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How to Overcome Alcohol Cravings

how top overcome alcohol cravings

As recent as 2019, there were over 14.5 million people with alcohol use disorders in the United States.


Whether you’ve recently received substance abuse treatment, know someone else who’s gone to rehab for alcohol abuse, or simply want to cut back on drinking, overcoming alcohol cravings can be tough. Because our drug and alcohol rehab in Massachusetts understands these challenges, we’re sharing several tips on how to overcome alcohol cravings and stay sober.

5 Simple Tips on How to Overcome Alcohol Cravings

Alcohol is an addictive central nervous system depressant that can increase alertness in small doses and cause euphoric and relaxing effects in high doses. An alcohol use disorder usually begins casually or recreationally, but can become more severe over time. As the individual creates more drinking habits, alcohol becomes less of a luxury and more of a need. Eventually, their unhealthy relationship with alcohol may make it difficult to quit drinking. If you’re one of these people, then you may struggle to overcome alcohol cravings, even if you have received alcohol addiction treatment. Below are some tips on how to overcome cravings for alcohol safely and effectively.

Identify Your Triggers

There are two types of triggers: external and internal. External triggers refer to people, places, things, and even times of the day that may remind you of drinking alcohol or give you the opportunity to drink. Internal triggers may seem random, which is why they’re harder to identify. However, when you do suddenly experience the urge to drink, pay attention to your surroundings, thoughts, and emotions. Whether it’s a smell, song, or even a particular food, you have to identify these triggers to avoid them.

Avoid Obvious High-Risk Situations

If you’re trying to stay sober and overcome cravings for alcohol, do not place yourself in a situation where you may be tempted to drink. This process isn’t about testing yourself, but rather about acting wisely. Avoid places like bars, clubs, and even restaurants if you don’t feel like you’re capable of staying away from alcohol. If your friends are throwing a party and you know they’ll serve alcoholic drinks, kindly decline the invitation.

Immediately Challenge Any Thoughts That Encourage Drinking

When the urge to drink seems strong, it’s easy to cave into these desires. A good way to fight against alcohol cravings is by challenging any thoughts that encourage you to drink. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “one drink can’t hurt,” interrupt it immediately and remind yourself that one drink can hurt. One drink can set you down another spiral and stump your progress.

Distract Yourself

Staying idle or allowing yourself to feel bored allows your mind to focus on alcohol cravings. A big component in overcoming cravings for alcohol is keeping yourself distracted. Go out for a walk, go out to eat, invite a friend over, turn on a movie, play games on your phone, read a book, do something positive that prevents your mind from circling back to alcohol.

Call Someone

A good way to not only keep yourself distracted but to also keep yourself accountable is by communicating your struggles to someone else. Whether it’s a family member or close friend, call someone when you feel the urge to drink. Talk to a trusted friend or family member when you find yourself in a high-risk situation or are alone at home and want to keep your mind busy.

Overcoming alcohol addiction and staying sober involves long-term commitment and change. While these tips may be helpful, they’re only one of the many resources needed to stay clean. At Banyan Treatment Centers Massachusetts, we offer several different addiction treatment therapies that focus on treating the underlying effects of alcohol. We use these programs alongside our substance-specific treatment to ensure each patient receives well-rounded care.

If you or a loved one is unable to stop drinking, Banyan Massachusetts can help. Call us now at 888-280-4763 for more information about our addiction treatment programs. Begin your alcohol-free life today.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
How to Overcome Alcohol Cravings
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