Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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What are Addiction Cravings?

What are Addiction Cravings?

Well, this is kind of a complicated subject. In addiction, we have many psychological and physical things that may cause or lead us to use drugs or alcohol. Some of them are considered triggers and some of them are considered cravings. In my opinion, triggers are more physical things that contribute to our drug use or “spur of the moment” drug use.

Many people in the addictions industry agree that addiction cravings are strong memories that are linked to the effect of drugs on the brain’s neurochemistry. Now if you want to get all scientific for a moment imaging studies have shown some intense brain activation when pictures that are linked to drug use whether it be a pipe or a white powdery substance resembling cocaine are shown to drug addicts. What does this mean you ask? It means that if I am an active cocaine user or even an ex- cocaine user and I see a free based pipe or a line of white powdery substance my brain activity where cravings are originated will start to become extremely active. This is where the danger lies in addiction cravings. A lot of drug addicts and ex-drug addicts go from ZERO to BINGING in the blink of an eye because a craving wasn’t addressed or handled properly.

When you have a craving we need to recognize it for what it is. Do not be scared of the cravings because you were just producing more anxiety and shame but let the experience happened and deal with it and go on with your life. If the experience is too much to handle, then follow the advice of whatever recovery based program you are in or have been involved in in the past and work through the proper steps.

Here is another analogy to answer the question what our addiction cravings. To get an idea of what addiction and cravings are like, imagine that you have gone an extremely long time without eating anything. You are very hungry and you are starting to feel weak. The hunger has really been going on for such a long time and you can’t focus on anything else. When you’re that hungry all you can do is think about your favorite foods. You might even start to smell pizza or taste sushi or even get a sweet taste in your mouth. And if you get hungry enough there’s nothing that anyone can do to keep you from going to the nearest food store but as soon as you eat whatever food necessary you would finally feel satisfied and the thoughts of the food would be gone. This is very similar to an addiction craving.

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