Everyone who struggles with a substance use disorder (SUD) must learn how to deal with addiction cravings. Overcoming cravings for alcohol is the foremost hurdle that separates alcohol addiction and sobriety.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol cravings or an already developed addiction, contact The Right Step today at 17135283709 to learn more about the programs and services at our alcohol addiction treatment centers. Getting professional help can help you in managing alcohol cravings and overcoming addiction.
What Are Alcohol Cravings?
Cravings are an intense, seemingly unbearable withdrawal symptom. Withdrawal is the brain’s way of alerting you to the “need” for more alcohol. The chemicals in alcohol send signals to the brain that generate feelings of euphoria or bliss and help block pain. When these effects wear off, symptoms of withdrawal start to arise—such as:
- Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trembling or shaking
People may also experience addiction cravings. A craving is a psychological withdrawal symptom. Many people describe it as the urge to get alcohol at whatever cost, as if their lives depended on it. These irrational cravings are why people struggling with addiction may lie and steal, even if such behavior is out of character under normal circumstances. But cravings can also show up when one is no longer actively using. In this case, cravings are triggered by a powerful memory of substance use. For example: If you are recovering from alcohol addiction, walking into a bar, smelling the alcohol, and seeing other people drinking may spark strong cravings for alcohol.
How to Deal with Cravings for Alcohol
Managing alcohol cravings is easier if you’re prepared for them and have the right tools and proper coping mechanisms. If the cravings become too intense, you’ll have a one-track mind and may not think clearly, so it’s best to nip them in the bud. Here are some tips to help you not give in to addiction cravings.
Have People in Your Support Network on Speed Dial
This is especially important if you are trying to sober up from active use because the addiction cravings will be the most powerful during this time. Talk to someone on the phone or ask someone to come over and be with you. They can give you a pep talk, distract you and, above all, make sure you don’t try to get more alcohol.
Learn How to Redirect Yourself
Let’s say you accidentally turn into the beer aisle at the grocery store. Turn around! Walking down the aisle—the same aisle where you used to buy beer, no doubt—and looking at the brand names won’t do you any good. There is no need to “test yourself” to see if you can overcome temptation. Just turn around immediately and avoid this trigger.
Discover New Activities to Keep Yourself Busy
What do you like to do that makes you lose track of time? Maybe you want to paint, run or go to the movies. When you feel a craving creeping in, squash it by immediately distracting yourself by doing something more purposeful.
Mindfulness is the art of staying in the here and now. It can help to remind you why it is essential not to give in to addictive behaviors. Mindfulness can also keep you calm in the face of cravings for alcohol.
Find Help in Managing Alcohol Cravings in Texas at The Right Step
Cravings don’t have to ruin your sobriety. They may come and go throughout your recovery. Have a plan to keep cravings under control, and don’t forget to reach out to your recovery specialist if cravings seem to come more often or be more intense than usual. Contact The Right Step today at 17135283709 to learn more about professional help for alcohol cravings and addictive behaviors.