Urge Log

Helpful with:

Tool Overview

An awareness and understanding of urges is crucial to recovery. One way to understand urges is by recording them. After a few entries, participants may notice patterns and similarities about their urges. The log then becomes a road map that will help them to anticipate situations and emotions that may trigger urges and plan ways to avoid recognized triggers or distract themselves from the urge until it passes.

The urge log is a worksheet that can be completed between meetings, whenever a participant feels a strong urge to use or engage in their behaviour of concern.

By keeping a record of urges it is possible to see:

  • That urges are time-limited
  • That urges often arrive at particular times and in particular situations — in other words, they have a recognisable or predictable trigger.

This record can help us to understand urges and be less driven by them. It can also help in avoiding potential triggers. Sometimes, just by taking notice of a behaviour, it begins to change.

When to Use This Tool

When struggling with urges or the sensation of experiencing one long, continuous and overwhelming urge.

How To Use This Tool

Complete the worksheet.

Additional Considerations

Once we have a better understanding of our experience of urges and cravings, we’ll need different coping strategies in place. Some suggestions for coping with urges are found in our workbooks, but group participants will also be able to share ideas about what has worked for them in SMART meetings.

Example Scenarios

PDF 05/16/2023

Urge Log Example Scenario