Cravings for alcohol or drugs are common in addicts or even after a period of heavy use. They are both physical and psychological in nature and are most intense during the acute withdrawal period a day or two after you stop taking drugs or alcohol. However, they can also appear months or years after withdrawal.
There are many theories about what causes food cravings, but the bottom line is that you will almost certainly experience food cravings if you are addicted. Here are some key points to understand as you are dealing with food cravings after withdrawing from an addictive substance:
Facts About Cravings
- Cravings are normal. Researchers have found that people who have experienced an addiction have chemical changes in their brain that make food cravings more likely.
- Cravings don’t last forever. They come in waves – they build up, reach a peak, and then subside. Knowing this can make it easier to counter and manage food cravings.
- Cravings doesn’t mean there is a problem. The fact that you crave a substance does not mean that you are weak or unable to fulfill your desires.
- Different people have different experiences with cravings. Some may actually ignore their cravings while others may need specific strategies to avoid temptation.
You are very prone to cravings soon after you become abstinent. However, methods of overcoming food cravings that rely solely on willpower often fail. There are drugs that can reduce cravings for alcohol and substances...
Without drugs to reduce opiate cravings, opiate addicts are at increased risk of fentanyl overdose death. When used properly, methadone and buprenorphine can significantly reduce opiate cravings and the risk of relapse.
For one, acamprosate can reduce alcohol cravings. Vivitrol is another remedy that can also reduce opiate cravings. The desire for substance often decreases over time, as does the alcohol withdrawal effect, which is an increased preoccupation with alcohol after a period of abstinence.
Cravings for a variety of medications can be reduced with an over the counter supplement called N-acetylcysteine (NAC)...
Why and when do food cravings occur
There are psychological triggers that you are almost certain to encounter in your daily life. Here are some specific situations where food cravings are most likely to occur:
- If you experience any physical sensations, associate them with your addictive substance or activity (fatigue, wobbly, etc.).
- If you are exposed to what you depend on (alcohol, drugs, food, etc.)..
- When you experience certain emotions that you associate with the addictive substance or activity (depending on your particular psychology, you may be most vulnerable when you are frustrated, tired, or stressed out – or when you are happy, excited or ready to do something share your success).
- When you interact with people, places, times of day, and situations related to your addictive substance or activity (evenings, weekends, and spending time with old friends can be especially difficult).
- When you see others enjoy what you are addicted to
Research suggests that addictions cause changes in brain chemistry that make food cravings more likely.
Tips for dealing with food cravings
Everyone has a different reaction to food cravings; If any of the following tips don’t work for you, try a different one!
- Exercise is one of the easiest ways to reduce food cravings as it releases endorphins that will make you feel better. It changes the way you feel and makes it easier for you to divert your attention from physical cues to use more drugs or alcohol. However, start carefully, especially if you also suffer from fatigue and / or muscle weakness, and avoid developing substitute addiction by keeping your daily exercise under two hours.
- If you are going to be in a place or with people who cause food cravings, there is a specific plan you should keep in mind for managing your feelings. Do you know what you are going to eat or drink, know how to get out of the situation, know who to call if you need assistance.
- Staying busy to distract yourself from the cravings can be helpful in distracting your attention from wanting to take more of the drug...
- Know your triggers..As your day progresses, note the cravings – even mild ones – and keep a journal. This will help you anticipate and plan for food cravings as soon as they occur.
- Music therapy is helpful for reducing food cravings; Listening to music can distract you from the desire and soothe the physical symptoms of the desire, making you feel better...
- Positive self-talk can often help people through cravings. Yes, you are worth the pain of saying “no” to something that is likely to harm you in the long run.
- “Surfing” through desire. In some cases, distraction may not help and you may just have to experience the ups and downs of cravings. In this case, it can be helpful to remember the negative aspects of addiction and the hard work you have already done to overcome it.
- Talk about your desires. For some people, talking about food cravings is a way to gain the support of friends, which can help you overcome and overcome the need for pampering.
If you have recently become abstinent, avoid triggering situations, or at least be prepared to experience cravings if you find yourself in a triggering situation.