They can be triggered by a certain place or person, or they can occur randomly without warning. Addiction cravings can be severely overwhelming and can threaten your sobriety. Many individuals who have been sober for years may ask themselves, “why do I crave drugs?” Regardless of the amount of treatment you’ve received or how long you’ve stayed clean, drug cravings can always pop up during your recovery journey.
As a California rehab center, we are aware of the problems drug cravings can pose in a person’s recovery. Without support, these cravings could take over a person’s thoughts and cause them to turn back to their old ways. We encourage individuals who are experiencing these issues to get help with us as soon as possible.
Drug cravings are strong desires to use drugs that can be triggered by anything that reminds the individual of drug abuse. Drug cravings can also be considered memories that are tied to the effects of addiction. During an active addiction, the individual may experience changes in brain function as a result of a developed tolerance. Tolerance occurs when the person is no longer responding to the typical amount of drugs they normally ingest, causing them to increase the dosage. It’s normal for the brain to retain the memory of this repeated pattern of abuse long after treatment.
Lots of recovering addicts may wonder, “why do I crave drugs?”, especially after going to rehab for drug abuse. Many drugs affect the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, the most common of these being dopamine. Dopamine controls pleasure and reward in the brain. When the individual is constantly activating this neurotransmitter with drugs, their mind and bodies become accustomed to these feelings, creating a dependency. As a result of long-term drug abuse, your brain will retain the memory of those feelings that may continue to nudge at you well into your sobriety. Reliving drug abuse can strengthen these cravings, increasing your risk of relapsing.
At Banyan Palm Springs, we know sobriety is a never-ending journey. That’s why we offer a rehab alumni program that offers peer support for our past patients to keep them on the right track. With support, you or a loved one can avoid relapse and stay clean.
When experiencing drug cravings, your natural inclination may be to cave in. However, giving in will only undo all the things you’ve achieved and put you back at square one. Now that you’ve reached sobriety, you have to learn how to cope with drug cravings safely and effectively. Below are a few ways you can manage your drug cravings and stay sober.