According to statistics, more than eighty percent of people above eighteen years of age have tasted alcohol. Amidst this percentage, at least twenty percent take large quantities of alcohol.
Deciding to reduce or stop your alcohol intake is one of the best decisions you can make. This decision comes in handy when you notice that you slowly depend on alcohol. It may be a suitable one, but it is not an easy one.
Stopping the alcohol intake at once may work for you, but that’s the most unlikely case. Mostly, you’ll experience alcohol cravings that are daunting to overcome. In most cases, you’ll need an expert to help you stop the alcohol cravings.
Alcohol cravings can come in diverse forms, and sometimes, you may not bear them easily. It’s a silent reminder that may come because of an environmental or emotional change. Regardless, cravings are something you can overcome with the proper steps and guidelines.
There’s no unique way that works for alcohol cravings. All you need to do is to try different methods with discipline. This guide will discuss some of the best ways to beat alcohol cravings.
A common mistake amongst people struggling to stop alcohol is underrating it. You can’t stop alcohol and expect it to go very easily. As much as you can, you have to remain focused on the task ahead.
You can start by opting for alcohol addiction treatment in a trusted recovery center. This organization should have guidelines, appointments, and processes to help you with the addiction. Also, you’ll be meeting with a professional at intervals to study your progress.
Since you have someone to report to, it will help your accountability. As a result, you’ll naturally stay focused on stopping the alcohol cravings.
Identify and study triggers
No matter how focused you are on dealing with your alcohol cravings, you can’t stop the cravings from coming. But often, these cravings wouldn’t come if nothing was pushing the cravings. There has to be a reason why you’re suddenly craving alcohol.
The first time the cravings come, you may not easily identify why they’re coming very heavily. But you should try as much as possible so that you know when the next cravings come. During the craving period, your complete focus will be on stopping the urge. But immediately it subsides, you need to study the details of the cravings that will come.
First, you have to understand what triggered the alcohol cravings. The triggers for your alcohol cravings happen subconsciously, and it’s usually not immediate. To manage your alcohol cravings properly, you need to record and avoid these triggers.
For instance, let’s assume you meet up with an old friend you used to enjoy alcohol with on your way to work. That meeting may not trigger you to want alcohol immediately. The trigger may wait until a later date, can be up to a week before you feel the alcohol cravings.
When recording and studying your alcohol cravings, you need to pinpoint the cause. It’s best if you have a little book to record your cravings. The necessary information includes the strength of the cravings, the trigger, and your reaction to the alcohol cravings. With this info, you can determine if you’re dealing with the alcohol cravings properly.
Find a distraction
Alcohol cravings can come at the wrongest of times, and if you let your guard down, you’ll find yourself drinking again. An excellent way to overcome alcohol cravings is to find something to distract you. Note that this distraction has to be a positive one; else, you may be battling another habit.
Also, you need to have a distraction for the various times that the alcohol cravings may crawl in. When your alcohol cravings come during the week when you’re at work, focusing on your job is a possible distraction. But if the cravings come when you’re not at work, you need to find a solution.
You may want to get yourself a pet to play with during this period. You can also get into strenuous activities that can get you tired, including dancing, exercising, playing sports, and many more. All you have to ensure is you’re not developing another bad habit with your distraction.
Alcohol addiction can be a disgraceful habit for anyone. Usually, society looks down on you when they find you an alcohol addict. The same community sometimes is the best way to beat alcohol cravings.
There are always people who will never show sympathy when you confess that you’re an alcohol addict. As much as possible, you should try to avoid these people when you want to talk about your addiction. Instead, you have to find people who care a little about your wellbeing.
You can start with your friends and family, especially those you are very close with. Another good option is finding someone who’s going through a similar situation. That way, both of you can push each other to overcome alcohol cravings.
Alcohol cravings are more emotional than physical. It’s a thought that comes from your mind. Therefore, as long as you have complete control over your mind, you control the cravings.
Controlling your mind is a habit you have to take time to form. A good way to start is by trying mindfulness practices. You can begin by taking deep and conscious breaths at intervals. With these activities, you gain more control over your mind, and you can always use it to regain focus when alcohol cravings come calling.
Find a personal solution
The way alcohol cravings affect people differs; therefore, overcoming these cravings can’t be the same. One big mistake you’ll make is trying tactics that worked for another alcohol addict for yourself. Your solution to your alcohol craving has to be personal.
You can replace the alcohol with a drink you love when the cravings come calling. Everyone has their preferences, so another person’s best drink wouldn’t work for you. When you don’t like the liquid very much, it may not have a lasting effect against the cravings.
Also, you can try to find a distraction that you prefer. For instance, if you love watching football, it will be the best way to distract yourself from alcohol cravings. That way, your love for the football game will help you divert your focus from alcohol.
Related Article: How Long After You Stop Drinking Does Your Body Heal?
Have a curious mindset
A habit everyone needs to grow at one point or the other is to control themselves. When an alcohol craving comes, instead of getting scared, the best way to beat it is to take control. A good way to take control is to maintain a curious mindset.
You can start by questioning the cravings you’re feeling. Do not mind whether anyone is looking at you; if you have to talk to yourself, please do. Also, you can condition your brain to focus on the results of your alcohol abstinence. A simple question like “what will happen if I don’t drink today” is more than enough.
Globally, the buzz about meditation and mindfulness is continuously rising everywhere. The main reason why mindfulness and meditation are becoming vital is they make you more aware of many things, including alcohol cravings.
When you visit a therapist, one of the first practices the expert will advise is meditation. Your meditation can be as easy as taking a deep breath, while you may need more complex processes like yoga.
Remember to use what works best for you to manage alcohol cravings! That’s why seeing a therapist for the most suitable meditation practices is important.
Part of how to overcome alcohol cravings is using drugs. Alcohol itself is a drug, and there are a couple of drugs that work well to reduce your alcohol cravings. This method of battling alcohol cravings is very effective. However, it is not one we advise without professional help.
Mostly, prescription drugs used to reduce cravings of addiction have addictive properties. Therefore, over time, you may notice that you depend on the drugs to survive. That way, you’re moving from one addiction to the other.
When you decide to use these drugs to suppress alcohol cravings, the best thing to do is observe. Use the medications only when you still feel the cravings often, so you don’t get addicted. While there have been numerous medications developed over the past years to help, only three have global recognition.
The three drugs recognized to overcome alcohol cravings include naltrexone, Antabuse, and acamprosate. Naltrexone has a way of curbing the exciting feeling supplied by alcohol intake. Acamprosate remains the most potent of all three drugs, as it works to stop cravings and reduce a relapse probability.
Never stay idle
Before you become an alcohol addict, you need to take a large amount of alcohol. Typically, you can’t consistently take such large amounts if you’re busy with a job or something else. So in a way, you can say idleness had a role to play in the addiction of any alcoholic.
When you decide to stop alcohol, you have to find an activity for any moment. Don’t wait until the cravings are there before you get busy.
You may want to ask the question, “how long do alcohol cravings last?” You may experience alcohol cravings for as low as five minutes, and they may linger for some hours. Therefore, ensure that there’s an activity for every minute. That doesn’t mean you should overwork yourself, simply have a schedule and stick to it.
Get support groups
Trying to stop alcohol cravings abruptly on your own may not be the best way to go about it. An effective method of alcohol detox is getting a support group. Support groups consist of people who have battled alcohol at one point or the other.
Telling your alcohol addiction story and monitoring your progress is easy amongst support groups. You wouldn’t have anyone judging your past. Also, you’ll have a lot of success stories that keep you inspired all through your recovery journey.
Replace alcohol with herbs
Herbs can also serve as a replacement for alcohol when the cravings return. Before you take any herbs, please do enough research about the herbs. Also, have a clear conversation with your physician about your health and any potential consequence that may come with herbs.
When your doctor clears you of any potential health hazards, you can go for herbs as a solution to the alcohol cravings. Some herbs you can try include milo thistle, kudzu, St. Jon’s water, amongst others.
Replace alcohol with water
Water is one of the most important liquids globally, with many benefits for human beings. Apart from flushing all contaminants from your body system, water can also help you overcome alcohol cravings.
An alcohol craving will have you have less water in your body. Sometimes, this reduced water can leave you nauseous. With lots of water, however, your body stays hydrated, and the probability of alcohol cravings reduces.
Part of how to overcome alcohol cravings is to eat good food. When you take alcohol, you get filled up quickly. Therefore, when you’re trying to stop alcohol intake, you need not feel hungry.
While not feeling hungry is the goal, some type of food can also lead to alcohol cravings. For instance, eating fast food filled with sugar will deposit glucose into your body. This glucose will increase the chances of having an alcohol craving.
Get a therapist
Professional help is the best method to overcome alcohol cravings. A therapist has the experience and knowledge of how alcohol works. With a few questions, the therapist understands your addiction level.
Also, the therapist knows the proper steps to take in the suitable scale of preference. Therefore, you’ll be trying out informed steps to stop alcohol cravings. Also, a therapist makes you accountable and more disciplined to the course.
Related Article: Does It Take 40 Days for Alcohol to Leave Your Body System?
You can try any of the above-mentioned steps to overcome alcohol cravings. These alcohol cravings can get much and give you pressure. But with discipline and the right guidance, you should have your cravings sorted easily.
While trying to manage alcohol cravings, you need the proper guidance. At Inspire Change Wellness Centre, we don’t just help you overcome addiction; we help reduce the possibility of a relapse. We have arranged our addiction treatment programs in the best way possible to ensure your recovery. Call us today to discuss treatment options.