Understanding HALT

Posted on :  July 3rd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Recovery can be a lifelong process. One of the most useful ways to avoid a relapse is to understand your triggers. For most addicts, the triggers tend to be the same and the acronym H.A.L.T. can keep you from faltering. The acronym stands for Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tiredness. While you might not be able to completely avoid being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, you can build your conscious awareness of where your mind goes during these states. There are steps you can take to help your body adjust and accept these states of being so you do not feel the need to reach for drugs or alcohol.

Learn to Recognize Hunger

The body and mind can play with each other and create a sense of hunger. Many people actually think they are hungry, when they are actually bored, thirsty, or tired. You do not need to starve yourself, but it can help your awareness by actually learning how your body feels when it is hungry. When people are dieting, they learn to recognize the feeling of hunger so they can manage their portion sizes and caloric intake. You can do the same so that you truly know when it is time to eat, rather than crave drugs or alcohol. Learning about your body in a healthy way will help you manage your recovery.

In order to keep yourself from craving your addiction when you are hungry, you can keep delicious snacks available. You will need to control what you have available in your pantry so you do not develop an addiction to refined sugar or processed foods. Have fresh cold-pressed juices or easy-to-eat fruits like grapes, bananas, and berries and vegetables like cut broccoli or cauliflower available. Train yourself to eat those when you are hungry, so you do not crave harmful substances instead.

Do Not Run from Anger

It is highly unlikely that you will never experience anger during your recovery. Like hunger, you should learn what your body feels like when it is angry. Emotions create stress in the body and fortunately, the body will eventually rid itself of those toxic stressful feelings. You do not need to help the body do this by using mood-altering substances. You should recognize the emotion and then move on. You can do this by learning to use your breath to calm your body. For some people, exercising helps them manage their emotions. When you recognize the sensation of anger, you will be better prepared to accept it without help from addictive substances.

Learn to Manage Your Loneliness

Loneliness is a challenging feeling to accept. While you are in recovery, you might feel like the only person with an addiction. One of the best ways to manage loneliness is to find a group of people who are experiencing something similar. Support groups are one of the best tools to help with loneliness. You might not be able to meet with your group when you are feeling lonely, but you will be able to think about those people who care about you and want you to succeed in your recovery. It can also be helpful to have healthy places to go when you are feeling lonely. A local coffee shop, the gym, or a favorite bookstore are all places that you can go to be around other people. When you have a few tools at your disposal, you will not turn to drugs or alcohol.

When Tired, Take a Nap

The feeling of tiredness is another common trigger for people who are recovering. You might have turned to an addictive substance to fall asleep each night, but you cannot do this during recovery. It is a good idea to learn new ways to help fall asleep, like breathing techniques or meditation techniques. When you are tired, take a nap or go to sleep for the night. It is a better option than using drugs or alcohol.

If you have any concerns about treatment and recovery options for your addiction, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

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  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.