10 Ways to Resist a Cocaine Craving

Cravings are strong memories that are linked to the effect of drugs on the brain’s neurochemistry. The immense neurotransmitter release that is brought on by the “high” drugs produce is responsible both for the experience and the lasting effects on brain chemistry. By understanding why and when cravings occur, individuals recovering from cocaine addiction can learn how to avoid and overcome triggers to use the drug.

What Causes a Cocaine Craving?

Myriad personal and environmental triggers, also known as “conditioned cues,” can set off a desire to use. Several common ones include the following:

  • Being around people with whom one used
  • Having money or getting paid
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Social situations
  • Strong emotions such as anxiety, depression or joy

Cravings are normal parts of recovery—not signs that something is wrong or that a person actually wants to resume drug use. If a person does not give into a craving, it typically peaks and dissipates in less than one hour.

How Can I Stay Sober When a Craving Occurs?

One way to withstand the urge to use is to detach from it and take the role of a curious observer. Asking yourself questions can help you adopt this attitude. Several to consider include the following:

  • Where in your body do you sense cravings?
  • What emotions typically precede your cravings?
  • What is a craving like for you?
  • How do the levels or intensities of your cravings change?
  • How long do your cravings last?

Building a repertoire of healthy coping strategies with which to fight off cravings is vital. Eight more ways to withstand the urge to use cocaine include the following:

  • Distract yourself by doing something else
  • Talk about your craving with a trusted friend or someone in recovery
  • Recall negative consequences of cocaine abuse in your life
  • Make an encouraging phone call to another person who is even newer in sobriety than you are
  • Go to a 12-Step meeting
  • Use positive self-talk
  • Call a treatment center hotline to see if you might need professional help
  • Exercise vigorously for one hour, or until the craving passes

A final way to avoid giving into temptation to use cocaine is so practical that it is easy to overlook: Take on a household project. Even a small task such as organizing a drawer or cleaning out a car can help to boost feelings of order, peace and productivity that can stop a relapse in its tracks.

Help for Cocaine Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with cocaine addiction, you are not alone. Admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour support line can guide you to wellness. No matter how strong a craving feels, remember that you have a choice. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call and start your recovery today.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email