Techniques for Dealing with Cravings


Substance abuse can have a powerful effect on both the mind and body – they have learned that drug use is “good” because of how dopamine influences addiction. Dopamine is released in your brain to promote the repetition of activities that produce joy and fulfillment. When a person uses a drug, their dopamine level is higher than average. The brain trains itself to seek out those substances, which leads to addiction. These compulsions are hard to overcome, especially for those fresh out of detox. However, there are various ways you can deal with cravings after treatment is complete.

Know Your Triggers

The first step to prevent cravings is to understand what triggers them. Sometimes these triggers can be environmental such as particular smells or places that remind you of using. These triggers can also be mental such as using a substance to self-medicate mental illness or escape negative emotions. No matter what kind of triggers you experience, it is essential to recognize them and find ways to avoid them.


Waiting it out goes hand-in-hand with triggers. If you experience a trigger, wait it out 10-15 minutes. If the craving remains, it means you probably are still exposed to the trigger that caused those cravings. It may seem impossible, but using mindfulness techniques can help. Practice deep breathing and identify things about using that you dislike most. Once you overcome a craving, it becomes easier and more comfortable to overcome other challenges. 


Adopting a regiment of self-care is essential to prevent cravings. Exercising helps relieve stress, and creating healthy eating habits provides physical well-being. Emotional and physical health is vital in fighting cravings. Self-care also includes self-soothing techniques like taking a bubble bath or getting a massage. Taking care of yourself provides the realization that using was not doing anything positive for your mind or body. Remembering how using made you feel sick, tired, and depressed, and all the subsequent complications can keep you on your path. 


Cravings can be a challenging part of substance use to overcome. They can sometimes seem overwhelming if we aren’t equipped with the rights tools to withstand them. A few techniques to help you defeat cravings include identifying triggers, waiting it out, and implementing self-care. If cravings are too frequent or intense, there are many resources people can turn to. At Avalon Malibu, we have a dedicated staff with expertise in relapse prevention. We understand that the current pandemic and civil unrest can put a strain on recovery. You don’t have to do this alone. We have implemented safety policies to ensure we keep both our clients and staff safe and healthy. If you or someone you love is struggling with cravings, call us today at (844) 857-5992. You deserve to live your best and healthiest life, and that can be just one phone call away.

We will work with most out of network PPO policies

Call 888-835-8075 to verify your insurance benefits today!
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Health Net
Blue Of California