Often times in early recovery, and sometimes beyond, you may experience cravings. And it doesn’t matter what your “drug of choice” was, the cravings will be similar and you will feel the desire to pursue them.

I am about one month out of treatment and staying clean and sober, but lately I’ve been feeling the urge to get high. How do I deal with these cravings?

It is not unusual to have this occur, especially if not very long out of treatment. In fact cravings are a byproduct of whatever you drink, shoot, snort, swallow, or smoke. Your body and mind are simply saying; “Hey! where’s my medicine?”.

Once you’re out and about on your own again there will be things, people, places, sights, sounds, and smells, that may trigger the cravings. Part of the solution is to not deal with this alone. It doesn’t work very well. Just by reaching out to another in recovery and telling them what’s going on can often help to diminish those cravings. Most with experience will tell you that the craving will pass, as long as you don’t act on them.

I have been going to meetings and sometimes the speaker describes getting loaded on my “drug of choice” and I want to go get some. Am I not suppose to be feeling recovery in the meetings instead of getting a craving to go out?

In a typical 12 step speaker meeting the speaker usually talks about their disease and what they were like back then. Also, they may describe how they came into recovery, and what they are like now that they are living clean and sober. However, it is not uncommon, especially in early sobriety, for one to salivate when hearing someone describe, in detail, one of their more pleasant experiences drinking or using. I personally still get the warm fuzzy feeling when I hear a speaker talking about barbiturates, for those of you old enough to remember them.

Remember in early recover you only have so many tools and experience to draw from on your own. So this will get better as you recover and move farther away from your old lifestyle. Cravings are just that, cravings and they will pass. An obsession is another story. I would suggest a sponsor and taking hold of the program.