No definition of addiction would be complete without mentioning how cravings are part of the issue. There are multiple aspects of addiction, which vary according to each person who finds difficulty overcoming substance abuse. However, cravings are nearly always part of what’s going on and prevent the patient from quitting their substance abuse. At Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge, we’ve found this concept to apply not only to traditional drug and alcohol abuse but across the board with other addictions such as gambling or overeating. Our addiction treatment offers a faith-based program that addresses addiction and the underlying causes behind it. To learn more about your treatment options, contact our experts at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today at 844.442.8673.
Motivation Toward Remaining in Initial Treatment
The most obvious problem with cravings is how they affect people during the initial treatment. If someone didn’t crave the behavior they want to correct, they might not even need our help to quit abusing substances. It’s crucial to remember at this point, cravings aren’t only about a desire to use a substance but have more to do with the person relying on it to feel normal. Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge offers help and support with many treatment programs, including:
Cravings can be overwhelming when first learning about life without the substance, leading to a desire to leave residential treatment during outpatient treatment. For this reason, residential treatment is preferred as being more successful as counselors are better equipped to provide a custom treatment plan without relapse. Some people may have obligations that prevent them from attending residential treatment other than a short detox period. Therefore, though it isn’t ideal, there are means of conducting outpatient assistance when there are no better options.
Ongoing Treatment Issues
After the initial detox and residential treatment, the patient has to continue treatment as they learn to cope with daily life without returning to the behavior they previously learned to cope with daily stresses. Cravings are definitely going to continue through this portion of treatment, simply because the source of the addiction is going to be available again. At this point, treatment provides the tools needed to resist a fleeting desire to use drugs or alcohol. If the cravings persist longer than an hour or two, it indicates the need for more intensive treatment.
More intensive might mean a return to a residential treatment facility, but other options are also available to avoid relapse. If someone is fortunate to have such a resource, living with parents, a sibling, or close friends might be a motivation to remain sober. If such options aren’t available, a halfway house or sober living facility can be a great way to learn how to manage the temptations of daily life while maintaining a strong support system to avoid a return to the addiction.
Long Term Recovery and Treatment
A common misconception is that cravings will go away after a certain period of time. The nature of addiction is someone can “forget” they want to stay sober after ten or more years of sobriety. A common relapse story says, “I was tired, somewhat functioning on auto-pilot on my way home from work, and just stopped and bought the substance just like I did 20 years ago.”
How To Begin Addiction Recovery
Although addiction may seem to control your every action, it doesn’t have to remain that way. Contact us online at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge or call 844.442.8673 to discuss addiction issues and solutions. We’re here to help so you can get back to a productive life without addiction.