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(p. 153) Coping with Cravings 

(p. 153) Coping with Cravings
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date: 16 November 2019

  • Cravings are a normal part of the recovery process.

  • Remember that cravings are time-limited and do not last forever. They are like ocean waves. They get stronger only to a point, and then fade away.

Here are some healthy ways to manage cravings:

  • Stay away from triggers for cravings, such as bars, clubs, certain neighborhoods, or certain people.

  • Leave or change the situation.

  • Call someone and talk it out.

  • Remove all alcohol and drugs from your home.

  • Use the Decision Delay technique and make the decision to NOT use for at least the next 15 minutes.

  • Distract yourself:

    • Exercise (e.g., lifting weights, running, yoga, sit-ups, push-ups, basketball with a friend).

    • Watch a movie.

    • Call a friend or sponsor.

    • Go to an AA or NA meeting.

    • Engage in a hobby (e.g., cooking, reading a good book, fishing, bowling, gardening).

    • Go for a walk or bike ride.

    • Listen to relaxing music.

    • Meditate, pray, or go to a place of worship.

    • Spend time with a pet (e.g., give your dog a bath, take him for a walk).

    • Take a nap.

    • Look at pictures of family or children.

    • Eat a good meal or dessert.

    • Write in a diary or notebook.

  • (p. 154) Use the Breathing Retraining exercise.

  • Play it out: What will “just one” really lead to? (e.g., more use, being broke, upset family members, losing your job, depression, shame, guilt, etc.).

  • Question your thoughts: Do you really need a drink/hit? Is it true that you can handle just one?

  • List the positive benefits of not using:

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  • List the negative consequences of using:

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