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3 Tips for Managing Opioid Addiction Cravings

by Nick

If you want to recover from addiction, we congratulate you on taking this step. Patients healing from opioid use disorder can find hope as they work toward a drug-free life.

The right support can help you manage the cravings you might have as part of your withdrawal. These tips for opioid addiction cravings can help you understand your treatment options and improve your coping skills.

1. Practice a Healthy Lifestyle

Taking care of yourself promotes sustained recovery, according to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. When you practice healthy habits, you can focus on managing your triggers. Improving your well-being also helps you reduce stress, a common cause for cravings. You’ll get more strength and energy to use for stress management. Small and gradual changes in your lifestyle can make it easier to develop healthy habits.

Research also shows that regular exercise can help people recover from substance use disorder. Scientists believe that many factors influence exercise’s effect on addiction symptoms. Since physical activity has a positive impact on mood, it may reduce the frequency of cravings related to stress or depression. Making exercise a habit also encourages other healthy habits, discouraging using drugs as a coping mechanism.

2. Get Support From Others

Support from people who understand your opioid addiction and recovery can also help you resist and reduce cravings. Therapists and fellow patients keep you accountable while staying compassionate when difficulties arise. You can recover with the emotional and social support they provide.

During individual substance use disorder counseling, your counselor will work with you to understand your opioid-related thoughts and behaviors. You can talk about your experiences in a confidential environment. By learning about the underlying factors involved in your condition, you can address them to reduce cravings. Therapists trained in substance use also help patients like you learn recovery skills that help you manage these cravings when they happen.

You can also attend a recovery support group of other people working toward an opioid-free life. A variety of organizations host these groups, including opioid recovery clinics, national organizations and community programs. During support group sessions, you can share your recovery experiences with other recovering patients. Everyone who participates keeps each other accountable and shares coping skills they learn during their recovery.

3. Enter a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs involve the combined use of medicine and therapy to reduce opioid use. The medicine you take as part of MAT — methadone or buprenorphine — can relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications satisfy the brain’s need for opioids without causing euphoria when patients find their therapeutic dose. When you take your medicine as directed by your doctor, you can have a safer and more effective recovery. MAT programs also include counseling and support groups that help you maintain treatment.

MAT From Health Care Resource Centers

At Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC), we specialize in individualized and comprehensive MAT programs. Every patient who attends one of our clinics receives personalized care and respect from our staff. We welcome you to find a location in your area and schedule an intake appointment today.

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