Over 6% of American adults suffer from a drinking disorder. They must take the steps needed to manage their addiction to keep it from ruining their lives.
Alcohol has wronged many people in this world. It causes people to bring out the worst in themselves when they are addicted to it. If you suddenly start craving alcohol, then chances are you are addicted to it.
If it’s in its early stages, and you are feeling that it is downhill from here then don’t worry we’ve got your back. If you feel that you are in too deep, then you might want to consider an alcohol addiction treatment.
The onset of alcohol addiction begins from cravings for alcohol that don’t come from anywhere. You can’t be in denial of your addiction. So, if you are at that stage then we need to start working on stopping those cravings. If you are someone who is researching how you can prevent alcohol addiction for yourself or a family member, then you are at the right place. Here are some things that you can do individually to stop alcohol addiction.
What are cravings and how do they happen?
Before jumping into the solution, we first need to understand the root of the problem. Cravings aren’t a big threat for someone who isn’t drinking heavily i.e. 2-3 times a week. However, for heavy drinkers, it might be more than an itch to get a drink or two. Cravings are a big factor when diagnosing how far your addiction might be. The new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) also included cravings as part of the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD).
These cravings are what cause a person to lose themself over little matters. Cravings cause terrible stress to your brain and disfigure its functioning allowing many to do things they wouldn’t have otherwise. Here’s how cravings can trigger in a person:
- Habit formation
Apart from the bad changes we mentioned above, alcohol can change your brain in other ways as well. People drink often because it gives them a sense of positive feeling. Every person drinks because it allows them to “improve their mood”.
However, this mechanism is what causes you to look towards alcohol whenever something remotely stressful happens in your life. A fight with your partner, a bad day at work, and other events can cause a person’s brain to think that they need to take a drink to deal with it. Only after 5-6 times, your brain will start craving the magic medicine that deals with all the stress. Don’t let alcohol be the answer to your problem or this “reward” will end up causing you a great deal.
Triggers are also one of the main reasons for alcohol craving. Internal and external triggers cause a person to crave to get out of the situation or to settle in it comfortably.
Internal triggers are directly connected to memories, thoughts, and emotions that you’ve felt in the past. External triggers on the other hand are more distinguishable. They can be anything from a restaurant where you drink regularly to attending a party with your friends.
How you can deal with alcohol craving
You have to find a way to stay sober if you are struggling with alcohol addiction. There are a lot of steps that you have to take to make that happen.
If you start dealing with your alcohol cravings effectively, then you will stop having them in some time. You just need to try, and you will easily beat your cravings. Here are some things you should do while craving:
- Distracting yourself:
If you are able to distract yourself from thoughts of alcohol, then you are already done with half the job. It can be difficult to take your mind off something that your brain is directing you to. You can start doing so by doing different activities that bring you joy. They can be anything from putting on good music to picking up a book and reading a chapter. Exercising is something that helps greatly with addiction as well.
- Staying calm and collected:
As we mentioned, cravings can be caused by many internal triggers. If that is the cause of your cravings, then you might notice yourself being stressed and tense. These are some of the worst types of cravings. You should try to stay present if you are having an episode like that. Deep breathing, relaxation exercises, ground techniques, and any sort of physical activity can help you in doing so.
Take the Steps to Manage Your Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is a difficult thing to deal with, but if you stay strong then you will be out of it in no time. Don’t be afraid of accepting if you are an addict, doing so will go a long way. Get a good alcohol addiction treatment and bring your life on the line again.