A coping strategy is an method that helps you to get yourself out of a high-risk situation or cope successfully with the urge to use drugs.
Some useful strategies include:

  • Avoid or leave the situation (This strategy may be useful in the early stages of stopping or controlling drug use) 
  • Get rid of any drugs/alcohol in the house
  • Keep away from the people and places that you associate with drug use
  • Plan your day and keep yourself busy
  • Delay your decision to use drugs
  • Remember that cravings or urges come in waves and will pass
  • Remind yourself of the benefits of not using drugs
  • Consider the negative consequences of drug use
  • Distract yourself
  • Go to a movie
  • Read a magazine or book
  • Exercise
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualisation
  • Talk it through
  • Talking to someone you trust can reduce feelings of anxiety, fear and vulnerability
  • Identify these people and let them know that you need their support
  • Utilise peer support services such as self-help meetings
  • Challenge and change your thoughts
  • Remember that you have a choice
  • “I won’t fix this problem by using drugs”
  • “This craving makes me feel bad, but it’s normal and I can deal with it without using drugs”
  • Remind yourself of the negative things about using drugs
  • Remind yourself of your successes so far
  • Keep a diary
  • Record and review your experiences
  • Reward yourself for making it through a high-risk situation