Almost 31% of all deaths in the United States can be attributed to alcohol use. It’s actually the leading cause of death within North America which is why millions of dollars are spent each year battling alcohol use. There has been progress over the years because an organization like MADD (mothers against drunk driving) have lobbied to get rules changed making consequences stricter on those who get caught impaired behind the wheel.
However, even with so much effort is put towards controlling drinking and driving, we’ll still fail to make a huge difference in our society. I believe if you can control the cravings, then you might be able to reduce the overall fatalities greatly.
After doing some extensive research, I was able to put together a list of effective strategies to help people control alcoholic cravings. Let’s explore some of the top strategies:
Remove Yourself from Risky Situations
One of the best ways to avoid alcoholic cravings is to remove yourself from any situation where you can drink. This is why people who are looking to stop drinking will avoid going to bars, or even ordering alcohol. However, remember this is only for the time being, and once you’re effectively able to control your cravings, you can slowly pull yourself back into alcoholic environments.
Friend on Speed Dial
When you first join AA (alcohol anonymous), the first thing they’ll recommend is to have a friend you can call when you have cravings. This friend should be someone who doesn’t drink or is someone who has been through the program. This way when you have cravings, you’ll be able to call someone for immediate support who will guide you in the right direction. Make sure this is a person you trust and one who has your best interests in mind.
It’s hard to control cravings from day one so space out your progress extending time slowly. For example, I would start by focusing on getting through a day, then two, a week, a month, etc. However, don’t let no one push you too quick and go at a pace which you’re happy with. If you transition too quickly then you’ll increase the likelihood of a major binge later.
We are now living in an era where spirituality is at an all time high…right? When you watch TV, you have people talking about meditation and relaxation. Amazon.com has stated that spiritual books are selling more now than before because people have taken a keen interest in meditating. So, the next time you are facing a serious craving, it’s important to meditate because this will help you focus on your well-being and take your mind off alcohol.
Alcohol contains a lot of sugar which is why you put on weight when you drink excessively. The next time you have a craving, I would recommend eating something sweet. Keep chocolate in your house or something which will control your cravings quickly. Here’s a great list of items which can satisfy a craving:
- Energy drinks
- Frozen yogurt
- Coke or Sprite
Many of us are trying to steer off alcohol because of a very bad experience. Some are even trying to avoid alcohol because of something bad which happened to a close friend. The next time you have a craving, it’s important to think about the bad experience or consequence. Make sure you choose a “harsh” consequence so all you need to do is think about it and it’ll deter you from the craving your having.
If you recently quit drinking, then you’ll be having withdrawals which might be very hard to control. If you find yourself having an extra hard time, then consider a detox program. You can visit a center or download a complete program online. The goal of a detox program is the following.
First, it’s to diagnose and treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Secondly, it’s to prevent serious events like a relapse, and seizures which do happen when quitting abruptly. If you find yourself battling with alcohol withdrawal then visit a center to find out more about how they can help. Here’s some more information on a complete alcohol detox program.
One way to control cravings is to find a substitute for alcohol. This can be in the form of a sweet drink or even a hobby to keep you from going to alcoholic settings. A great way to explore some options would be to do a quick search online and see what’s available for recreation around you. Try out different things like sports, arts, or even traveling because I’ve found these are all great substitutes going forward.
Featured photo credit: newyorker.com via newyorker.com