Beating Alcohol Cravings

Alcohol cravings have been the ruin of many attempts to cut back on drinking or quit altogether. There is some misinformation out there about why and how they occur, so let’s deal with that today in the blog.

Routine, heavy drinking can change the conventional operation of the human mind in a lot of ways. Among the most usual shifts are cravings and the inability to moderate consumption.

Problem drinkers dream of being able to have ‘just one drink’!

Thankfully, men and women battling with this challenge can combat alcohol cravings with the aid of tried and tested problem management techniques. Additionally, individuals under a medical professional’s care can get support such as craving-reducing prescription medication.

Alcohol And Depression
Alcohol And Depression

There Is No Silver Bullet

Medication may be an option for full-blown alcoholics who have reached rock bottom but more often than not problem drinkers are not physically addicted to the drug and are purely in a negative loop with their drinking.

So many modern-day parents are turning to wine o’clock as soon as the kids are in bed or there are people who have stressful jobs who have got into the habit of picking up a six pack of beer on the way home from work every day. For these types of drinkers, medication and all the side-effects that come with them are not required.

I teach my online members and my live seminar attendees my 4 tricks to kill any alcohol cravings in less than 30 seconds. The drug ‘alcohol’ can only have a chemical hold over us for a couple of weeks. After that point, you are into the realms of psychological addiction. The 4 things I give my members are 99% successful is destroying any desire to drink” says Craig Beck – The Stop Drinking Expert.

What Creates Alcohol Cravings?

Booze is renowned for its extensive effect on the human mind. To name a few things, its exposure modifies essential neurotransmitters required for sound, logical thought.

These elements, created within special sensory cells called neurons, play an important function in the transmission of data to and from the central nervous system. They make it possible for strings of nerve cells to interact and generate the extensive range of indicators that regulate other nerves around the human body.

Alcoholics and problem drinkers will probably experience considerable shifts in their amounts of 2 specific natural chemicals: dopamine and GABA.

Alcohol Counseling
Alcohol Counseling

Alcohol Attacks The Limbic System

In a brain region called the limbic system, continued surges in dopamine quantities result in a requirement for substantial feelings of gratification. Eventually, the brain starts to expect these chemicals to be there at the same elevated level.

Imagine if I blew a trumpet in your ear. The first time I did it you would be startled and feel pain, but if I kept doing it eventually you would become deaf. After this point, I would need to blow the trumpet much harder to get the same response.

Alcohol cravings occur when there is insufficient alcohol in the circulatory system to sustain these modified amounts. They function as a first-stage signal for you to drink more booze. If this alert goes disobeyed, the brain might follow up with the more powerful (and much more undesirable) psychological and bodily manifestations of withdrawal.

Alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms are 2 of the formal requirements for an ailment referred to as alcohol use disorder (AUD), which covers both alcohol addiction (i.e., alcoholism) and non-addicted alcoholic abuse. On their own, they’re insufficient to warrant an AUD medical diagnosis. Nevertheless, their existence points toward such a diagnosis and plainly suggests a hazardous habit of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Cravings Signs And Symptoms

A man or woman craving alcohol might experience a range of psychological and tangible signs and symptoms. Typical illustrations of these manifestations consist of:

  1. Fixation with thoughts of alcohol consumption
  2. An obscure feeling of anxiousness
  3. Abnormal annoyance and anger
  4. Exhaustion
  5. Absence of desire for food
  6. Insomnia
  7. Brain fog and confusion
  8. A low mood
  9. Out of the ordinary stress and anxiety
  10. Inexplicable shifts in their frame of mind

These signs and symptoms can show up in light, modest or serious ways. Even in an individual dedicated to staying on the wagon, they can raise the chance that alcohol consumption will creep back into their daily life. Oftentimes, alcohol cravings are “set off” by inner or peripheral events.

alcohol brain chemistry

Inner triggers for alcohol cravings can include such traits as:

  • Upsetting thought and feelings
  • Temper or mental frustration
  • Physical discomfort or pain
  • The favorable emotions connected with contentment or pleasure

Peripheral sources of alcohol cravings can feature:

  • The sight of other individuals drinking alcohol
  • Finding yourself in a social setting connected with alcohol consumption (e.g., a pub or club).
  • Time of day when drinking typically or often happens.
  • Many people find it a lot easier to identify external triggers and more challenging to recognize inner triggers.

How to Moderate Alcohol Cravings.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction suggests a few responses that may help in reducing alcohol cravings. First on this rundown of responses is staying clear of scenarios that raise the desire to consume alcohol.

Possible actions to take here include:

Setting up an alcohol-free home.

  • Keeping away from parties or locations that come with alcohol consumption as an activity.
  • Collaborating with loved ones to set up alcohol-free activity choices.

Sadly, given the worldwide popularity of drinking alcohol, it’s nearly unachievable to stay away from booze in the long run. This means that men and women trying to reduce cravings will need to establish a few new coping skill-sets.

drinking at home

Specialists at the NIAAA highlight the value of:

  • Making reminders that highlight the individual value of staying clear of alcohol consumption.
  • Setting up healthy and balanced diversions to alcohol consumption (e.g., working out, chatting with good friends taking part in a preferred leisure activity).
  • Talking about drinking urges with an entrusted mentor, friend or member of the family.
  • Examining and questioning the thought patterns that provide power to alcohol cravings.
  • Planning out coping tactics ahead of time when going into alcohol-using settings.
  • Monitoring the strength of alcohol consumption urges.
  • Accepting the presence of the desire to consume alcohol without following through and drinking alcohol.

Prescription Medication for Alcohol Cravings.

In a therapy setting, medical professionals can help suppress alcohol craving by recommending a medicine called naltrexone. This drug capitalizes on a crucial relationship between the impacts of alcohol and the effect of opioid-based substances and medications. Opioids set off chemical shifts in the mind by accessing spots in the human body called opioid receptors. Although booze is not an opioid, it generates a few of its invigorating results by triggering the same receptors.

Naltrexone is an opioid receptor blocker.

Naltrexone is carried in the blood and creates an obstacle that turns off these pleasure paths to the mind. In an individual impaired by alcohol addiction, the infarction of feelings of pleasure results in a decrease in the strength of drinking urges. Latest data demonstrate that use of naltrexone may help individuals in rehabilitation preserve soberness and stay clear of drinking relapses.

The F.D.A has endorsed a long-acting, injectable type of the medicine (branded as Vivitrol) for alcohol addiction therapy.

I tried Naltrexone and while I accept that it works for some, I can’t recommend it because I found the side effects were even worse than a hangover. It’s hard to take a daily tablet that steals the fun from the thing you love and then makes you feel terrible“, says Craig Beck – author of Alcohol Lied To Me.

staying sober with good food

Foods that Deter Alcohol Cravings.

Health and nutrition may play an important function in decreasing the desire to consume alcohol, particularly in individuals impacted by alcohol addiction. There are numerous crucial explanations for this point. Primarily, lots of problem drinkers don’t tend to a healthy diet and that can have an extensive effect on their physical and psychological health.

Throughout the withdrawal process, problem drinkers can have a difficult time discriminating between the need to consume alcohol and an underlying sensation of appetite. Oftentimes, if they have a meal, their cravings will go away and their sense of equilibrium will improve.

Dietary health also has one more considerable impact. As shown, a lot of the triggers for alcohol usage are based upon unfavorable moods like anxiety, stress, and fundamental emotional state unpredictability. Eating of a substandard diet escalates the risk that these moods will appear. When an affected individual’s dietary routine starts to improve, state of mind variations lessen and the strength of drinking urges can decrease.

A few online fitness guru’s make certain endorsements about the best kinds of foods for decreasing alcohol cravings. Having said that, generally, the secret is eating a healthy diet which contains a range of low-fat healthy proteins, wholesome carbs, fruit products, veggies, supplements, and minerals.

How to Handle Alcohol Cravings.

Powerful cravings for alcohol can cause issues for problem drinkers, and also for individuals who do not presently qualify for an alcohol use disorder medical diagnosis. Nobody can claim for certain the length of time alcohol cravings go on in any given individual.

Aspects that affect the answer to this concern include a hereditary tendency for alcohol issues, the existence or absence of alcohol addiction, and the intensity of any alcohol dependency indicators. Even after getting successful treatment, a few individuals continue to experience a desire to consume alcohol for weeks, months or many years.

Thankfully, anybody craving a drink can use a variety of strategies to combat the desire. Whenever possible, the best strategy might be an avoidance of any scenario or activity where alcohol use takes place. And when evasion is unachievable, functional use of coping techniques may help strengthen a decision to live in sobriety.

Additionally, anyone who feels extreme cravings might get considerable alleviation by making nutritional modifications or finding help from a specialist or experienced substance addiction expert.

Beat alcohol cravings
Beat alcohol cravings

Ready To Take Action?

Are you sick and tired of waking up every morning full of guilt and regret because you drank again?

Nobody can fix this problem for you. You need to take 100% responsibility for dealing with this. However, if you use the right tools and get the right help it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard to achieve.

Click here to reserve your place on the next FREE quit drinking webinar. Or if you prefer the personal touch, click here to find out about our next live quit drinking seminar.

About the Author Stop Drinking Expert

Craig Beck ABNLP. ABHYP. DhP. is an internationally renowned, specialist alcohol cessation coach and quit drinking mentor. Using his experience as a former problem drinker, combined with professionals qualifications, accreditations and practice as an addiction therapist, ICF licensed coach, master practitioner of NLP and master hypnotherapist. Independently respected and rated.

Not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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  1. I have read your article; It is very informative and helpful to me. I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles.
    Thanks for posting it.

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