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Cravings in Addiction Recovery
August 25, 2017

Cravings in Recovery from Addiction

Those coping with addiction know the power of cravings. That incredible desire that yearns to be satisfied by going back to your addiction. If these cravings are given into, it is known as relapse. By becoming aware of your cravings and learning how to manage them, you can avoid relapse and stay on track with your recovery.

What are cravings in addiction?

Cravings are physical compulsions or urges caused when dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, is released. Dopamine is a chemical that is associated with emotional responses such as pleasure or pain, and plays an important role in reward motivated-behavior. Cravings can be incredibly difficult to manage until the techniques to manage or avoid them as much as possible are learned.

First, understand that cravings are normal. Cravings are not a sign of relapse. A relapse is when you return to using drugs or alcohol. Feeling a strong desire to return back to your old life from time to time is normal. The goal is not to eliminate cravings all together, but to learn how to recognize them and intervene before it pulls you into a downward spiral.

Craving Cycles

The type of craving and their intensity differs from person to person, but there is a familiar pattern that is common among most people. Typical craving cycles progress as follows:

While cravings are powerful, they aren’t beyond your control. The key to coping with cravings is to learn to intervene in the trigger response stage. By learning to do this, you’ll be able to avoid relapse and as a result feel more in control of your life while continuing to grow and heal in your recovery.

How to resist your cravings:

The addiction specialists at A New Start, Inc. are here to help you learn the techniques necessary to recognize and manage your cravings while on your journey to recovery. Our intensive outpatient program team will work with you throughout the addiction recovery process to provide the tools needed for success in living a sober life. Contact us today at 844.TALK.ANS.

If you’re ready for A New Start, contact us today! Contact Us