Dealing with Cravings

If you used to smoke daily or drink or use other drugs regularly and lockdown has made you cut down or stop - you might experience cravings. Cravings can range from a weak desire for something to a very strong urge. Below you will find tips for dealing with three types of triggers that set off cravings.

If you are experiencing very strong cravings that are causing you unbearable discomfort, please contact your Doctor.

If you drank a lot of alcohol every day, it is especially important not to stop abruptly – called going ‘cold turkey’. Going cold turkey can be life threatening for heavy drinkers. If you have been cut off from alcohol and you get sweats or shakes contact a medical Doctor immediately.

Physical Triggers

When your body doesn’t get its usual dose of caffiene, alcohol, nicotine, cannabis or other drug it has come to expect, it signals its need by giving us a headache, a restless nervous feeling, maybe sweating, a tightness in our belly, the shivers... it’s like feeling hungry but not for food.

Coping Tips:

Emotional Triggers

Most negative emotions can trigger us to turn to whatever we usually use to help us calm down, feel better, lift our mood. Boredom is a strong trigger to smoke. Having the blues, or feeling nothing, can trigger cravings to drink to have some laughs. Extreme ups and downs in feelings can be very unsettling. This can cause people to turn to either a calming drug or a stimulating drug – anything to get back to feeling normal.

Coping Tips:

Triggers in your Environment

Some cravings are triggered only when you are reminded by seeing others smoking or drinking. It can even happen when you see people in a movie smoking or drinking. Seeing advertising for alcohol drinks or cigarettes can be a trigger. Others encouraging you to join in with them is a trigger. Highly stressful events, like losing your job, having a loved one die, having an argument, facing the prospect of bankruptcy because your business had to be closed – happenings outside of your control that threaten your financial and emotional wellbeing can be strong triggers to drink, smoke, use pills or cannabis.

Coping Tips:

Where to find support online

There is a lot of information that can help you cope with lockdown online. There is also a lot of support on offer.

Existing support services, that used to deliver only face to face are adapting to delivering via phone and video calling.

If you have a question about anything, you just need to type it in to an internet search engine and look through what is returned.

There are different search engines and the most popular are: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex and DuckDuckGo.

If you are using Google, you can simply type in your question as you would say it. For example, if you want to know why you are crying often for no reason, in the Google search box type in “why am I crying for no reason lockdown”. To get responses specific to lockdown just add the word “lockdown”.

If you want to find some more information or support services to help with cutting down on drinking, just type in “drinking too much lockdown”.

If there is some information you want that you can’t find, ask friends on social media if any of them can help. If it’s not something you want to share publicly, you can email us via the contact page. We will keep your request confidential and we will do our best to find the information you’re looking for.