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The 4 Ds for Cravings

Quitting smoking or vaping? Trying to stop alcohol or other drug use? Have you heard of the 4 Ds?

The 4 Ds for cravings are most widely used for management of nicotine/tobacco cravings, however, many have applied them successfully to manage cravings for all types of substance use. Below is some basic information about the 4 Ds and then our YouTube video discussing the 4 Ds in more detail. Enjoy and remember to subscribe to our channel for more content like this.

1. Delay-Cravings are usually short lived though they can feel like an eternity (time distortion is a real phenomenon when you are trying to quit). Try waiting a few minutes. If that doesn’t work. Wait a few more minutes. Usually a craving will pass. Take it in small chunks.

2. Distract-get your mind off of the craving. Do something active with your mind or body. This will shift your focus off of the craving, help you delay, and make time seem to pass a bit more quickly.

3. Deep Breathing-try to take long, slow, deliberate breaths. Fill your belly as you breathe. Do this when you have a craving or for a few minutes a day to maintain a practice. Breathing in exercising like yoga and meditation can also help. Or try an exercise like square/box breathing (visit our blog about it here).

4. Drink Water-drinking water can help keep you hydrated which diminishes effects of nicotine withdrawal. Also, sometimes cravings are made more intense by hunger and drinking water can help satiate that. Drinking water also helps satisfy an oral fixation some may have related to nicotine use.

Disclaimer-If you are in series physical withdrawal from a substance, the 4 D’s may not be appropriate to manage the effect that has on your body. Please seek medical attention. This is especially true for alcohol and benzodiazepines 

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