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The Four Ds This is a classic relapse prevention technique. The Ds stand for:

  • Delay – Most urges and cravings rise and fall like waves in about 20 minutes you’ll generally find the cravings dissipate on their own.
  • Distract – Craving time passes more quickly when engaged in a distracting activity for a few minutes. Use Distress Tolerance Skills to IMPROVE the moment and ACCEPT reality. Watch a video on Distress Tolerance.
  • De-Stress – By reducing your stress and distress, you are allowing your body to maintain higher levels of calming and “happy” chemicals. In DBT we call this preventing vulnerabilities. Watch a video on preventing vulnerabilities.
  • De-Catasrophize – Don't let inaccurate catastrophic thoughts guide your actions. Challenge your thoughts and when necessary, reframe them into more accurate notions, like, “This is really uncomfortable, but at least my withdrawal symptoms will go away within a few days.”  Watch a video on addressing unhelpful thoughts.