Withdrawing from opiates is a painful and depressing experience. But most people with opiate addiction have been forced into withdrawals at one point or another. It’s not getting clean that’s the problem, it’s staying there. The terrible and evil power that comes from opiates resides in the cravings that often accompany early sobriety. Whether you know someone or not that has struggled with opiate addiction, it’s valuable to be informed; here are some helpful tips for overcoming those urges which are bound to occur once the drugs are set down and recovery is picked up.
Sober Support Networks are the FIRST Step in Dealing With Opioid Cravings
The absolute number one way step to a successful recovery is having a support system of dedicated members one can call at a moment’s notice. With opiates, willpower is simply not enough for most addicts and the craving mind will justify a relapse. Having someone to call in these moments is essential in not giving in to the urges. Fortunately, the amount of resources in the world is truly staggering. At the end of most 12-step meetings (although for opiates a narcotics addiction-centered format is recommended), an opportunity to fellowship and exchange numbers with fellow addicts is commonplace. Having and using these numbers in a time of need will be the difference between using and staying clean.
Mediation Can Help With Opioid Cravings
Cravings do subside with temporal distance from opiates but will never stop completely. The best a recovering addict can do is learn to react to cravings in healthy ways. Sometimes the only option is to sit with these feelings. Or better yet, meditate on them. Mediation is an effective way of staying in the moment to observe one’s feelings, strengths, weakness, and urges; Rather than reacting to them with anger, fear, or worse… relapse. Plenty of books are available on the subject as well as free guided meditations on YouTube.
Exercise? Of Course, We’d Say That
OK, so exercise is important for everyone and anytime but especially for a recovering addict. Why? Because the natural serotonin produced by working out is an effective tool at battling…you guessed it, cravings! How often was the active addict making it in for leg day? Very few! Getting back into the gym, running or just plain stretching is a blissful way of placing more distance between you and the drug! On a personal note, this writer suggests yoga. The connection between mind, body, and spirit has the most effective way of transforming negative energy into something positive.
Snacks for Lowering Opiate Cravings
I’m not saying go all out! But in a pinch, sugar can help with craving since the response in the brain is similar to that of a drug. So it might be tricked into thinking it’s been satisfied, you get to stay sober and have a little ice cream? Win-win. Again, all in moderation but also: treat yourself!
Other recovering addicts claim a newfound love for cooking has helped keep them sober. The simple act of having a new or challenging recipe to cook for yourself at the end of the day might be all you need to keep those lizard-brain cravings at bay. Learn to make sushi or bake that pie! Either way, accomplishments feel great!
Didn’t You Used to…?
Since active addiction usually takes us away from the activities we love to do, getting back into those hobbies is a great strategy for generating some much-needed natural serotonin. New sobriety is a great time to pick up and dust off that old hobby or skill you never learned but always wanted to. Still, got that Rubik’s cube? Now is your time to shine.
Therapy and Counseling for Opioid Addiction
If you or a loved one suffer from opiate addiction, we at Allure Detox are here to help you the best we can with your path to sobriety. Give us a call and one of our addiction specialists will help you figure out what treatment option would be best for you.