What is H.A.L.T?
Patients in recovery will learn many new methods of withstanding cravings and triggers as they progress towards their road towards recovery. A very well-known grounding technique among those working to take their control back from addiction is called “HALT,” an acronym that stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. The abbreviation also happens to spell out the word “halt,” which means to stop abruptly and describes four feelings or moods that can compromise sobriety.
Learning how to utilize this practice can be an essential tool against relapse.
Hunger: When a person is hungry, it can significantly impact their mood and state of mind. Hunger levels can also have an immense impact on blood sugar and cognitive health. Ignoring signs of hunger can lead to poor decision-making and potential relapse. For many people in recovery, eating regular, healthful meals was not the norm. That’s why those in treatment and recovery need to recognize the body’s signs for thirst and hunger and to supply themselves with healthy options to nurture healing.
Anger: Rage and resentment can be uncomfortable feelings that are not uncommon while undergoing substance use disorder treatment and recovery. Whether it’s something small, or a deeper issue, anger-triggering situations can be challenging to process and deal with healthfully. Taking a moment to realize that these feelings may be temporary and working through them can build resistance towards future incidents.
Loneliness: Feelings of alienation or being removed from others in society can take a toll on people in treatment and recovery. Building a support system is absolutely crucial for long-lasting recovery. Making new friends can seem complicated at first, but taking on the work to develop a group of trusted individuals can be a life-saving process that will bring much joy in the future.
Tired: Fatigue is a common issue that many people in treatment and recovery deal with on a daily basis. A lack of proper sleep can alter the body’s hormones and other chemicals in a way that induces cravings and other adverse side effects. Sleeping and napping are part of self-care and are highly recommended by substance use counselors.
Preventing relapse is a significant part of treatment and recovery for everyone who is faced with substance use disorder. However, relapse is more of a process rather than a single incident. There are usually many feelings and events that lead up to it that can be avoided or subdued with the proper care.
Recognizing the body’s natural signs of basic needs may be difficult for someone who has had their mind preoccupied with addiction. The HALT method is a simple yet effective technique that anyone can use in treatment or recovery that finds themselves in emotional distress without anywhere to turn. Taking precautions against relapse is always the first and best measure to take. Still, the HALT method can stop someone in treatment and recovery from reacting to everyday bodily needs in a way that will compromise their sobriety and recovery goals.
With unlimited access to our medical providers and counselors, patients will have the support they need whenever they need it. To learn more about recovery while continuing to live life to the fullest, check out our guide on getting started and reach out to us with any questions.