Blog | Crystal Meth Addiction

5 Ways to Crush Crystal Meth Cravings

Crystal MethCravings come and go in recovery. Maintaining sobriety begins with remembering this fact. It begins with being prepared to crush cravings when they come. It continues with being aware of risk factors even after they go. Cravings may leave you alone for days, weeks or even months. Make the most of this time, and live your new, sober life. However be aware that cravings will come again, and have tools and tricks ready for when they do.

Crush Crystal Meth Cravings by Remembering What You Have to Lose

When cravings hit, it can be hard to remember just how good your sober life is. Remind yourself of the facts of recovery. Consider making lists of the good things sobriety brings. You feel better physically. You feel better emotionally. You are better able to manage any co-occurring mental health issues. You are a better parent, child, friend, or partner. You may have a good job or promising new career. You have money to start paying off debt or even start saving for a vacation or other treat. There are an endless number of benefits to recovery. Write down the ones that are true in your life. Look at these lists when cravings hit. Remember what you have to lose by using meth. Remember how much you’ve gained in recovery.

Crush Crystal Meth Cravings by Managing Stress

Stress is a powerful trigger for cravings.

Addiction Biology[1] explains, “Addition is a chronic relapsing illness affected by multiple social, individual and biological factors that significantly impact course and recovery of the illness. Stress interacts with these factors and increases addiction vulnerability and relapse risk.”

Stress is a risk factor unto itself. It also complicates and exacerbates other relapse risk factors. Managing stress helps you crush cravings. Managing stress involves uses tools and techniques you learn in treatment. You may find deep breathing, meditation or yoga help relax body and mind. You may benefit from talking with your therapist, with friends or family, and with peers in recovery. Crush cravings by recognizing the role stress plays. Use healthy coping mechanisms to move through and past stress and cravings without returning to your greatest source of stress of all: meth.

Crush Crystal Meth Cravings by Managing Emotions

Stress isn’t the only emotion related to cravings. Any emotion can trigger a desire to use meth, alcohol and other addictive substances.

Addictive Behaviors[2] found that during recovery, “Patients reported an overall problem with emotion regulation…in particular with emotional awareness and impulse control.”

This can lead to relapse. It doesn’t have to. You can crush emotion-related cravings by learning how to properly recognize, experience, and process emotions. Your therapist and treatment team will help you do just this. Peers in recovery can also offer further advice and experience-based strategies for managing how you feel. Addictive Behaviors continues, “Following protracted abstinence, patients without concurrent BPD significantly improved awareness and clarity of their emotional experience.” As you practice emotion regulation, cravings become easier to crush.

Distract Yourself to Crush Crystal Meth Cravings

Woman runningRecovery often asks you to face stress, emotions and other difficult situations. Treatment gives you the tools and skills to do so. However sometimes things are just too overwhelming in the moment. Rather than give in to cravings, distract yourself. Put time and distance between yourself and the moment or feeling that makes you want to use. The Association for Psychological Science[3] shares, “Disengagement at an early stage can successfully modulate low- and high-intensity emotional information before it gathers force.” You don’t get to avoid feelings forever. However temporary distraction takes the power out of these feels and helps you crush cravings. Go for walks. Call a friend. Watch a show. Get lost in your favorite hobby. Find the distractions that work for you, that help you get your mind off of your craving and on to something else. Keep a list of these distractions handy so that you can use them any time they are needed.

Let Others Help You Crush Crystal Meth Cravings

You don’t have to recover alone. In fact, you can’t recovery alone. You need professional and personal support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these resources when cravings hit. Talk with peers from treatment or your local support group. Call your therapist. Call Michael’s House, and learn more about developing relapse prevention strategies. Call us to find resources for immediate and long-term recovery. No matter who you reach out to, make sure you reach out and crush cravings when they hit.

[1] “Modeling stress and drug craving in the laboratory: implications for addiction treatment development.” Addiction Biology. 28 Aug 2009. Web. 28 Mar 2017.

[2] “Difficulties in emotion regulation and impulse control in recently abstinent alcoholics compared with social drinkers.” Addictive Behaviors. 2008. Web. 28 Mar 2017.

[3] “Emotion-Regulation Choice.” Association for Psychological Science. 29 Sep 2011. Web. 21 Mar 2017.