People in active addiction can always find an excuse to use. If its snowing outside they tell themselves it’s a good day to drink or drug. But, if it’s a sunny day they will tell themselves it’s such a beautiful why not make the day better by getting buzzed or even blitzed. By getting into recovery they will learn that no matter what kind of day it is he or she does not have to take that first drink or drug..
One of the first things someone needs to learn is how to deny their urges. It’s like if someone has poison ivy, the first thing they want to do is scratch it. But there are other ways to handle this itch that will be beneficial to you in the long run. For instance, put medicated cream on it or take an oatmeal bath. The same is true when a person has the urge to use. They can go to a meeting or call a friend who is also in recovery. This is of course after any medically necessary detox.
Another idea when coping with urges is to delay gratification. So, a person might have an unrealistic thought that an urge will never go away. The fact of the matter is that urges usually last for seconds or minutes and rarely much longer. There are though realistic thoughts about urges. For instance, urges feels uncomfortable. A person should accept this feeling and if one can delay the feeling the urge will go away! Recovery will teach you coping skills to help distract you until the cravings and urges stop..
There are also triggers that can cause urges and the key is if a person is aware of these triggers then they can do their best to avoid them. An example is if a restaurant triggers an urge then maybe bring a supportive friend with you. You can also either distance yourself from the situation or avoid it all together for awhile. Lastly, another good idea is to substitute something in place of the urges such as attending a twelve step meeting, eating a healthy meal or going for a walk. These strategies will help you to avoid giving into urges. Make the effort and it will pay off in the long run!