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Opiate Cravings: How to Deal With Them

Man learning how to deal with opiate cravings

According to recent estimates, it’s believed that 2.1 million Americans suffer from an opioid use disorder. It’s a debilitating illness that affects all aspects of a person’s life and can have lasting impacts for years after a person stops using. One of the challenges people with a substance use disorder face is dealing with opiate cravings.

Fortunately, that’s a challenge that an effective prescription drug rehab center can assist with. If you’re on the way to a full recovery, knowing how to fight opiate cravings is essential to maintaining sobriety. There are strategies an opiate addiction treatment program can offer to help you curb those cravings.

Reach out to Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485 for more information on handling an opioid use disorder.

4 Tips on How to Deal with Opiate Cravings

1. Establish a Healthy Environment

Living in a positive environment that promotes sober living is important for fighting cravings. Returning to a location where others have an opioid use disorder or have opioids or alcohol available can lead to a relapse.

Maintaining healthy relationships is part of creating an environment that will allow you to stay sober. If you have strained relationships with the people you live with, the stress of family issues can increase cravings and result in a relapse. Family therapy programs can help.

2. Have a Support Group

When you join and regularly attend a support group, you surround yourself with people who know what you’re struggling with. Because support groups meet often, you can build relationships.

Common topics discussed at a support group include:

  • Anger, anxiety, and stress management
  • Substance use education
  • Substance use triggers and coping skills
  • Handling withdrawal symptoms
  • Maintaining healthy relationships
  • Preventing relapses

Support groups also allow you to find a sponsor. A sponsor will provide personal accountability and support and guide you through craving spikes. The right sponsor will offer advice on how to deal with opiate cravings effectively.

3. Enter a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

You are most vulnerable to relapsing right after becoming sober. Relying on willpower alone can increase relapse risks, which is why medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs are essential.

MAT programs work by providing close supervision and making sure that patients get the right dosage of medications to help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

MAT has a number of benefits, including:

  • Increasing social functioning
  • Reducing the rate of opioid use
  • Reducing criminal activities
  • Reducing the risk of overdose
  • Reducing cravings

For individuals who have had an opioid use disorder for a long time, an ongoing MAT program helps them maintain sobriety after detox. One of the most important things that MAT programs offer is the pairing of medication with therapy and counseling to maximize the chances of sustainable recovery.

4. Clean Living

Exercise and opioid misuse work on similar parts of the brain, both triggering the release of serotonin and dopamine. Participating in exercise can distract you and let you think more clearly while boosting your self-esteem.

Exercise can also ease withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings. Pair it with high-protein foods and complex carbohydrates and reduce your consumption of simple sugars and high-fat snacks. Vitamin C and nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and zinc can regulate cravings as well.

Eat meals at regular intervals to maintain your blood sugar levels. Lowered sugar levels can aggravate mood swings and fatigue.

Reduce Opiate Cravings by Turning to Serenity Grove

Serenity Grove offers medication-assisted treatment, group support, family therapy, and more to help you learn how to fight opiate cravings. We know that there’s no one-size-fits-all for opioid use disorder, and we’re ready to help you discover your path to recovery.

Call Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485 right now to take your first step toward sobriety.