Do Addiction Cravings Ever Go Away?

Have you ever wondered if addiction cravings ever truly go away? This is a common question for many dealing with addiction. Cravings are a natural part of addiction. Understanding them is key to overcoming them. At 12 South Recovery, we believe you can manage these cravings with the right help. Keep reading to learn more. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out to us at 12 South Recovery.

group Therapy session for those suffering from opioid abuse

What Are Addiction Cravings?

Addiction cravings are strong, often overwhelming urges to use a substance or engage in a behavior that you are addicted to. These cravings are your brain’s response to the changes addiction has made in your body’s reward system. Understanding and identifying these cravings is crucial for managing them effectively.

Types of Triggers

Cravings can be triggered by a variety of factors, broadly categorized into three types:

Environmental Triggers

Environmental triggers are external cues that remind you of your substance use. These can include:

  • Places: Locations where you used to use the substance, such as bars, clubs, or even specific rooms in your home.
  • People: Friends or acquaintances who you used to use the substance with or who encourage the behavior.
  • Things: Objects related to substance use, like paraphernalia or even certain music or movies that remind you of past use.

Emotional Triggers

Emotional triggers are internal cues related to your feelings and mental state. These can include:

  • Stress: High-stress situations can lead you to seek out substances as a way to cope.
  • Anxiety: Feelings of anxiety can drive you to use substances to calm your nerves.
  • Depression: When feeling low, you might crave substances that you associate with feeling better.
  • Happiness: Surprisingly, even positive emotions can be triggers, as you might crave substances to enhance these feelings further.

Social Triggers

Social triggers involve situations where social dynamics and interactions lead to cravings. These can include:

  • Parties or Social Gatherings: Events where substances are present or where you have used them in the past.
  • Peer Pressure: Friends or groups who encourage or normalize substance use.
  • Celebrations: Special occasions where you feel compelled to use substances as part of the festivities.

The Role of Brain Chemistry

Cravings are deeply rooted in changes to brain chemistry caused by addiction. Substances often alter the brain’s reward system by flooding it with dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. Over time, your brain starts to associate the substance with a significant reward, leading to intense cravings when you’re exposed to triggers.

Recognizing Triggers

Recognizing what triggers your cravings is the first and most crucial step in managing them. By identifying these triggers, you can develop strategies to avoid or cope with them effectively. Keeping a journal to note when and where your cravings occur can help you identify patterns and specific triggers.

Managing Triggers

Once you identify your triggers, you can take steps to manage them, such as:

  • Avoidance: Steering clear of environments, people, and situations that trigger cravings.
  • Coping Strategies: Developing healthy coping mechanisms, such as exercise, hobbies, or talking to a friend.
  • Mindfulness and Awareness: Practicing mindfulness to stay aware of your cravings without acting on them.

Do Cravings Ever Completely Go Away?

Cravings may not completely disappear, but they can become less intense over time. The timeline for this varies from person to person and is influenced by several factors. One significant factor is the duration of the addiction; those who have been addicted for longer periods may experience cravings that persist for a longer time. The type of substance used also plays a critical role, as different substances have varying impacts on the brain and can lead to different levels of craving intensity. For instance, cravings for substances like opioids and methamphetamine might be more intense and longer-lasting compared to those for substances like alcohol or nicotine.

Individual differences further complicate the picture. Genetics can influence how quickly and intensely cravings subside. Mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or other co-occurring disorders, can exacerbate cravings, making them more challenging to manage. Personal history, including past trauma and the presence of a supportive or unsupportive environment, also affects the longevity and intensity of cravings.

Even as cravings diminish over time, the risk of relapse remains a constant concern. Cravings can resurface unexpectedly, triggered by stress, environmental cues, or significant life events. This underscores the importance of continuous support and ongoing management strategies. Engaging in long-term therapy, attending support groups, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are crucial components of managing cravings. Continuous support systems, including professional counseling and peer support, provide a safety net that helps individuals stay on track and handle the occasional resurgence of cravings.

How to Manage Cravings

While cravings might not go away, they can be managed. Here are some effective strategies:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps you identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors. It teaches coping strategies to handle cravings and avoid relapse.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness practices like meditation can help you stay present and aware of your thoughts and feelings without acting on them. This can reduce the power of cravings.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Living a healthy lifestyle can help manage cravings. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and enough sleep improve overall well-being and reduce cravings.

Support Networks

Having a strong support network is essential. Family, friends, support groups, and professionals can provide encouragement and advice.

How 12 South Recovery Can Help

At 12 South Recovery, we offer programs to help you manage cravings and stay sober. Our services include:

  • Substance Abuse Detox: Manage withdrawal symptoms safely.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Get structured support while continuing daily activities.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): Receive a higher level of care in early recovery.
  • Aftercare Services: Continue your recovery with ongoing support.

Our team is dedicated to helping you build the skills needed to manage cravings and maintain sobriety.

Contact Us To Get Started Today

Addiction cravings may not completely go away, but they can be managed. Understanding cravings, identifying triggers, and using effective coping strategies are key to long-term recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction cravings, 12 South Recovery is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our programs. Share this blog with others who may benefit and take the first step towards a craving-free life.


At 12 South Recovery, we aim to help restore balance to every area of life – treating the mind, body and spirit so our clients are able to find lasting recovery from addiction and other co-occurring disorders. Our unique Treatment Programs aim to address both addiction and the underlying causes.

Contact 12 South Recovery at 866-839-6876 today.

We're here to help.

At Twelve South Recovery, we accept most health insurance.

Get you or your loved one help for addiction or mental health issues today.

CALL 24/7 866-839-6876


Bluecross Blueshield Insurance Icon Cigna Insurance Icon HealthNet Insurance Icon HPHC Insurance Logo Beachstreet Insurance Logo Magellan Health Insurance Logo Multiplan Network Insurance Logo Prime Health Services Insurance Logo Tufts Health Plan Insurance Logo Aetna Insurance Logo Amerihealth Insurance Logo Anthem Insurance Logo Beacon Insurance Logo

National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers

Legitscript Certified Treatment Center California Department of Healthcare Services Logo Accredited By The Joint Comission - Gold Seal Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business