Desire to return to drugs after completing the treatment program
Craving for the drug at the beginning of the stopping period and in the long-term recovery periods is expected to happen at any moment. The recovering addict will not be isolated from the world and people, but will be in constant contact with things, people, places and circumstances that remind him of the drug and provoke the longing in himself to use it again.
The longing for drug abuse is one of the most important, if not the most important, causes of drug addiction relapse. Knowing the craving, its mechanism, and how to resist it is also one of the most important ways to overcome and defeat it before it can win by attracting the recovering addict back to the drug.
The most important secrets of continuity in recovery lies in the ability to say the word “no” forcefully and to resist external temptations as well as internal motives that call for dealing again.
Longing is not a continuous process as many people imagine, but rather it is a series of short waves that last for simple seconds (10 to 20 seconds) and which, due to their rapid succession, seem to last for minutes. Knowing this thing alone is very useful in treatment and in overcoming longing.
Longing comes in the form of scattered waves, intense at the beginning of cessation of drug use and then gradually decreases. But it may come after a period that extends for years after the last bout of abuse, and therefore it should be understood, anticipated, and cautioned against.
Craving for drugs is not only a psychological process. It goes through many complex and overlapping psychological, physical and social mechanisms.
The longing for the drug does not come as a clear enemy, but rather as a friend and a mitigator of the bad effects of the drug and a justification for returning to it.
It is important for the recovering person to describe himself as an ex-addict for life, and this is not a derogation of himself, but rather an important way to alert him to stop and think before he relapses and uses again.
Thinking in writing (eg making a list of potential goals and problems) or using external aids, whether audio or visual, is better than silent thinking.
Necessary information and skills to help you say (no):
One of the most important and most common temptations is direct and explicit presentation by others or in a symbolic way, such as seeing something similar to or calling for drug paraphernalia and facilitating access to narcotic substances.
These temptations are one of the most important reasons for fueling the craving for the drug, which is one of the most important causes of relapses. Therefore, acquiring the skill of dealing with temptations and learning the skill of saying “no” are essential to continued recovery.
A recovering addict should keep some important things in mind in order to continue recovery and avoid relapses, including:
Knowing the deceptive nature of longing: longing does not come as the clear enemy who wants to destroy the mental and physical health of the recovering by making him return to abuse, but when it comes accompanied by thoughts that make it easier to use such as (it is only once and will not harm) or (I was able to control myself and my desire for many months and will not Relapse) or (others are taking and is always fine)…..etc.
Knowing this thing is important to overcome longing, but it must be realized in practice, not only in theory, by writing it, discussing it with others, and remembering it at the time of the longing and completely repelling it.
Knowing in advance the areas, causes and symbols of temptation (places, people, smells, tools, occasions….etc). It is better to write these things down over and over again or keep them in small reminder sheets in the pocket.
Avoid all the longing for the drug and the memories that the recovering addict feels are beautiful or comforting as much as possible. A person may also need to change everything that links him to these matters, such as his friends, the ways he used to take, his telephone devices that he used to contact promoters or drug users, or delete their numbers and other means of communication with them at least….etc!.
Ignoring style: It is useful for those who direct indirect temptations, such as sights, smells, or people associated with abuse. He can also confront her by saying (No). Disregarding it alone may be enough, but replacing the idea of the idea that fueled his longing has a stronger effect, such as bringing to his mind another picture completely different or relaxing in the place of the idea of abuse that just came to his mind.
Refraining from physical gestures. It is useful for those who enjoy physical language and understanding with it more than verbal language, in which they may not be proficient in the necessary skills. The promoters themselves understand the meaning of the firm “no” with the sign and in this way may be the most telling message to them that the recovering addict stands firm against their temptations and does not care about them.
Refusal with explanation: Explanation with kindness in speaking also helps to be convinced of what the person himself says. An example of this is to say (No, I have stopped using or smoking for health, family and financial reasons…..etc!) and it is possible to delve into the reasons for stopping and its good results as well.
The simple (no) word: but it is firm and strong at the same time, and whether it is verbally or physically expressed, even if it is by sight. Rejection in a gentle way is with people close to the person and with whom he has a good relationship in the first place.
Refrain with suggesting alternatives: to say (no) and then follow it with an alternative that he prefers. For example, to say (no) and then follow it by suggesting that he have a glass of juice or that he play tennis with his friend who offered him alcohol or a cigarette, for example.
Refrain and change the subject: such as saying in a nice way (No thank you, but I want to know what you think about the X-car I am thinking of buying) and other alternative topics that are usually full of divergent discussion. The method of changing the subject internally can be used with oneself by changing the idea.
Repetitive Stereotyped Refrain: He repeats the word (no) in an emphatic manner, indicating that he is certain and convinced of his decision. For example, to say (No…..I don’t want that……..no….I don’t want that………no….I don’t want that).
Refusal by postponement: for example, that a person works on the principle of delaying pleasure. Postponing pleasure is one of the difficult skills that need practice and hardness as well, and realizing the ultimate goal for which he is working. Each time there is a temptation and he is confronted with a ‘No’, it may only benefit him temporarily until there is an incentive to continue to recover. It is possible to exercise the breath on him for short periods at first, by putting in his mind a week, for example, then a month, then a year…..without reaching the temporarily desired pleasure from the drug, but rather with the final goal of continuing to recover.
Refrain from showing disgust with temptation: This can be expressed verbally or by physical gesture. After he says “no” strong and firm, he follows it with expressions of censure or reprimand, depending on the situation and the person who offered the drug. For example, he may look with disgust at the person or thing presented and be satisfied with that, or say to him, for example, (I was disappointed in you, I did not expect you to do this to me) or say (I can’t stand your insistence) or (Leave me alone)!
Refrain with self-suggestion: When the idea of using or longing for the drug appears, it is better for the person to say “No” and follow it with encouraging self-suggestive words that evoke a feeling of strength and suggest to the soul that everything is under control. An example of this is to say (things are under my control and not my desires) or (I can overcome this desire because I am strong-willed) or (This is a weakness that I do not accept for myself and does not agree with my desire to recover)….etc!
Abstaining with sensory compensation: This is more useful with sensory people who are affected by (habit) to a strong degree, such as the influence of (addiction) or greater than it. For example, a person who is addicted to wine and usually overcomes the habit of holding the cup and in which the liquid of wine has a distinctive color, can say (No) and then replace the wine with a cup containing juice similar to the color of wine. The same applies to the smoker holding something in his mouth such as a pen until the wave of longing or the agent who Ignite it in the mind of a recovering addict.
Refraining from asking for help: i.e. asking for help from the same person who tempted him or any other party. After he says “No”, he can follow up by saying “You made me crave the drug and I don’t want it, do you have an idea how to overcome that?) Or “Would you encourage me to keep recovering instead of offering me the drug?” or “Would you Could you point me to a good addiction counselor?). This method may send a message to the other person that giving the drug to this recovering addict is an unrepeatable idea.
Refusal while offering help: that is, to offer his services to the one who gave him the drug, saying “No” and then following it with a phrase such as “I am steadfast in the direction of the drug and I can guide you in ways to leave it” or “Do you have an idea that I can make you quit?” )….etc!