You’ve taken the first step to overcome alcohol, made a commitment to stop drinking, have set clear goals, and asked for help. From time to time, however, you feel the urge to drink. You’re having a hard time fighting the cravings and you feel like you can’t resist the devil anymore. What will you do?
For a person who has just stopped drinking, fighting alcohol cravings is a tough challenge, especially in the first six months. This is when good alcohol treatment from outstanding alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers becomes very important. Alcohol treatment can help you develop coping skills to deal with alcohol cravings, stressful situations, and social pressure to drink.
Avoiding Drinking Triggers
Alcohol cravings and urges can get more intense whenever you are exposed to different drinking triggers. To overcome them successfully, it’s important to avoid things that urge you to drink. Shun places, people, and activities that trigger a craving for alcohol. This may involve taking simple steps like removing all alcoholic substances in your home, to making major changes to your social life, like saying no to your drinking buddies. Learn to say “no” to alcohol during social situations. Prepare ahead of time on how you will deal with people who may offer you a drink and how you can firmly and politely say, “No, thanks.”
Tips on Managing Alcohol Cravings
Cravings are normal for people who are trying to overcome addictive behaviors. They may feel intense at first, but they pass and subside in time through discipline and strong commitment. Whenever you feel an urge to drink, distract yourself until the craving passes. Listen to music, go for a walk, run an errand, or watch television or a movie. Talking to someone you trust and being open about what you are going through can also help you overcome the situation. Your family, friends, doctor, or your faith community can give you advice on how you can better manage your cravings.
Doctors and therapists from affordable rehabilitation centers suggest that reminding yourself about the negative effects of drinking and imagining your life if you go back to your old habits can help you manage alcohol urges. Instead of trying to fight them, accept the cravings and ride them out. This strategy is known as “urge surfing.” Think of your alcohol cravings as the waves of the ocean that will soon dispel or go away.
Overcoming alcohol cravings can be tough, but if you do your best to avoid drinking triggers and learn to manage your urges, they’ll pass more quickly than you’d think, helping you get through the situation faster.