Keeping Yourself Under Control: Five Ways to Deal with Urges and Cravings

Keeping Yourself Under Control: Five Ways to Deal with Urges and Cravings


Addicts often find they struggle to overcome the urge to use once again. Even those who seek treatment will find the cravings can come upon them suddenly and they have to fight them off. Fortunately, there are methods an addict may use to overcome the urges and cravings. Following are five every addict should try.

Seek Support

When the urge to use strikes, call someone you trust. Have them talk you through the urge or craving until you feel strong enough to fight it off on your own. Be aware that cravings will continue for a long period of time, possibly even forever. They do become less frequent with time but their intensity tends to remain the same unless treatment is received. Make certain this support system is in place so you have somewhere to turn when they appear.


Learn the Triggers

Every addict has triggers that bring on cravings and the urge to use again. Make a list of every known trigger and add to this list as new ones are observed. Try to avoid situations involving these triggers and if there is no way to avoid a trigger make certain steps have been put into place to overcome the urges and cravings. Having strategies in place at this time makes it easier to avoid substance use. If help is needed, speak to others in the recovery process to learn what has worked for them, as these techniques may be of benefit to you.


Addicts often find exercise helps them to overcome cravings and urges to use the substance of choice. This may be nothing more than a walk around the block or it may be an intense workout at the local gym. The exercise helps to reduce any stress you are experiencing and helps you find the right balance once again.


Accept the Cravings and Embrace Them

Addicts often try to fight the craving but it is best to acknowledge the desire to use drugs again. Take the time to sit down and embrace the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. Talk about what you are going through, as verbalizing it helps you see that the cravings tend to come in waves and the thoughts and feelings will pass with time. When an addict tries to push their thoughts and feelings away, they somehow seem bigger than they truly are.

Obtain Treatment

If you find the cravings are becoming overwhelming and you are tempted to use once again, seek treatment. Many addicts don’t realize they may need to go through a treatment program more than once to kick their habit for good. This doesn’t mean the addict has failed. In fact, it shows his or her will to succeed and beat the addiction for good. If outpatient treatment has not worked in the past, consider partial hospitalization or an inpatient program. The key to living a sober life is to keep working on the recovery process and 1st Step Behavioral Health can be of help.


Recovery is possible. However, it requires an addict to learn what steps he or she needs to take when the urge to use arises. The above methods are only a few of many that may be employed. The key is to keep trying until you find the right combination. When you do, you’ll find you have the sober life you dreamed of when you first sought treatment.

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