Stress Avoidance May Up Cravings

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., June 29 (UPI) — Recovering addicts, who avoid stress rather than deal with it may face more cravings, U.S. researchers found.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found how addicts cope with stress — either by working through a problem or avoiding it — was a strong predictor of whether they experienced cravings.

The study, published in Addictive Behaviors, found addicts who dealt with stress by avoiding it had twice the number of cravings in a stressful day, versus persons using problem solving strategies to deal with the stress.

“Cravings are a strong predictor of relapse,” researcher H. Harrington Cleveland said in a statement.

“Avoidance coping appears to undercut a person’s ability to deal with stress and exposes that person to variations in craving that could impact recovery from addiction.”

Cleveland and colleagues used data from daily dairies — describing the intensity of of negative social experiences as well as of daily cravings — kept in personal digital assistant devices by 55 college students in recovery from substance abuse.

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