Craving

In addiction, craving is a strong emotional response to a physical, allergic, addictive withdrawal.

Physical

The actual allergy or addictive imbalance produces biochemical signals that are interpreted as craving.

Emotional

The feelings that occur with craving can upset you and frighten you that you might binge or use. This in turn can produce more neurochemical response.

Avoiding

It will help reduce craving if you can avoid sensitive foods or any environmental factors that resemble the addictive substance or activity. Also, by avoiding getting too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (HALT) you can help avoid the conditions that feed the cravings.

Getting through It

What is important to realize is that having cravings does not mean you have to binge. If we believe that addiction is a disease, craving does not mean something is necessarily wrong with your recovery, either.

You don’t have to fight cravings alone. You can talk with someone, read literature, or make contact with your Higher Power. It is important to reject drinking, using, smoking, bingeing, purging, starving, gambling, spending, or other addictive behaviors as options to deal with the craving.

One way of dealing with craving is to visualize the binge, in the most vivid details possible, all the way through using the substance or participating in the activity to the feelings you will experience afterward. The delusional pleasure of addictive behavior can be dissipated by remembering the pain, guilt, and shame that follow the behavior. This visualization can be done alone, on the phone with someone in your Twelve-Step program, or with your Higher Power.


Craving, see also: Allergies, Biochemistry, Bulimia nervosa, Cocaine, Emotional aspects, Excitement, Feelings, Heroin, Hunger & appetite, Obsession, Premenstrual syndrome, Pregnancy, Sweeteners, Withdrawal.

Updated 7 Sep 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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