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How to Deal with Alcohol Cravings

people in group therapy discussing how to manage alcohol cravings

Alcohol cravings are intense, overwhelming urges to drink. These urges are as physical as they are psychological. During active addiction, cravings increase as people need more alcohol to keep their blood alcohol levels high, which prevents them from experiencing the physical symptoms of withdrawal. This intense longing for alcohol can continue even longer into a person’s recovery. You may notice your cravings worsen due to external cues, such as people, places, or things that remind you of drinking, or internal triggers, like stress or nervousness.

Alcohol cravings can seem overwhelming, discouraging, and shameful, but you aren’t alone. The team at 7 Summit Pathways is here to support you wherever you might be in your Recovery. We can help you learn how to deal with alcohol cravings and take control of your life.

If you or a loved one needs alcohol addiction treatment, contact 7 Summit Pathways today at 813.212.7149 to get started.

How to Deal with Alcohol Cravings

Alcohol cravings may feel overwhelming after a person quits drinking. Fortunately, there are several ways to curb these urges and prevent relapse. Here’s some advice on dealing with cravings for alcohol:

1. Avoid Your Triggers

One of the best ways to handle your cravings is to avoid the things that cause them. Triggers look different for everyone. You might have specific friends who pressure you into drinking with them, or you might be tempted to enter your favorite bar every time you drive past it. Pinpoint your specific triggers, and, if possible, avoid the people, places, items, or emotions that encourage you to drink.

2. Find Coping Strategies for Unavoidable Triggers

It’s not possible to avoid every trigger you’ll face during your recovery, including emotional triggers like anxiety or disappointment. Instead, you’ll need to learn how to handle your cravings for alcohol using different coping strategies, such as:

  • Distracting yourself – Healthy activities like meditation, exercise, showering, or walking are perfect alternatives to drinking if you feel upset or need to let off steam. Finding a hobby you enjoy, like reading, knitting, journaling, or cooking, can also boost your mood while helping you handle your urge to drink.
  • Talking to someone – Confide in someone you trust when you feel an overwhelming desire for alcohol. You and a friend can make a plan to talk on the phone when you get a craving, or you can even bring them along to a high-risk event.
  • Riding out the feeling – Without giving in to your craving, let it sit. Accept it as a regular and temporary event that will soon pass. As you ride out the feeling, challenge any negative thinking and remind yourself of the reasons you’re choosing to give up your addiction.

3. Eat Right

Since hunger and alcohol cravings can feel similar, you might also lessen your urges with healthy nutrition. Maintain a well-balanced diet with various fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins, vitamins, and healthy carbohydrates. Cayenne peppers and a diet high in vitamin B might also help you reduce your cravings.

4. Seek Help

There’s nothing braver or more rewarding than building a network of people you trust to walk alongside you in your recovery. This process starts with treatment from a medical professional and might also include:

  • A supportive friend and family group
  • Professional detoxification and rehabilitation services aimed at improving your physical, mental, and emotional health
  • Medications like naltrexone or acamprosate

Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can also offer invaluable support during recovery and minimize the risk of relapse.

Call 7 Summit Pathways to Start Alcohol Addiction Treatment Today

Alcohol addiction can seem almost impossible to overcome on your own, but at 7 Summit Pathways, we can help you find recovery success. We use several evidence-based treatment plans for physical detoxification and psychological recovery. Our team can help you put together your ideal treatment to find peace and healing as you recover from alcohol addiction.

Contact us at 813.212.7149 or through our web portal to learn more.