How To Stop Alcohol Cravings


As a former Nurse Practitioner in Miami, she found her passion for addiction treatment when a family member was lost to his disease. With each article and resource, she hopes to save other families from experiencing the anguish of a loved one’s passing due to drinking or drugs. Although the desires and cravings for alcohol will never truly go away for good, there are plenty of ways to subdue those negative thoughts and intense desires. You’ll be surprised how much your diet will assist with your recovery from alcoholism.


Check back in with yourself in 30 – 45 minutes and see if the urges intensity has changed. When you are attempting to make changes to your drinking habits or drug use, it can be frustrating trying to figure out how to control urges. You might be doing your best to avoid taking drugs or drinking, but you still find yourself having drug and alcohol urges or cravings.

  • Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals.
  • Although the desires and cravings for alcohol will never truly go away for good, there are plenty of ways to subdue those negative thoughts and intense desires.
  • The pleasant euphoria you experience when drinking becomes a reward, one that reinforces your desire to drink in certain situations.

We can provide you with rehab, detox, and recovery resources that are tailored to your specific needs. You are not alone in this journey — help is always available. Many whole-grain foods contain complex carbohydrates that are vital to those who are working on their recovery from alcohol. Since complex carbs take more time to break down after consumption, individuals are able to feel fuller with prolonged energy levels. It’s important to keep in mind that cravings happen, and it’s nothing to be ashamed about because everyone experiences them in their own way.

How to Stop Alcohol Cravings

Your care team might recommend this approach if you experience symptoms of anxiety and depression along with cravings. Therapy with a trained mental health professional — particularly one who specializes in substance use and recovery — can be another great way to explore long-term changes in alcohol use. There is a myriad of healthy and delicious foods that help with alcohol cravings. Adding ideal portions of fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great way to curb alcohol cravings and replace and replenish the vitamins that are sorely lacking in those in recovery.

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To reduce alcohol cravings, it helps to understand that the temptation to have a drink, even when you’ve resolved not to, is rooted in both psychological and physical factors. Put simply, alcohol cravings are the urge or desire to have a drink. These cravings can be frustrating if you’re trying to cut down on alcohol or stop drinking completely, but they are quite normal. External triggers are people, places, things, or times of day that offer drinking opportunities or remind you of drinking. These “tempting situations” are more obvious, predictable, and avoidable than internal triggers. As you change your drinking, it’s normal and common to have urges or a craving for alcohol.

Recovering from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the alcohol use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need. But regardless of the treatment program’s length in weeks or months, long-term follow-up care is crucial to your recovery. Keeping track can help show you that sometimes you can use urges to your benefit. For instance, if you have an urge to drink when you’re feeling anxious, the urge can be a signal to figure out better ways to manage your feelings of anxiety and how you deal with stress.

Exercise to diminish alcohol cravings

But in spite of your goals and no matter how committed you are to changing your habits around drinking, avoiding alcohol might prove a little more difficult than you expected. Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, figs, and strawberries, and veggies like Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and carrots are high in fiber and provide countless health benefits. Never take a new medication for alcohol dependence without consulting a doctor first. One of the main ways that mindfulness can do this is by reducing your reactivity to events. If someone cuts you off in traffic, it will be far easier to keep your cool and not spiral off into a chain of thoughts that might lead to relapse. Shadow work can be challenging and uncomfortable, but it can also be tremendously rewarding.


SMART Recovery– Self-Management and Recovery Training is a program that aims to achieve abstinence through self-directed change. Costs of NOT drinkingI’d have to find another way to deal with problems. Costs of drinkingIt has caused problems in my relationships. It’s my way of relaxing and unwinding after a stressful day.

These tips will help you cut back on drinking alcohol.

Many individuals don’t realize the sugar cravings they are experiencing are due to their detox from alcohol and vice versa. When you’re craving alcohol, there’s a tendency to remember the positive effects of drinking and forget the negatives. Remind yourself of the adverse long-term effects of heavy drinking and how it won’t really make you feel better, even in the short term. There’s no magic bullet or single treatment that works for everyone. Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s important that you find a program that feels right to you. Any alcohol addiction treatment program should be customized to your unique problems and situation.

For more mild drinkers, this withdrawal phase can last between five and seven days. Naltrexone is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs known as opioid antagonists. It binds to and blocks opioid receptors in the brain, which reduces the buzz and intoxicated feeling you get from drinking alcohol. Alcohol cravings are common, especially when you first try to change your drinking habits. It could take some time and effort to find a strategy that helps you navigate them effectively, but you do have plenty of options for support. Rather, it can make you feel less like drinking because it makes it difficult for your body to metabolize alcohol.

Physical changes that can include increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increases in the activity of the sweat glands. Get to know what 5 ounces looks like by measuring it out at home. That way you can estimate how many standard drinks you’re being served in a restaurant or bar that uses large glasses and generous serving sizes. Instead of fighting an urge, accept it as normal and temporary. As you ride it out, keep in mind that it will soon crest like an ocean wave and pass.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in the alcohol addiction signs & symptoms and body. This organic chemical influences your mood, motivation, and feelings of reward while regulating body movement. Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road.

Once you’ve cut back on your drinking (so you’re at or below the recommended guidelines), examine your drinking habits regularly to see if you’re maintaining this level of drinking. Some people attain their goal only to find that old habits crop up again later. For three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink. Include information about what and how much you drank as well as where you were. If you’re having trouble sticking to your goal, discuss it with your doctor or another health professional. Making a list of the reasons to curtail your drinking — such as feeling healthier, sleeping better, or improving your relationships — can motivate you.

Fresh fruits are so versatile and are filled with a plethora of health benefits for one’s diet. Fruits also contain natural sugars like fructose that offer the body a boost of energy and strengthen the liver and immune system. When these chemicals skyrocket, individuals will experience enhanced feelings of pleasure. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.

Finally, it is important for individuals in recovery from an alcohol use disorder to be able to recognize the generalized signs that a relapse may be on the horizon. Distraction is one of the most successful approaches to dealing with cravings. Exercise, meditation, and socializing with friends are excellent ways to deal with cravings.

Research the kinds of treatment that are available and discuss these options with your friend or family member. Don’t let feelings of guilt or shame keep you from getting back on track. Remind yourself that one drink or a brief lapse doesn’t have to turn into a full-blown relapse. Accept the urge and ride it out, instead of trying to fight it. This is known as “urge surfing.” Think of your craving as an ocean wave that will soon crest, break, and dissipate.