Cravings happen to many people working to recover from opioid use disorder. This symptom gives you the urge to use opioids in response to specific triggers or without a particular reason. With the right strategies, you can manage your cravings and stay on the path to recovery. Try these approaches when you get the urge to use opioids.
1. Seek Professional Help
Addiction treatment professionals understand the science behind opioid use disorder and use it to assist you. A medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program gives you support in the following areas of addiction:
- Physical: When you participate in a MAT program, you take medication, either buprenorphine or methadone, that reduces your withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Emotional: As part of a MAT program, you work with a counselor to develop recovery skills that help you manage the urge to use.
- Social: Most treatment centers offer social support in the form of community resource referrals and patient recovery groups.
Getting professional care for your opioid use disorder serves as a solid foundation for the rest of your craving management strategies.
2. Build a Support System
Emotional support from friends, family and loved ones can make a difference in coping with cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. If you feel comfortable opening up to someone, you can share that you have withdrawal symptoms. The people you love can check in on you and give you an outside perspective when withdrawal symptoms become overwhelming.
A recovery peer group can also help you manage cravings. Opioid use disorder support circles come in many forms and can follow a set program or have an informal approach. You can try a few different groups before finding one that feels right for your goals.
3. Learn Your Triggers and Address Them
Everyone has different triggers for cravings, such as certain memories or situations. As you go through recovery, try to notice when, where and why you feel the urge to use opioids. An addiction counselor can help you discover your triggers and find ways to handle them. Separating yourself from your triggers and learning how to manage them can reduce the frequency of your cravings.
4. Find Ways to Redirect Your Thoughts
Taking your thoughts off your cravings can also help you commit to your treatment goals. Hobbies have a crucial role to play in redirecting your thoughts away from your cravings. Try new activities related to your interests or rekindle your love for hobbies you had before your addiction. If you have difficulty thinking of things to do when you get cravings, you can make a list or put together a box of your favorite books, movies and music.
Let MedMark Treatment Centers Help
At MedMark Treatment Centers, we help patients across the country manage opioid withdrawal and get back to living their lives. Our MAT programs take a holistic approach to treatment that accounts for all aspects of life. As a result, our patients can feel supported in every part of their addictions. Learn more or schedule an intake by calling 866-840-6658 or contacting our team online.