Tag Archives: urges

5 Ways to Deal With Urges and Cravings

Posted on January 31, 2017

By Randy Lindel, Facilitator, SMART Recovery® Boston

Read on for five (5) practical ideas on how to cope with urges and cravings after you have decided to abstain from drugs and alcohol.

Cravings are normal

Everyone who’s engaged in addictive behavior will experience uncomfortable cravings (“I want it badly”) and urges (“I have to do it now”). They are normal. And fortunately, they always pass with time. At the outset of recovery, they can be pretty intense, but each one will subside if you can wait it out and have a plan for relapse prevention. Cravings and urges will decrease in strength and frequency over time. You can make this happen by adopting some coping strategies that work best for you.

Learning to resist cravings

For many people, urges and cravings to use drugs or alcohol trigger automatic responses. They are without conscious thought: I want [fill in the blank]. = I get it. Learning to say NO to these intense, ingrained desires is one of the biggest challenges in recovery. The good news is that you can understand these desires and learn to resist them. Continue reading

Holiday Challenges to Addiction Recovery

Posted on November 22, 2016

What’s your plan?

Holiday TemptationDecember is right around the corner, and and opportunities for urges and cravings seem to be everywhere. SMART volunteers have put their heads together to offer some suggestions to help you navigate the holiday challenges.

People who achieve long-term sobriety have three characteristics in common:

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Overcoming Addictive Behavior

Posted on October 12, 2016

Use Logic and Reason to Change Addictive Behavior
Jonathan von Breton, LCMHC, LCDP

There is a very helpful addiction recovery tool that can change the way that you think about drugs and alcohol. It is called the ABC Tool and it is used in SMART Recovery®. The underlying assumption of the ABC Tool is that how we think has a major impact on our emotions and behaviors.

Change our thinking…and then our feelings and actions will change as well.

The ABC Tool is a self-help activity that you can complete any time that you feel like drinking or using, or when you want to stop drinking alcohol** for a month or more. In effect, the ABC Tool helps us unravel our thinking about drugs and alcohol and is the basic way to abstain from any chemical or behavior that negatively impacts our life. But what is the ABC Tool? And how do you put it into action? We review here. Continue reading

Defeating Addictive Urges

Posted on August 24, 2016

Anatomy of an Urge

by Farmgirl68 (Connie)

While taking the facilitator training, I watched a video with Joe Gerstein where he showed the ABC relationship with a lapse and how it often involves a belief (B) or a consequence (C) turning into another activating event (A) thus creating a cascade of ABCs.  This intrigued me, and putting it together with the way I had noticed my own urge experiences, I realized most of the time there is a basic pattern an urge takes on for me.  Being a very visual thinker, I began to formulate on my computer screen a picture of how my urges occur. Continue reading

Managing Your Feelings Without Substances

Posted on June 21, 2016

Does having a cigarette make you feel more energized and focused? Does having a drink make you feel less depressed, less anxious or help wind down tension at the end omanaging_emotions_1f a long day? The reality is, people use substances because they have an effect that they appreciate. The problem for some, however, is that the effect of substances is inherently short term. Once the effect has passed, you may find that you want to feel those effects again because the underlying state of being is uncomfortable in some way.

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What is SMART Recovery?

Posted on March 21, 2016

A visual overview

What is SMART Recovery? We’re so glad you asked!

Check out this terrific visual overview created just for us by RehabCenter.net


RehabCenter.net provides an online comprehensive guide to rehab centers and addiction treatment options. We’re grateful to them for preparing this infographic which so clearly answers the question “What is SMART Recovery!” Continue reading