How To Stop Alcohol Cravings

Apr 28, Sober living


Some foods will contain extra sugar that is unnecessary — try to avoid those options. Alcohol cravings can present themselves for countless reasons. A nutrient-rich diet and a regular exercise routine have been proven to aid in maintaining sobriety.


If someone has 2-3 symptoms present they have mild alcoholism, 4-5 symptoms present indicates moderate alcoholism, and 6 or more shows that the person has severe alcoholism. 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. Find new hobbies, volunteer activities, or work that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. When you’re doing things you find fulfilling, you’ll feel better about yourself and drinking will hold less appeal. Residential treatment involves living at a treatment facility while undergoing intensive treatment during the day.

A therapist may guide a patient to talk about the event and the impact that it has had on them, and in doing so reduce the amount of fear and related cravings that they feel around dogs. They are designed to help you “clear away the wreckage of the past”. This involves listing and sharing with your sponsor resentments that you have with other people and wrongdoings that you have done in the past. Doing the steps helps you to gain a clearer understanding of who you are, and diminishes some of the guilt from your drinking days. This in turn reduces the amount of negative emotions that can kick start cravings. As alcohol cravings rarely lasts 30 minutes, urge surfing asks you to wait the feeling out, safe in the knowledge that it will pass.

Of course, addressing your triggers at the source can also go a long way toward helping you make lasting changes. Even 10 minutes catching up on recent news and sharing stories from your daily life can offer enough of a distraction that the craving passes, almost before you know it. When a craving for alcohol strikes, a good first step involves acknowledging the craving, according to Mehta. She goes on to explain that while the craving might be intense, it will lessen and pass in a few minutes.

Combining causes and risk factors of alcoholism with therapy and other interventions can prove even more helpful than medication alone. Learning to work through difficult emotions and handle these challenges in more productive ways can improve your relationships and overall well-being, not to mention help reduce the urge to drink. Maybe you experience your strongest cravings when you feel anxious or stressed or find yourself facing conflict with someone you care about. Internal triggerstypically involve memories, thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations that prompt the urge to drink.

ways to curb your drinking

As you seek help for alcohol addiction, it’s also important to get treatment for any other psychological issues you’re experiencing. Your best chance of recovery is by getting combined mental health and addiction treatment from the same treatment provider or team. Professional help is usually necessary for alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, and some people may need to be in treatment for years. One of the reasons why it’s so important is that alcoholism can cause serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety. If you don’t get the help you need, these can become more severe over time.

heavy drinking

At Find Addiction Rehabs, we understand the importance of establishing new habits and healthy diets while working the steps of sobriety. Most importantly, we understand the need for a strong support system during this process. Dairy products also play an important role in replenishing the body with essential nutrients. Resisting alcohol is a daily challenge that requires strength and determination. Even with the right tools at hand, alcohol cravings always run rampant and need to be subdued.

Learning how to avoid alcohol cravings is simplified if you understand why cravings for alcohol manifest. These are just a few options you have that might distract you from alcohol cravings for long enough that they pass, while also helping you to relieve stress and boredom at the same time. Alcohol abuse and addiction doesn’t just affect the person drinking—it affects their families and loved ones, too. Watching a family member struggle with a drinking problem can be as heartbreakingly painful as it is frustrating.

Stay present

Low-fat dairy options like cheese, milk and yogurt provide excellent sources of protein, vitamin D, and potassium — all of which work together to provide your body with that “full” feeling. Therapy can help people to address their alcohol cravings. Someone may have had an incident when they were a child where they were attacked by a dog. Now, they become fearful whenever they hear a dog barking, and they feel like they need to drink to quell this feeling.


The words “urge” and “craving” refer to a broad range of thoughts, physical sensations, or emotions that tempt you to drink, even though you have at least some desire not to. You may feel an uncomfortable pull in two directions or sense a loss of control. When not drinking, you might begin to notice feelings of anxiety or other emotional distress, along with strong cravings for alcohol. Carbs should always be eaten in moderation, but healthy options like whole-grain bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta are useful to reduce alcohol cravings. When individuals experience alcohol withdrawals, their brain severely lacks proper levels of dopamine. Unfortunately, long-term alcohol use has negative effects to this important hormone by causing normal levels to fall.

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Meditation and mindfulness are two hot topics these days because they can create positive feelings and improve mental health. When learned and practiced, meditation can reduce urges and cravings as well as help develop a sense of calmness and well-being. Avoiding things that trigger alcohol cravings can be a helpful strategy early on in your efforts to change your drinking and manage your urges. Have friends over for dinner that you make (unless drinking alcohol while you’re cooking is part of your routine). A healthy diet is crucial for maintaining a balanced lifestyle, including when you’re trying to cut back on alcohol.

Expect the inevitable onset of cravings for alcohol that occurs during recovery, understand triggers, and develop a plan of action to deal with cravings. Engage in a healthy lifestyle, such as paying attention to one’s diet, remaining hydrated, getting plenty of exercise, socializing, etc., to reduce the effects of triggers and environmental cues. In order to prevent relapse, addiction treatment specialists willrely on two major categories of intervention. The individual in recovery would be wise to choose alternatives from both categories as opposed to focusing on only one for maximum success in dealing with cravings quickly and efficiently.

  • A nutrient-rich diet and a regular exercise routine have been proven to aid in maintaining sobriety.
  • While you can’t make the urge go away, you can see it for what it is.
  • Research the kinds of treatment that are available and discuss these options with your friend or family member.
  • First, when you drink, your blood alcohol level increases.
  • Get to the point where you’re comfortable in saying no and changing the subject without creating any negative emotion.

The more specific, realistic, and clear your goals, the better. I’d have more time and energy for the people and activities I care about. Benefits of NOT drinkingMy relationships would probably improve. Benefits of drinkingIt helps me forget about my problems.

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 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. Imagine life as a movie, and your drinking gets the starring role. Play a movie through of how that one tasty cocktail would go for you, based on your past experience.

Short term tips to deal with cravings for alcohol

If certain people, places, or activities trigger a craving for alcohol, try to avoid them. This may mean making major changes to your social life, such as finding new things to do with your old drinking buddies—or even giving up those friends and finding new ones. If you’re a long-term, heavy drinker, you may need medically supervised detoxification. Detox can be done on an outpatient basis or in a hospital or alcohol treatment facility, where you may be prescribed medication to prevent medical complications and relieve withdrawal symptoms.

First, when you drink, your blood alcohol level increases. These feelings can be the result of alcohol’s effects on the brain. Alcohol depresses the nervous system and interferes with its ability to communicate with other parts of the body. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, give Find Addiction Rehabs a call today.

Most people who experience alcohol cravings encounter a mixture of both types of triggers. By keeping yourself busy and engaging with a variety of fulfilling activities, you’ll give cravings fewer opportunities to strike. The list we present here is based on empirical research on clinical protocols for addressing alcohol cravings in treatment. The good news is that using these methods can improve our ability to manage and reduce urges. Counseling, medication, support from family and friends, changing your diet, taking supplements, and alternative treatments may all help lessen your alcohol cravings. In addition to reducing daily drinking, naltrexone has been shown to reduce alcohol cravings as a measurable symptom .

When you’re at home, pick up a new hobby or revisit an old one. Painting, board games, playing a musical instrument, woodworking — these and other activities are great alternatives to drinking. Drink soda, water, or juice after having an alcoholic beverage. You’d get a bottle and keep the party of one going at home. In the morning, you’d wake up with a splitting headache, wondering why you let yourself do it all again.

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. Are you ready to quit drinking or cut down to healthier levels? These tips can help you get started on the road to recovery. People who have become alcohol dependent often experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings when they try to stop drinking, and these cravings can pose problems for those trying to quit. It’s always wise to check with your doctor — she should be able to help you decide whether it is best for you to cut back or to abstain.