because there is something in your immediate environment that is triggering them. Therefore, go away. Simply walk away from the space you are in. If there is something around you that is making you challenge your recovery, then it is time to leave.
Do I Need to Go Back to Treatment To Deal With Addiction Cravings?
Holidays and events can have everyone feeling on edge, especially those who are in recovery. If you are concerned that you are headed for a relapse this season, the best thing you can do is reach out for help. By speaking with a professional, you will be able to determine if you need to go back to treatment in order to avoid a relapse.
If you are experiencing any of the signs of relapse, reach out for help right now. At Detox Nashville, we can help you prevent detox with our residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programming, along with sober living options. In the event that you have already relapsed, we can help with that, too. Our detox services can ensure that you detox safely so that your recovery can be as successful as possible.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab To Deal With Addiction Cravings in Nashville, TN
If you are worried that you can not deal with addiction cravings, do not be ashamed to reach out and ask for help. By calling Detox Nashville at (615) 845-4747, you can speak with one of our team members who can help guide you towards the care you need. Please visit our website to learn more about us and how we can help you.