Curbing Alcohol Cravings: Medications, and Home Remedies for Alcohol Use Disorder AUD

A man who lost 80 pounds on a ‘game changer’ weight-loss drug also lost his desire to drink alcohol. When you use alcohol and narcotics, parts of your brain make you feel pleasure and intoxication. When these areas are blocked, you feel less need to drink alcohol. You don’t feel the “high” pleasure sensation that makes you want to drink. Disulfiram is another medicine that is sometimes used to treat alcoholism.

In this experiment, subjects reported less of an urge to drink when they received naltrexone than when they received a placebo (Davidson et al. 1999). Handling the urges to drink will determine your ability to shed alcohol cravings. Distracting yourself with healthy alternatives will keep you on the straight and narrow and get the cravings away even sooner. Topiramate patients had larger reductions in brain activation in response to alcohol cues.

How to Stop Alcohol Cravings Naturally

Sometimes you can’t avoid internal triggers which may be feelings you have or a physical sensation that comes on from time to time. Once you begin to crave alcohol, distract yourself with something that takes how to reduce alcohol cravings your attention. Maybe that would be watching an interesting documentary, doing a cleaning chore, or lifting weights. Check back in with yourself in 30 – 45 minutes and see if the urges intensity has changed.

  • If you’re reluctant to turn to your loved ones because you’ve let them down before, consider going to couples counseling or family therapy.
  • Peanut butter is rich in dietary fiber to promote digestion and lower cravings for alcohol.
  • Effects on craving for alcohol, however, have been more variable.
  • Keeping a regular, scheduled intake of food going through your system will help to maintain your blood sugar levels and, ultimately, help you avoid unnecessary alcohol cravings.

So when you get seriously thirsty, what’s a strategy that will save you? If your buddies aren’t answering the phone and you’re staring a bottle down, playing the tape through is a craving crusher that will help. It’s a mental exercise that is easy to do anywhere and at anytime. This study was a sub-study of a prospective randomized pharmacogenetic trial of topiramate’s efficacy to reduce the frequency of heavy drinking and only included a very small subset of participants in the trial.

Assessing and Measuring Craving

Peanut butter is rich in dietary fiber to promote digestion and lower cravings for alcohol. These nutrients contain amino acids that stimulate the brain’s production of dopamine, which may promote feelings of well-being that make people in recovery less likely to turn to alcohol. Another way to stop alcohol cravings is by regularly attending a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. In a support group, others in the recovery process can remind you about the dangers of indulging alcohol cravings as well as offer tips—based on lived experience—on how they stopped their own cravings. Support groups can also promote encouragement and accountability.

So, as you gradually transition into an exercise routine that’s right for you, this physical activity is actually satisfying your craving. Ghrelin acts as a gut–brain signal helping to regulate energy homeostasis and body weight, mainly via hypothalamic receptors (Kojima et al., 1999, Tschop et al., 2000). Together with the anorexigenic peptide leptin, it is involved in bidirectional control of the homeostatic system balancing energy expenditure and appetite .

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There may be special centers in your area that offer this kind of treatment. Your doctor can refer you to the psychosocial treatment that is right for you. For those who don’t want to take a pill every day, naltrexone is also available in a shot. This study was supported by grants from Associazione Ricerca in Medicina, Bologna-Rome, Italy. Mascianà, MD (Università Cattolica, Rome, Italy), F. Lorenzini MD , S. Vacca (Neuroscienze S.c.a r.l., Cagliari, Italy) for technical support, and to A.

How do I stop the urge to drink?

  1. Remind yourself of your reasons for making a change.
  2. Talk it through with someone you trust.
  3. Distract yourself with a healthy, alternative activity.
  4. Challenge the thought that drives the urge.
  5. Ride it out without giving in.
  6. Leave tempting situations quickly and gracefully.

This can help you feel confident that you won’t act on an urge you might experience. McAleer is not the only patient reporting a significant reduction in alcohol consumption after starting semaglutide. One Reddit user wrote that they used to drink two to three drinks a night, but taking semaglutide was “like a light switch.” They’ve had three drinks in three months. Some patients taking the weight-loss drug semaglutide were surprised it reduced their urge to drink.

Question the Urge

Rethinking Drinking – Tools to help you check your drinking patterns, identify signs of a problem, and cut back. Don’t let feelings of guilt or shame keep you from getting back on track. Remind yourself that one drink or a brief lapse doesn’t have to turn into a full-blown relapse. Accept the urge and ride it out, instead of trying to fight it. This is known as “urge surfing.” Think of your craving as an ocean wave that will soon crest, break, and dissipate.

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