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How Do I Get Through Cravings During Detox?

Detox is the difficult time when your body has to quickly adjust to functioning without drugs. You may feel sick, anxious, irritable, and depressed. These are all signs of physical dependence on the drug. The most difficult part of detox–and what makes it so hard to do alone–is that you know all this misery can stop if you just use the drug. That is the physical aspect of addiction, but there is also the psychological aspect–the cravings. Cravings are most intense in the midst of physical withdrawal, but they may continue for years. If you want to stay in recovery, you have to learn to deal with cravings as early as possible.

During detox, the surest way to deal with cravings in the sense of just preventing relapse, is not to have access to drugs. In a facility, this is taken care of because the staff won’t let you have any drugs that aren’t prescribed. At home, this can be trickier. Even if you get all the drugs out of the house, you only have to text the right person to be resupplied pretty quickly. It helps to have someone there to keep you accountable.

This is the brute force method. It keeps you from relapsing, but the cravings themselves are unpleasant and it helps to find ways to deal with them. Here are some suggestions.

Remember it’s a want not a need. When you experience a serious craving, the underlying assumption is “I need this.” You have to remind yourself that you don’t actually need it–you just really, really want it. Don’t let your addicted brain fool you. Remind yourself you only want it, even if you don’t quite believe it at first.

Stay busy. Sometimes in detox, you can’t do very much because you feel terrible. As soon as you can, try to keep yourself occupied. Cravings start sneaking in when you’re bored. If you are focused on doing something interesting or challenging, then cravings have a harder time competing for your attention.

Examine the feeling. When you do notice a craving and it becomes distracting, examine the feeling a little bit. Where in your body do you feel it? What were you feeling just before the craving appeared–anxiety, stress, boredom, despair? Be as specific as possible. Understanding your cravings better will help you manage them in the future.

Remember your long-term goals, but focus on now. This is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you have to reaffirm your commitment to recovery and believe you will be better for it in the long run. On the other hand, you don’t want to constantly bear the burden of a lifetime of sobriety. If you have spent a little time examining your cravings, you have probably noticed that they are not constant. They appear, they sometimes get worse, then they ease up and maybe go away completely for a while. When you’re experiencing a craving, keep in mind that you only have to experience it in the present moment and that the craving will soon pass.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168