Practical things you can do manage cravings in the moment
Substance misuse can be very challenging to face, and taking the first few steps is likely to be difficult. However, the most important thing is being willing to try.
If things feel difficult at first, it’s important to not feel discouraged. Dealing with substance misuse can look different for everyone, and different methods will work for different people. It’s important to find the right approach for you.
- Delay strategies
You may find it helpful to employ a strategy called The 3 D’s:
- Delay – decide how long you want to delay using the substance. This can be 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes – choose a length of time that feels achievable for you in the moment.
- Distract – do something that will occupy your thoughts and attention during this time. There are some suggestions below in ‘take your mind off things’
- Decide – after you delay and distract, you can decide whether you want to use the substance. You may want to consider:
- The advantages versus disadvantages for using the substance
- Why you didn’t want to use the substance in the first place
- How you might feel once the substance’s effects have worn off.
- Speak to someone
Opening up to someone about how you’re feeling can be really hard, but is also one of the best ways to manage substance misuse. It’s ok to ask for help, or to at least share some of what’s going on for you.
- Take your mind off things
- Surf the urge
- Find ways to ground yourself