Do Opiate Cravings Ever Go Away? How to Deal with Opiate Cravings
Opiates are notorious for their intense withdrawal symptoms, and their powerful grip on anyone unfortunate enough to develop an opiate addiction. The hardships associated with quitting opiate abuse has led to a number of recovering addicts asking the same question: Do opiate cravings ever go away In this article, we’re going to take a look at the opiate cravings after detox, and how to deal with opiate cravings.
Answering the Key Question: Do Opiate Cravings Ever Go Away?
Whenever addiction comes up, you will hear a lot of different responses in regards to how long the effects of addiction are felt. Some believe it’s a life-long process of recovery, others think that addiction can be cured after a few months or years of treatment. Both of these perspectives have some truth to them, and some misconceptions associated with them as well. Opiate cravings after detox are not nearly as strong as opiate cravings before going through the cleansing process of treatment, so in a sense treatment truly does help mitigate a lot of the symptoms of drug abuse. In fact, if we’re discussing how to deal with opiate cravings, medically supervised detox centers are one of the most effective suggestions we can offer. However, there are still cravings that will occur after detox, in fact, there will most likely be cravings for the foreseeable future. Granted, these cravings will start to come less and less often, and they will be less and less intense the more your body adjusts to a life of sobriety, but they will still be present in your life. So the answer to the questions “do opiate cravings ever go away?” is no, but they do get much easier to deal with, and they do become much less frequent. The most important thing for recovering addicts to know about opiate cravings after detox is how to deal with opiate cravings.
What Do Opiate Cravings After Detox Look and Feel Like?
One of the key focuses during inpatient and outpatient treatment, is the creation of new, healthy coping mechanisms for handling things like stress, triggers, and other emotional situations. These situations all fall under the blanket categorization of cravings. Cravings like these commonly cause patients without strong coping mechanisms to return to opiate abuse or other forms of substance abuse.
So what do opiate cravings after detox look and feel like? Opiate cravings can vary wildly from person to person, as it’s a highly individualistic experience. In some cases, opiate cravings can be as simple as a food craving, a thought, and desire that simply will not go away. However, they can also be as complex as getting the sudden desire to use after undergoing any amount of stress, or emotional reaction to a situation. One of the most commonly reported forms of craving is experiencing a desire to us after being exposed to a person, place, or thing that a recovering addict was around regularly while using. These can be things like songs, bars, or friends that they were around while high.
During the actual craving, most recovering addicts report the sensation of feeling endless and almost inevitable if they dwell upon it. However, with the proper coping mechanisms, cravings can be relatively easy to ride out, lasting relatively short periods of time.
How to Deal with Opiate Cravings: Developing Healthy Habits
While some extreme situations may require the use medication to manage cravings, for most, the key to managing opiate cravings after detox is developing and using healthy coping mechanisms.
The phrase “coping mechanism” can seem sort of complex if you aren’t used to hearing it, but in reality, it’s a very simple concept. A coping mechanism is anything you use to manage a situation, whether it’s an internal or external situation is of no consequence. Coping mechanisms can be unhealthy or healthy, and good or bad. A great example of a poor coping mechanism is drug use, and unfortunately, it is an extremely common coping mechanism for recovering addicts. When faced with a stressful situation, a hard decision, or something that makes them feel angry, sad, or anxious, many recovering addicts will return to their drug of choice. However, there are good coping mechanisms as well. Good examples of a healthy coping mechanism include things like: calling a friend, attending a 12-step meeting, reading, leaving stressful situations for a more secure environment, meditating, breathing exercises, and even fun activities like art, exercise, and writing.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.