In the recovery process from addiction, effectively dealing with cravings is essential to avoid a relapse. Cravings are intense desires to use a drug that may at times feel unbearable. They can be triggered by situations, memories, and external incentives or sometimes may seem to come out of the blue. Controlling these strong feelings is of major importance especially in the withdrawal phase and the first stages of recovery.
Cravings Related to Stimulant Abuse
Stimulant addiction appears when a prescription drug is used as a recreational drug or by not carefully following the specifications of the physician who prescribed the medication. As an example, ADHD drug abuse may be related to a drug called Ritalin.
Ritalin is a stimulant used in the treatment of mental health conditions such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and ADD (attention deficit disorder). It is highly addictive when not following the prescription instructions and an overdose can be fatal. Ritalin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Heart rhythm changes
- Nausea and general malaise
Ritalin abuse can worsen these withdrawal symptoms; therefore increasing the cravings to continue using the drug. Although cravings do not require medical supervision, an addiction specialist can be helpful to develop strategies to cope with cravings and prevent a relapse. These are important aspects to have in mind about cravings:
- The intensity will decline – Cravings are usually stronger at the beginning of the recovery process when the psychological dependence is still strong. With time, the attachment to the substance will be weaker and so will be the cravings.
- Cravings can be replaced – Activities that involve mental focus and full attention will help you to reduce the apparent “need” to use the drug again. Remember that cravings are only in the mind.
- They are not a prelude to a relapse – Although urges may be sharp, there is no real need to act on them. A good strategy is to reflect on the progress made and how acting on a craving could affect your recovery.
- Cravings are natural – They are not a sign of weakness, a faulty treatment program, or personality failures. They are a natural part of the recovery process.
Relapse prevention plans such as the ones found in treatment centers can help you to develop firm strategies to deal with cravings. Community support – especially from members of the same household – is also important in reducing whatever triggers that could instigate cravings and a possible relapse.
The most intense cravings of Ritalin abuse usually last around a month. After that, some symptoms of withdrawal and cravings may last several months or more, depending on the dosage and time period of usage. Since a person is never completely cured from addiction, over time some cravings may still appear. Help is available to endure the process.
Need Help to Find Addiction Treatment or Relapse Prevention Plans?
Our toll free helpline available 24 hours a day can help you, without a cost, to find everything you might need on the subject of addiction recovery. We have valuable information regarding medically-supervised Ritalin detox programs, intervention services, family counseling and much more. Call today and ensure a future free from the consequences of addiction.