Cravings and triggers can be overwhelmingly strong, making overcoming them a serious challenge. But what exactly is a craving?
Surprisingly, scientists have struggled to reach a consensus on how to define cravings, perhaps because of how subjective the phenomenon is.
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Some accepted definitions of cravings include:
- A state in which a person is seeking the drug
- The desire to use the drug
- The desire for the positive effect of the drug
In other words, a craving is broadly defined as a strong desire for something, be it a substance, activity or other pleasurable endeavours.
Changes Within the Brain
Every time a drug is consumed, it modifies the brain’s reward system.
As this process continues, the brain struggles to find that same reward from other, more conventional places.
Over time, the drug can become the only thing that the brain finds pleasurable.
The other side of this development is the unease that arises when the drug is no longer being taken. This is what we call a craving.
Cravings can vary dramatically; some vanish after several minutes whilst others can last days.
When confronting addictive behaviour, it is important to recognise what is triggering the addictive tendency in the first place.
A trigger could be any of the following:
- People you’ve previously used with
- Bars or restaurants
- Relationship troubles
Working professionals may also find that their stressful environment provides a trigger for cravings or addictive behaviour.
When confronting a trigger, preparation is key.
This might include removing the triggers from the home or work environment, as well as avoiding those who encourage addictive behaviours to manifest.
Another important step can be letting your family and close friends know. Some may be surprised, but it will ultimately be important to have them on the same page.
Whilst there is, unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to triggers, below are some possible solutions:
- Avoid the circumstance or environment that triggers you
- Keep busy with healthy behaviours
- Surround yourself with positive influences
- Leave plenty of time for rest
Whilst these techniques can be very effective, they can be hard to commit to, and some may even be impossible for certain sufferers.
In these cases, rehab may be necessary.
The Executive Rehab Guide is published by Castle Craig, the UK’s leading private addiction rehab.
For more information, or for a free consultation, please visit our website.
When Hard Times Arise
Triggers are always challenging, but times of stress or sadness can make them even more challenging.
Professionals can be particularly exposed to increased levels of stress, which can make triggers especially potent.
As sadness or stress encroaches, many will turn to their addiction as a despite.
Without it, they can feel trapped or hopeless. Some situations that could result in heightened stress or sadness include the following:
- Anniversaries of trigger events
As with all medical queries, it is best to consult a GP to help make an informed decision.
If you feel that impatient treatment is right for you, visit Castle Craig Hospital online to make a free enquiry.
Or speak to us confidentially and we will help direct you to the right place.
Call 0808 115 0608.