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(p. 162) Managing Thoughts About Using 

(p. 162) Managing Thoughts About Using
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date: 15 January 2021

Thoughts about using alcohol or drugs are normal during recovery. Having a thought about using isn’t a problem, as long as you don’t act on the thought.

Here are several ways you can manage thoughts about using alcohol or drugs:

  • Leave the situation.

  • Call someone and talk it out.

  • Distraction: Engage in an activity that is unrelated to alcohol/drugs (e.g., exercise, go to a movie, play with your children).

  • Go to an AA/NA meeting.

  • Question your thoughts. Remember that not all thoughts are true.

    • Do you really need a drink/hit?

    • Will using really make things better?

    • Can you really have “just one”?

  • Positive thinking: Remind yourself of your success so far!

  • Visual imagery: Imagine yourself riding out the wave of craving until it passes.

  • Play it out: What will “one drink” lead to? Where has it ended up in the past?

  • Decision delay technique: If nothing else is working, then look at your watch and make the commitment put off a decision to use for at least 15 minutes.

Renew your commitment to recovery:

My overall level of personal commitment to recovery (circle one)

None 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Extremely High