An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

What's The Best Way To Fend Off Cravings?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Rainman, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    If you've just stopped abusing a drug then you'll have these cravings and though you might try to resist the urge you might find yourself slipping if you have no effective ways to fight the cravings.

    Got any suggestions that could someone who's fighting an addiction to fight off cravings when they assail them?
  2. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I don't know how much help it will be to others but for me staying busy kept my cravings away. I tried to just keep my brain focused on other things. Working out, reading, crafts - I tried to stick with productive things too, since I didn't want to just void fill with unproductive things!
    Rainman likes this.
  3. akiram13

    akiram13 Community Champion

    I will cave into my other cravings instead of my addiction. I would allow myself to eat something I really wanted. I found some things to keep me busy that I take interest in. I avoided going out so I wouldnt be able to get close to my addictions. I kept my mind away as much as possible.
  4. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    Definitely keep yourself busy. I suggest making a list of activities that are fun and relaxing for you. Make sure to include a variety things for different energy levels, time of day, alone and with others, etc. You can always turn to this list and pick something, anything, when you are having a craving. Some stuff that helps me is working on artwork, going for walks, calling a friend, starting a jigsaw puzzle, and so on. Anything to take you mind off it, remember most cravings will be over in a relatively short time if you don't dwell on them.
  5. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I think the list of things is different for each person, but some of the things listed above should defintely help. I think make your own individual list of activities and use it to make sure that you have things to do with the desire to use hits. There is no doubt that staying occupied, and spiritually fed in some way is going to make the desire to use lessen.
  6. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    If you are alone your cravings become strong. When you are with people around, there is a less chance that you think about your addiction. If you have nothing to do, you will also think more about cravings, When you keep yourself busy, it is likely that you will not have any thoughts on cravings.
  7. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    The best distraction to get their mind off cravings is to get busy. When they're busy, then there's really no space for drugs to enter their mind, right? It's like eat, sleep, work. Rinse and repeat.
  8. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    It's good to try to replace it with something else which you can focus your conscious attention on which you enjoy doing but it should be something beneficial and more constructive. Use the "pattern interrupt" from NLP - each time you get a craving or urge coming on, interrupt it quick by shifting your focus of attention to something else (i.e. your new hobby) and give it your full undivided attention until the craving has passed. You could also combine that with using your representational systems to recode the way you emotionally respond to certain stimuli.
  9. Mayoress

    Mayoress Active Contributor

    Have you tried concentrating on things you love to do, things you know how to do, and things you can do successfully. If you try to focus your energy on things you love and know how to do, it will help take your mind off your cravings.
  10. lost247

    lost247 Active Contributor

    Distraction, I would make myself do something to help me refocus my mind. Playing guitar, yoga, riding my bike, anything that required me to pay attention to what I was doing and give my brain something else to obsess about. It didn't work all the time, but it definitely helped.
  11. djdrug

    djdrug Community Champion

    I have found that keeping yourself busy and finding a healthier alternative generally do the trick. If your mind is deeply engaged in something, the chances of you having a craving are minimal. I know of a friend who found an escape to coke in a PC game. I know that sounds strange, but he was himself surprised at not having had a craving after about a few days of playing. He'd head to work, come back and get busy playing. Of course, he didn't completely get rid of the addiction, but his consumption reduced a lot. So, whatever keeps you engaged works.
  12. Kyler

    Kyler Active Contributor

    Get busy. Cravings come when the mind is set on that particular thing, when the focus of the mind gets taken off of that particular thing, then you wouldn't have to worry/think about it. It is mind over matter, you can develop that mental strength in time to be able to just look away and say no and forget about it. It is difficult, but it can happen and so many people have made it!
  13. Jack Wallace

    Jack Wallace Senior Contributor

    Whеn yоu'rе undеr prеssurе, yоur bоdy rеlеаsеs thе hоrmоnе соrtisоl, whiсh signаls yоur brаin tо sееk оut rеwаrds. Соmfоrt fооds lоаdеd withsugаrаnd fаt bаsiсаlly "аpply thе brаkеs" tо thе strеss systеm by blunting this hоrmоnе, еxplаins rеsеаrсhеr Nоrmаn Pесоrаrо, PhD, whо studiеs thе physiоlоgy оf strеss аt thе Univеrsity оf Саlifоrniа, Sаn Frаnсisсо. Whеn yоu rеасh fоr fооd in rеspоnsе tо nеgаtivе fееlings suсh аs аngеr оr sаdnеss (likе pоtаtо сhips аftеr а fight with yоur spоusе), yоu inаdvеrtеntly сrеаtе а pоwеrful соnnесtiоn in yоur brаin. Rеmеmbеr Pаvlоv's dоg? It's сlаssiс brаin соnditiоning. "Thе fооd gеts соdеd in yоur mеmоry сеntеr аs а sоlutiоn tо аn unplеаsаnt еxpеriеnсе оr еmоtiоn," sаys Сynthiа Bulik, PhD, аuthоr оfRunаwаy Еаting аnd dirесtоr оf thе Еаting Disоrdеrs Prоgrаm аt thе Univеrsity оf Nоrth Саrоlinа Сhаpеl Hill. Fасе thаt sаmе prоblеm аgаin, аnd yоur brаin will likеly tеll yоu, "Gеt thе Сhееtоs!"
  14. kaiiren

    kaiiren Member

    Here's my #1 tip: keep trying things until you figure out what works.

    For instance, for my smoking addiction, I tried: hypnotherapy, willpower, reading self help books, purposefully spending my money on other things until I was broke, nicotine lozenges, quitting classes, nicotine patches, and a million other different things. It wasn't until I started taking brand Zyban that the cravings went away and I was able to quit for good.

    Keep trying things that MIGHT help you fend off cravings, don't give up, and you'll eventually find THE THING that helps you fight off cravings once and for all!
  15. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Community Champion

    Keeping yourself busy, no matter how you do is, has always been the best way for me. The more time you have to sit and feel sorry for yourself and wallow in your misery, the more you will want to go back to whatever substance it is you're missing. My favorite ways of keeping myself busy are housework, exercise or work. They all work for me, but sitting around and thinking about the cravings never helps, its best to find something else to do if you want to forget about them.
  16. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    Here are my suggestions:
    • Have a hobby that will distract you about the cravings. This could be painting, swimming, listening to music... Anything really that can help district your mind and your hands away from the addicting substance.
    • Have a support person you can talk to whenever the urges and cravings come. You can have that person's number in speed dial and he or she should always be just nearby your place.
    • Eat the good stuff. Why not indulge in fruits to keep your mouth busy and not want to have some addicting substance go into it?
    • Read a good book. Probably something funny or mind-boggling to keep you busy as well.
    • Try meditation. This can help in fending off the cravings. There are tons of videos on YouTube that you can use for free.
    Good luck!
  17. anorexorcist

    anorexorcist Community Champion

    Well... I'm still trying to stop smoking and even if I haven't stopped completely, I smoke a lot less than I used to, and when I get cravings for a cigarette I just think about the reasons that makes me want to smoke and I try to solve them on my head or re-think about them... Sometimes it works for me.
  18. Markblogger12

    Markblogger12 Member

    For me, working out a few times a week helps keep my roommate from his cravings. That and cheating with junk food, it helps to take your mind off things.