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How to Handle a Drug Craving

person receiving guidance on how to handle a drug craving

Recovering from addiction is an ongoing process, meaning self-compassion is essential to success. If you or someone you love is embarking on a sobriety journey, you may wonder how to handle a drug craving and deal with other features of early recovery.

Contact the caring staff at Northpoint Seattle for assistance today. Our evidence-based drug rehab program in Washington has effective services to help you now.

Call us at 888.483.6031 or contact us electronically to begin the conversation. 

What Are Some Top Tips to Handle Drug Cravings?

Handling a drug craving can undoubtedly feel like no small feat. Here are some tips to handle drug cravings that can help you mindfully prepare and successfully get through them:

  • Practice acceptance – Honesty is the best policy for navigating cravings. Before trying to distract, relax, or reframe, acknowledge your feelings. Validating your experience and approaching unpleasant moments with courage and self-compassion makes a difference. 
  • Address your physical needs – The addiction recovery process is as much about physical healing as mental health recovery. To the best of your ability, get adequate sleep, eat a nutritious diet, and move your body regularly. This makes your brain more resilient when cravings inevitably crop up. 
  • Engage in a relaxation technique – Sometimes cravings are aligned with periods of heightened stress, like challenging interactions or demanding work. Performing a calming visualization, like progressive muscle relaxation, can be a helpful tool in processing stress without turning to substances. 
  • Utilize cognitive reframing – Reframing, a cognitive-behavioral therapy technique, involves noticing and revising negative thoughts often attached to drug cravings. For example, you might reframe the idea, “This discomfort will go on forever,” with “This, like all sensations, will end.” 

Refocusing attention is another drug craving tip. Finding a hobby or pursuit you love can be a game-changer. Doing so helps you wisely reinvest time and energy previously taken by drug use. Activities like creative expression, sports, and volunteering can boost endorphins, build social connections, and facilitate neurological healing. 

Seek Formal Rehab to Optimize Your Chance of Successfully Handling Drug Cravings 

Practicing skills for handling drug cravings on your own is very impactful, but professional support is also necessary for many dealing with addiction. Your options include a range of levels of care, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs. In a formal program, you can go through withdrawal under supervision, receive one-on-one counseling, and benefit from supportive group activities. 

In rehab, you’ll engage with modalities like cognitive-behavioral therapy, a branch of counseling that’s especially helpful in addiction recovery. Here, counselors teach clients techniques like cognitive reframing and help them identify and manage their triggers. Tools such as journaling and relaxation techniques are standard as well. 

Group therapy, whether in the form of a 12-step program or another modality, is similarly powerful. Groups provide camaraderie, reduce shame and stigma, and provide crucial accountability in the early stages of sobriety. Another significant benefit of group engagement is its potential to carry forward into the future. Programs exist nationwide; countless individuals depend on them for community, mentorship, and support long after formal rehab ends. 

Contact Northpoint Seattle Today for More Drug Craving Tips and Info on Addiction Rehab 

Looking for more information about managing drug cravings and otherwise navigating your recovery from addictive substances? Call the knowledgeable team at Northpoint Seattle today for information about our programs or a referral. We treat a wide range of addictions and mental health conditions and offer everything from dual diagnosis care to relapse prevention planning. We’re here to help, and you can reach us via 888.483.6031 or by filling out our confidential online contact form