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Understanding addiction
How should you evaluate use after deciding to use?

How should you evaluate use after deciding to use?

Regardless of why you gave in to the urge to use, an evaluation is critical. Performing an evaluation...

Regardless of why you gave in to the urge to use, an evaluation is helpful way to reflect. Performing an evaluation allows you to identify triggers and habits, understand how and why cravings happen and find new ways to cope with urges.

Evaluating the Cycle

If you've reached this point, it's essential to understand how the cycle started and how you responded so you can make better decisions in the future. 

  • Start by identifying triggers that may have led to an urge. Were they external, such as people, places, or activities? Or were the triggers internal thoughts or emotions? 
  • Next, consider what you could have done to prevent exposure to the triggers or to control the urge itself. Ask yourself if there were warning signs? What were they? 
  • Finally, create a strategy that will help you manage your drug use in the future. 
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Tips that Can Help You Avoid Drug Use in the Future

Relapse is a valuable learning experience. It's an opportunity to understand the steps in the cycle better and make positive choices. These techniques can also help you respond positively to cravings: 

  • Decatastrophize the situation - Catastrophic thinking is the worst-case scenario.
  •  Instead of imagining the worst, try thinking of your accomplishments. Apply facts rather than feelings when faced with an urge to use
  • Challenge Expectations of use – Ask what will happen if you use. What are the negative consequences to you and your loved ones?
  • Distract yourself - Shift your thinking away from drug use. Get your mind on something else using tools like mindfulness or exercise.

Urges are normal, and breaking them can be tough, but not impossible. Evaluate your choice and learn from it.

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This article has been medically reviewed by
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Nurse Practitioner

Erin is a Nurse Practitioner with 8 years of experience in midwifery and women's health. She has spent the past 5 years specializing in the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders.

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