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A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction



Exhibit 3: Coping With Cravings and Urges

Reminders:

  • Urges are common and normal. They are not a sign of failure. Instead, try to learn from them about what your craving triggers are.
  • Urges are like ocean waves. They get stronger only to a point, then they start to go away.
  • If you don't use, your urges will weaken and eventually go away. Urges only get stronger if you give in to them.
  • You can try to avoid urges by avoiding or eliminating the cues that trigger them.
  • You can cope with urges by -
    • Distracting yourself for a few minutes.
    • Talking about the urge with someone supportive.
    • "Urge surfing" or riding out the urge.
    • Recalling the negative consequences of using.
    • Talking yourself through the urge.

    Each day this week, fill out a daily record of cocaine craving and what you did to cope with craving.

    Example:

    Date/Time Situation, thoughts, and feelings Intensity of Craving (1-100) Length of Craving How I Coped
    Friday, 3 pm Fight with boss, frustrated, angry 75 20 minutes Called home, talked to Mary
    Friday, 7 pm Watching TV, bored, trouble staying awake 60 25 minutes Rode it out and went to bed early
    Saturday, 9 pm Wanted to go out and get a drink 80 45 minutes Played basketball instead

    Daily Record of Cocaine Craving
    Date/Time Situation, thoughts, and feelings Intensity of Craving (1-100) Length of Craving How I Coped
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             

    Adapted from Kadden et al. 1992.

     

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