Reducing Alcohol Cravings: Medications, Foods, Natural Supplements

You may drink to avoid certain feelings, for instance, but you also may drink to enhance certain feelings. This “increased risk” category contains three different drinking pattern groups. Overall, nearly 20% of people who drink in this category have alcohol use disorder. Once a person identifies the activities and situations that can cue their cravings, they can work to avoid some of them.

So if you can keep yourself busy and engaged for that time, you are likely to find your desire to drink has passed. You may not be able to stop alcohol cravings completely, but there are two practical approaches to dealing with them. At its simplest, a craving is “inherently a subjective experience, best described as a state of desire or wanting” (Monti et al., 2004).

Why do we Experience Cravings?

Alcohol craving is found to be the major cause of abuse and subsequent health issues such as chronic alcoholism. Alcohol abuse and addiction doesn’t just affect the person drinking—it affects their families and loved ones, too. Watching a family member struggle with a drinking problem can be as heartbreakingly painful as it is frustrating. But while you can’t do the hard work of overcoming addiction for your loved one, your love and support can play a crucial part in their long-term recovery. Whether you choose to tackle your alcohol addiction by going to rehab, getting therapy, or taking a self-directed treatment approach, support is essential.

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Many people fall off the wagon, it is expected and predicted. Being a B Corp means we’re committed to being a responsible business that has a positive impact for people and the planet, as we work for a world in which people drink mindfully and live well. A passing thought about having a drink is just that – a passing thought – and not a craving that should concern you.

Handling setbacks in your recovery

This ramping up of dopamine can lead to an acceleration of consumption, and what you might have thought would be one drink to ‘take the edge off’ becomes several. Sometimes even the thought of receiving pleasure from something will lead to the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine affects our reward system, memory, motivation, decision-making, and beyond. Your first port of call may be for you to speak to your GP about your cravings and other symptoms. They’ll be able to offer advice and point you in the direction of specialist rehab, if appropriate.

  • An urge to drink can be set off by external triggers in the environment and internal ones within yourself.
  • Then check back in with yourself in minutes and see if the urge’s intensity has changed.
  • Generally, a craving is defined as a subjective experience of wanting to use a drug.
  • But researchers generally agree that cravings are prompted by external triggers.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, discuss your challenges with your primary healthcare professional.

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