When people develop an alcohol addiction, they also have cravings for alcohol when they aren’t drinking. Even some people who aren’t alcoholics still have cravings for the substance depending on various factors. Dealing with alcohol cravings is one problem that makes recovery tricky.

Most times, alcohol cravings are a psychological response to certain situations or from exposure to a trigger. For example, being in certain social conditions will cause people to crave alcohol. In these instances, craving alcohol is related to social anxiety or fitting into the group. Overcoming this issue is necessary to help keep your life on track and prevent the desire to drink in certain situations.


It’s considered a trigger when you want to drink alcohol upon entering a situation or being at a particular place. Keep in mind that not everyone has the same triggers related to alcohol cravings. They usually relate to the person’s experiences. They desire to control their feelings and behaviors associated with these places or people.

When people find themselves in these situations, they crave alcohol because there’s a mental or physical change in their surroundings. The psychological factor triggers anticipation or excitement. You may remember a time when you had fun or enjoyed drinking. The memories and experiences from drinking and enjoying oneself create a deep desire to drink to recreate the feeling.

There are not just psychological changes to the person who craves alcohol. They also have a physical response. These physical responses can include the following.

  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Higher blood pressure

These responses differ from person to person. You might only experience one or two of these responses, or you may have them all. The strength of the urge also varies depending on the person and the situation.

Medically Assisted Treatment

One of the ways to control alcohol cravings is through medically assisted treatment. It is incredibly difficult for most people who experience this issue. However, there are medication-assisted strategies that reduce the physical responses when experiencing alcohol cravings. These treatments can curb cravings and make walking away from the situation more manageable.


Using medication that helps reduce the urge to drink can be really helpful for some people. One of the most common medications to help reduce alcohol cravings is ReVia, also known as naltrexone.

This medication was created to help people with opioid cravings, but experts realized that it helps with alcohol cravings too. This medication provides relief. It’s essential to know details about its side effects. Consideration for current medical issues is also imperative. The usual dose for treating alcohol cravings is 50 milligrams one time per day.

Another medication used to curb alcohol cravings is Campral. This drug also goes by the name acamprosate. This treatment works differently because it helps reduce the amount the drinker ingests. So, it works to prevent the person from drinking too much rather than reducing the desire to drink.

This might be an excellent treatment for someone who wants to still drink socially without going overboard and becoming intoxicated in the process. This medication doesn’t treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It’s worth mentioning that this drug can create impairment, and it shouldn’t be taken while working or driving. Campral is taken with each meal three times per day, and the average dose is 666 mg per day.

While not common, some anticonvulsant drugs such as Topamax or topiramate also work to reduce the cravings for alcohol. There’s also a muscle relaxer called Gablofen or baclofen that helps some people with alcohol cravings. Another approach is taking a medication that makes the person violently ill when they drink. This drug is called Antabuse or disulfiram. The treatment helps the person not crave alcohol because of the unpleasant experience.

Behavioral Therapy

While using medication to help reduce the cravings for alcohol can help, there’s also a need for managing the psychological aspect. The need to address the specific triggers that cause cravings is essential for recovery and helps make the process more effective.

If done correctly, therapy or counseling can reduce the number of triggers and urges a person has when trying to quit drinking. The goal is to identify the trigger and analyze the feeling the person has related to drinking. Part of the therapy is also providing the patient with coping skills and other valuable strategies to help them overcome the desire for alcohol.

Some methods used to treat the psychological aspect of alcohol cravings include the following:

  • Pointing out triggers and situations that make the individual crave alcohol. Pointing out the situation makes it easier for the person to identify future situations that have a high potential for causing them to crave alcohol.
  • Helping the person identify their specific triggers and how to overcome them.
  • Pointing out that in recovery, there are instances where individuals crave a substance they’re addicted to. The purpose is to inform the patient that it’s not a sign of failure in recovery to crave alcohol.
  • Behavioral therapy that points out the bad aspects of consuming alcohol. This process allows the drinker to quit focusing on the good parts of drinking and keeping the negative qualities in mind. Eventually, the person will avoid alcohol to prevent a negative experience.
  • Learn how to develop coping skills and strategies that make not drinking easier.
  • Showing the person how to use mindfulness mediation. Learning this technique allows the person to explore their feeling about alcohol but not act on urges.
  • Showing the patient how to get support from friends and family so they can get past tough times.

The most commonly used treatment is substance use disorder therapy. This type of treatment uses varied approaches to treat each individual. Treating alcohol addiction with treatment and medication helps reduce the instance of relapse.

Some techniques include diaphragmatic breathing, distractions, and education about each person’s triggers. It also involves showing them how to recognize these instances and use the methods and strategies they learn.


Many times people relapse1 when trying to quit using a substance such as alcohol. Certain signs point to a person experiencing a relapse. One of the most common indicators is when a person romanticizes their previous alcohol use.

This can mean thinking about drinking with others or good times that happened while the person was under the influence of alcohol. If you notice someone romanticizing their alcohol use, it would be a good time to ask them if they need support avoiding their drinking habits. Another sign that someone is relapsing is if they admit to using alcohol and feel that putting limitations on their drinking is right.

For example, they may feel having a few drinks per day is okay. They might think it won’t cause them to experience the negative aspects of their alcohol cravings. Another sign of relapse is when the person acts like they did when they were drinking before. They may also hang out at bars and reconnect with people they considered a drinking buddy before they quit. When a person is surrounded by individuals who drink or go to places where alcohol is readily available, it is an overwhelming temptation. It usually means that a person has begun drinking again.


If a person wants to control her alcohol cravings successfully, they usually need to quit drinking altogether. To quit drinking, the person will need either treatment2, counseling, or medication. They make the process easier and manageable.

Sometimes the person may need a combination of these methods to help them overcome the desire to drink. It’s important to remember that individuals who decide to drink regularly or binge drink will eventually experience a wide range of adverse effects on their health. Some common problems3 can include the following:

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

The sooner a person quits drinking, the sooner they can heal or stop developing diseases or conditions. The coping skills taught in treatment are very effective for helping someone reduce or control alcohol cravings.

Medication may help the person initially break the desire to drink but isn’t a long-term solution. The person needs to learn how to deal with certain situations and avoid them completely to get the results they want.

Anyone trying to avoid alcohol or break and addiction to this substance should seek professional help via a treatment center like Windward Way Recovery. They have the professionals on staff to help analyze each situation and provide a practical course of treatment to help them get the support and help they need to overcome alcohol cravings and addiction.

Reaching Out for Help

Reaching out for help with alcohol addiction is never easy. Whether it’s you or someone you care about who has alcohol addiction, it’s essential to know that recovery is a process that begins with deciding to get home. If you’re attempting to help someone who has alcohol addiction, you want to approach them with compassion and understanding.

To feel comfortable speaking with someone about addiction, the person must feel like they can discuss their problems without judgment. It’s also important to go to the person with the correct information and provide them with details about recovery programs, treatment centers and support programs.

One of the major concerns a person with an addiction has is fear of not knowing how the treatment process works. This is especially true with someone who’s never attempted recovery or has never been to a treatment facility.

Knowing more about what to expect will help the person overcome some of their fears about seeking help. If you’re gathering information for someone else, be sure to find out more about the process to provide them with those details. If it’s you looking for help, you’ll want to know more about the entire process from the first step, which is making the call to Windward Way Recovery.

Help With Alcohol Cravings

The first step in the recovery process is deciding to have a better life and making the initial phone call to Windward Way Recovery. Many people fear this process. They think the person on the other end of the phone will ask too many deeply personal questions about their current addiction. However, that’s not the case.

Windward Way Recovery specialists are highly trained to approach the subject in a caring manner. Their goal is to collect only the essential information they need to begin the admissions process. They collect details such as medical history, a description of the addiction, and other relevant information. The process is streamlined, so it’s quick and easy, and the person seeking admission doesn’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated.

These admissions specialists also collect the person’s insurance information right away. They process it during the call so the individual seeking help can make their way to the designated treatment facility directly. The sooner the person makes it to the treatment center, the sooner they can begin the recovery process.

Once they collect the details for the insurance arrangements are made to travel directly to the treatment center. Before the person leaves, a specialist is assigned to the individual to help them with the trip. They are there to answer questions, check in on the person in transit and help them overcome any issues or fears they have while they are on the way. The goal is to help them get there as quickly as possible with minimal stress. The patient can reach out to them at any point for reassurance and guidance.

Arriving at the Facility

Once the person seeking help for their alcohol use reaches the treatment facility, the caring staff are waiting to greet them. They also help settle them into their environment. They realize how intimidating and stressful the process can be, so their goal is to ensure each person’s comfort.

They can appoint them with the grounds and show them their room and where to put their belongings. Once the person is settled in, they will consult with the doctor right away to get started. The doctor collects all the necessary information and begins finding out the specifics of the addiction. They want to know what substances they use and how often.

They also learn about any medical issues in the past related to substance use. Once the doctors and nurses have all the information, they create a tailored plan. This plan ensures the person gets the specific treatments they need to recover effectively.

Windward Way Recovery and our team of specialists can help you navigate the process for curbing alcohol cravings and get you on the road to recovery. Reach out to us today to find out more about how you can curb your alcohol cravings and reclaim your life.

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