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Funding provided in whole or in part to the Kenneth Young Center by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH).

There are Multiple Pathways to Recovery!

Updated: Mar 3

A guide to coping with urges


24 February 2020


Written by Krupa Patel, Brandon Rafidi

Edited by Daryl Pass


There are a number of strategies that individuals can utilize to help cope with the urges that they experience on a daily basis. Below is a list of various ways in which a person can attempt to redirect their behavior in such a way to live a more positive life. Although any one strategy is not guaranteed to work for every individual, it is important to note that the process by which each person copes with his or her urges will be unique to their life experiences.


Consider whether you are seeking abstinence, reduction in use, or intentional use.

Learn more about stages of change by clicking here.


Create a plan of changes that you’d like to make and an anticipated timeline of implementation. Setting goals for yourself will not only make you feel motivated to reach the next one, but it will make you feel you’re making true progress reaching them one by one.


Build a support system. It can include people who have experience in recovery or people who still care about your wellbeing and consent to support you.


Consider clinical support such as medicated assisted therapy, psychotherapy, inpatient/outpatient treatment, and more. Learn more.


Be sure to meet your daily needs - including nutrition, sleep, exercise and hygiene. Remember that not being able to meet your basic needs or neglecting them can potentially increase urges.


Practice meditation. There are many different forms of meditation, and the goal is usually to attain a state of mental clarity, calmness, and emotional stability.


Looking for more support? Groups like SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery and clinical psychotherapy can be helpful in one’s journey.

There are more than one way to recover and each person’s recovery experience is going to be different than another.


Check our recovery page to learn about these additional resources by clicking here.



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