how to stop alcohol cravings: 11 Helpful Ways To Stop Alcohol Cravings

how to stop alcohol cravings
how to stop alcohol cravings

Typically, the best source to learn behavioral interventions on how to deal with alcohol cravings is in formal substance use disorder therapy. There are numerous different techniques that can be utilized for different individuals to deal with cravings and reduce the risk of relapse. Therapists can instruct individuals in progressive muscle relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing that can be learned rather rapidly, and these can become tools to deal with cravings. Individuals can then focus on the more complicated aspects of cravings, such as learning about how to fight alcohol cravings, using distraction techniques, understanding triggers, etc. Individuals can also benefit from a combination of medication and behavioral interventions to address their cravings.

If your brain is begging you for a quick fix, play that quick fix out to its longer end. It will remind you that immediate gratification has a downside, which doesn’t align with your new long term goals. Express your concerns in a caring way and encourage your friend or family member to get help. Try to remain neutral and don’t argue, lecture, accuse, or threaten.

Avoid people who may encourage you to drink alcohol or may not support your decision to stop. It may be easier on your rehabilitation to skip visits with “drinking buddies” or avoid gatherings with a focus on drinking. Mindfulness has its roots in ancient Buddhist practice, and is essentially a form of mental training. When used in addiction treatment, the goal of mindfulness is to become fully aware of things as they are at the present moment, and to accept them. This can be very useful in breaking mental “loops” and establishing new behavior.

Find out how online treatment may be able to help you quit or cut back, 100 percent from home. Baclofen is often used to treat back spasms, eco sober house but has found an additional use as a treatment for alcoholism. Some people who take it report a loss of interest in alcohol.

how to stop alcohol cravings

It causes compulsive alcohol seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Haloperidol is an antipsychotic that is used to help calm people who are going through alcohol withdrawal. Once you are aware of your triggers, you can decide how you want to deal with them. For some triggers the best plan is to avoid them, especially in the beginning.


Unfortunately, cravings don’t always come to an end for a person who has been through addiction. Over time, they will become lessened and may even go unnoticed. It is common for cravings to be there worse directly after quitting drugs and alcohol, but life will become easier after this stage of withdrawal.

Depending on where you live, you might be able to visit a sober bar and socialize without alcohol. Letting others know about your choice to stop drinking may help motivate you to stick with your decision. Complete sobriety isn’t a bad goal, of course, but it doesn’t have to be the only one. It focuses on reducing alcohol use and the potential harms that come with it, with an emphasis on finding the best approach for your situation, not anyone else’s.

They come in waves — they build up, reach a peak, and then subside. Knowing this may make it easier to encounter and manage cravings. Relapses happen during rehabilitation, but what’s important is how you move forward from it. You may want to talk with a loved one or therapist about why it happened and what you can do differently next time. Drink plenty of fluids, but you don’t have to drink just water.

how to stop alcohol cravings

Maybe you experience your strongest cravings when you feel anxious or stressed or find yourself facing conflict with someone you care about. She notes that it can help to avoid your triggers as much as possible in early recovery, since triggers are often most intense when you first stop drinking. The new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) includes cravings as part of the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder .

What do cravings feel like?

Occupying your time with a job or hobby takes away boredom. It also gives you a sense of self and fulfillment. In some cases, it may be helpful for you to make a list of distractions that help you with cravings.

  • What are you seeing, hearing, doing, thinking, or feeling that could have triggered the craving?
  • An excellent way to create distractions during alcohol cravings is by engaging in hobbies and new interests.
  • This scenario is common in depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Online alcohol support groups to hear what’s worked for other members.
  • You don’t need to identify as an alcoholic or put your life on hold to get help with alcohol cravings.

Perhaps you first experience stress, which you feel through tenseness in your muscles and a headache. Then perhaps you feel your craving in your mouth, throat, and chest. Notice any bodily sensations and how they change while you are experiencing your craving. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This does not constitute a physician-patient relationship.

Related to Substance Abuse and Addiction

They can help you address internal and external triggers, practice mindfulness, build coping skills, and much more. Online alcohol treatment, you can learn how to manage cravings, and ultimately reduce their frequency and intensity. You have agency, and with this resource, a wealth of craving management tools at your disposal. If you’re planning to be in a location or with people who trigger cravings, have a specific plan in mind for managing your feelings. Know what you’ll eat or drink, know how you’ll leave the situation, know who to call if you need support. If you were having an alcohol craving, you would start by bringing your awareness to the present, and then observing the craving.

how to stop alcohol cravings

Alcohol cravings are strongest in early recovery and tend to decrease over time. Cravings may last for a few years after quitting drinking. The “Five Ds” are more popularly known in the management of nicotine cravings, but are just as helpful in managing alcohol cravings. Typically it’s easier to control external triggers than internal triggers, and the most effective action to take is to avoid these external triggers as much as possible. If you have alcohol in your home, get rid of it or put it away in a place where it’s very inconvenient for you to reach.

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If they drink, ask them to support your recovery by not doing so in front of you. Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. It’s important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to change or you’re struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.

Even though craving cigarettes and alcohol together is common, people who quit alcohol and tobacco at the same time are more likely to be successful in recovery. It causes a series of physical and mental symptoms that can impact cravings. Cravings can occur during any stage of withdrawal. It’s important to keep your tools fresh in your mind, and continue to engage in your sobriety or moderation toolkit as long as it’s serving you. You are more powerful than your cravings, and have all the tools at your disposal. Using your willpower can be one of the tools in your toolkit, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

Regular workouts boost the release of endorphins in your brain. These chemicals are also known as “feel-good hormones.” Most forms of exercise help with cravings. Examples are running, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, basketball, and tennis. You may have lost your job due to your drinking habits. Lots of free time and a lack of structure can make relapse more likely.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines alcohol cravings as “a strong desire or sense of compulsion” to drink. Alcohol cravings are a consequence of alcohol’s interaction with your brain chemistry. Even people who aren’t severely addicted can experience them. So, if you find yourself craving a glass of wine after work, but don’t feel you have a problem otherwise, this post is for you as well.

Have you struggled with excessive alcohol consumption? In addition to possible withdrawals, alcohol cravings can severely affect your ability to remain sober. Self-efficacy, or a belief that a person can cope with life’s stressors, affects experiences of cravings.

Over time, your brain gets used to being stimulated by alcohol in these exact situations and therefore craves a drink whenever you are performing this activity. If you don’t yet feel ready to tell a friend or family member about your problem, eco sober house price you can contact an Alcoholics Anonymous group near you. Has a spiritual component and many of the 12-steps involve a relationship with a higher power . Spirituality and religiosity can assist individuals in reducing cravings for alcohol.