Medical detox is the first and most important step on the road to recovery. During detox, toxins associated with substances are gradually removed from the body, and newly recovering addicts eventually gain stability. While detox gives people a new lease on life, they are far from being out of the woods. The number one obstacle people encounter in recovery is cravings. The tremendous pull created by cravings has the power to lead people back to active substance use.
This article will outline healthy ways to manage cravings during the detox process. If you are struggling with addiction and desire a meaningful long-term recovery, Arista Recovery can help you achieve your goal. Our evidence-based detox programs and services will give you the confidence to step confidently into sobriety for a lifetime. Call us toll-free today and transform your life.
What Are Drug Cravings?
In simple terms, drug cravings are an intense desire for newly recovering addicts to use substances they were once addicted to. Cravings create powerful unwelcome emotions that make people want to resume the use of drugs and alcohol. Cravings can even elicit adverse physical reactions such as dizziness, sweating, and nausea.
What is the anatomy of a craving?
Cravings are considered an example of classical conditioning where substance use is paired with specific cues. Repeated pairing of these stimuli creates a conditioned response that elicits the same response as the actual use of the substance itself. If a person does not use substances for some time, the presence of those “cues” triggers a desire for that person to use their substance of choice.
Learning How to Manage Cravings During Detox
As the body and mind become clear during the detox process, clients in treatment need to learn healthy coping skills to learn how to manage cravings during detox. Clients must first realize that cravings are a normal part of early recovery. Addiction changes brain chemistry, and it will take some time for the brain to return to normal functioning. Those new in recovery need to remember that cravings do not last forever.
So how do people successfully manage withdrawal cravings in rehab? The following are simple yet powerful coping tools to help those in recovery stay on the path:
Understand Triggers—to manage detox cravings, people new in recovery must learn to take note of the cravings they experience daily—no matter how small. It is helpful to use a journal and write down the times during the day when cravings were felt. This will help people anticipate when cravings occur, and they can plan to deal with cravings when they arise.
Talk to Supportive People—another way to manage withdrawal cravings is for people to talk about what they feel and experience with those they trust in recovery. Being honest and talking about vulnerable situations with people who care makes people feel better and stronger.
Riding the Craving Out—early in recovery, the cravings people experience are very intense and vivid. While the craving itself only lasts a few minutes, it can feel like an eternity. When a craving hits, people must remind themselves these feelings are normal and will subside. It is helpful to remember the positives of being in recovery and the work that has been put in to get better.
Exercise—another great way to minimize cravings is through exercise. Exercise releases endorphins which are the brain’s natural “feel good” chemical. Exercise makes people feel better and helps raise awareness of one’s body sensations.
Arista Recovery Helps Addicts Rise Above Addiction
There are many obstacles standing in the way of long-term recovery. If you desire to break free from the grip of addiction, Arista Recovery will give you the tools and confidence to achieve that goal. We offer evidence-based drug treatment programs and multiple levels of care personalized to meet your needs. Our experienced and compassionate staff will be with you throughout your time in treatment. You will learn to rise above addiction and become the person you are meant to become. Call Arista Recovery toll-free today to learn more about our Midwest Recovery Center.