15 Remedies to Stop Alcohol Cravings
We have all tried home remedies before going to the doctor. A steamy shower to clear congestion or the old chicken soup fixes everything remedy. People struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may also try home remedies to stop drinking alcohol.
In a perfect world, everyone struggling with breaking the alcohol habit would seek recovery treatment. But, the stigma still exists, and some people are too embarrassed and ashamed to seek help.
However, alcohol use disorder is a complex and chronic disease. Furthermore, the medical community is still learning about it. While many people try home remedies to stop drinking alcohol, the best chance at recovery is often in a treatment program.
Many people who go through alcohol withdrawals at home often go back to drinking because the cravings become too intense. Depending on the individual and their addiction, there are natural ways to stop alcohol cravings.
1. Self-Care Helps in Breaking Alcohol Habit
Alcohol use disorder takes over your life and steals your joy and your fun. And if you do join the family fun, most likely, you are drunk. However, being stuck in that cycle isn’t fun, and it destroys self-esteem.
So, how do you break the alcohol habit? You focus on the most significant thing alcohol took away from you; you take care of yourself. Take a long walk and focus on the sun on your skin and the smell of fresh-cut grass. Vitamin D is good for your health and your soul.
Learn something new. What is something you always wanted to learn? Cooking, photography, a new language, or maybe golf? Replacing alcohol with a healthy self-care ritual can ease alcohol cravings and help in breaking the alcohol habit.
2. Healthy Support Systems are Natural Ways to Stop Alcohol Cravings
While only you can control when you stop drinking alcohol, a healthy support system makes the recovery journey more manageable. A support system is a group of family, friends, and community organizations that you can rely on when the alcohol cravings become overpowering.
But, not everyone you know has your best interest at heart. So, those in your support system should meet a few essential qualifications, including:
- Caring about your future
- Willing to hold you accountable
- Being reliable and available
- Being clean of drugs and alcohol
If you used alcohol to cope with stress, you are not alone. For example, 20 percent of Americans with social anxiety also struggle with alcohol use disorder, according to the ADAA ( Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Natural ways to stop alcohol cravings and reduce stress and anxiety include:
- Getting regular sleep – 6 to 8 hours every night
- Limit caffeine which increases anxiety
- Eat consistent meals
- Focus on relaxation techniques
- Listen to music or paint
4. Using Herbs in Home Remedies to Stop Drinking Alcohol
There are several herbs useful in home remedies to stop drinking alcohol. While the benefits of herbs in breaking the alcohol habit vary from person to person, they can be highly beneficial and natural ways to stop alcohol cravings.
Besides fighting alcohol cravings and breaking the alcohol habit, herbs can help the body repair itself. The following herbs are just a few natural ways to stop alcohol cravings.
An ancient Chinese herb, Kudzu is well known for controlling alcohol cravings and withdrawals. The roots of the plant can be eaten or used in an herbal tea to get its effects. The amount you have to consume to be effective varies from person to person.
Another herb used in breaking the alcohol habit, milk thistle, has strong detoxification abilities. It also treats many physical discomforts from withdrawal and alcohol cravings. The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin. It heals the liver, which speeds up the natural detox of alcohol.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is known for its antidepressant qualities. And because many people who drink struggle with depression, this herb can improve mood and stop alcohol cravings, and aid in breaking the alcohol habit.
5. Breaking the Alcohol Habit with Lots of Water
We all know water is good for us and we should drink about eight glasses a day. If you are looking for natural ways to stop alcohol cravings, you found the number one way to stop drinking alcohol; Drink lots of water.
When you’re breaking the alcohol habit, your body gets dehydrated, and you get nauseous. Drinking water not only hydrates you but also lessens the shakes and alcohol cravings by flushing toxins out of your body. While you can also add electrolyte-rich sports drinks, never drink more than 2 quarts of fluids every hour.
6. Eating a Healthy Diet Eases Alcohol Cravings
Great natural ways to stop alcohol cravings is eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet will include lean proteins such as chicken, eggs, and fish. It also contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, potatoes, beans, and whole grains.
Eating every three hours helps avoid hunger which can lead to alcohol cravings. And, once the shakes set in, the alcohol cravings become more intense. Avoiding sugary snacks can also help in easing alcohol cravings.
7. Remind Yourself Why You Quit Drinking Alcohol
Are you thinking about picking up that drink because the alcohol cravings and withdrawals are too hard to handle? Don’t. Grab a pen and paper and start writing down all the reasons you are breaking the alcohol habit.
Is your marriage at risk of breaking apart? Are you tired of breaking your mother’s heart? Has alcohol taken your self-worth and self-esteem? Write it all down. Look at pictures of your loved ones.
Keep the paper where you can see it. Every time you want to drink alcohol, read it. Remind yourself why alcohol was destroying your life and why you are breaking the alcohol habit.
8. Think About the Consequences if You Drink Alcohol
After you remind yourself why you quit drinking alcohol, write down the consequences if you start drinking again. Of all the home remedies to stop drinking alcohol, pulling at your heartstrings can sometimes be all it takes not to drink.
9. Don’t Fight the Alcohol Cravings, Ride Them Out
The term “urge-surfing” means riding out the urge or craving. If you think of alcohol cravings as ocean waves, they will soon crest, break, and dissipate. So, don’t fight the urge, and don’t judge yourself. But, do not ignore it either. When thought of in this way, cravings can pass quickly.
10. Distract Yourself From the Alcohol Cravings
There is always something to be done around the house. Laundry, dishes, floors, pick on and distract yourself from the cravings to drink. Another excellent home remedy to stop drinking alcohol is to take a cold shower. Cold showers can clear your mind, ease the hot flashes of alcohol withdrawal, and refresh your body.
11. Learning a New Hobby or Sport are Home Remedies to Stop Drinking Alcohol
Now that you have quit drinking alcohol, you have all this time on your hands. You may even be surprised at how much time alcohol took up in your day. Natural ways to stop alcohol cravings are taking up a new hobby, such as horseback riding or rock climbing.
In fact, finding healthy adrenaline-inducing hobbies can make breaking the alcohol habit easier. However, picking up an old hobby can take you back to when life was simple.
12. Volunteering is Great for Breaking the Alcohol Habit
Home remedies to stop drinking alcohol can also benefit your community. Volunteering is a great way to get your mind off what you are dealing with and think about others. Besides volunteering within your recovery community, you can also:
- Help the homeless
- Build homes for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity
- Help a local animal shelter
Mindfulness is a form of non-judgmental observation. When you are mindful, you are focusing on the present moment.
Meditation allows you to calm your mind and body and connect with yourself. Mindfulness and meditation can help avoid reacting to alcohol cravings and help in breaking the alcohol habit.
14. Acupuncture is A Natural Way to Stop Alcohol Cravings
A traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a needle-based natural way to stop alcohol cravings. It is also effective in relieving withdrawal symptoms while easing anxiety and depression. Putting the needles in specific areas can relieve particular symptoms when you are breaking the alcohol habit.
15. Knowing Your Triggers is Key to Breaking the Alcohol Habit
Alcohol cravings can be very intense, particularly up to 6 months after you stop drinking. So, if you want to make alcohol cravings easier to cope with, you should have a routine of natural ways to stop alcohol cravings.
Practice saying no to alcohol in social situations. But, the best way to avoid alcohol cravings is to avoid the people, places, and things that remind you of alcohol. This dramatically increases your chance of achieving and maintaining recovery from alcohol use disorder.
What is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism is a pattern of behaviors where a person drinks alcohol despite the consequences. People will drink even if they aren’t enjoying it and when it is destroying their relationships.
Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disease and is diagnosed by meeting two of the following criteria:
- Drinking more than and more prolonged than intended
- Unable to stop or cut back despite the desire too
- Spending most of your time obtaining, using, and recovering from alcohol’s effects
- Experiencing cravings to use alcohol
- Can’t fulfill obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol
- Continuing to use despite the consequences
- Developing withdrawal symptoms without alcohol
What is a Recurrance of Use?
Recurrence of use or relapse is when a person in recovery returns to using drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a chronic disease, and those in recovery constantly deal with the risk of relapse. However, it is common for a person in recovery to relapse at least once, if not more. In fact, it is considered part of the recovery journey.
How Does Recurrance of Use Happen?
An essential part of preventing relapse is understanding how it happens. This allows you to recognize the signs of relapse and get help before it happens. In short, a relapse begins with a high-risk situation which is followed by inadequate coping responses. For this reason, continuing relapse prevention therapy is your best chance at maintaining your recovery.
Having the proper relapse prevention support in place can help you achieve Recovery for Life. Treatment programs teach members how to prevent relapse and empower them to remain in recovery.
Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other community support groups should become part of your recovery life. The bonds and support you receive in these groups can be the difference between recovery and relapse.
Stop Drinking at Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center
Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction? Have you tried to quit at home, but the cravings were too strong? Our detox programs and comprehensive treatment programs give you the skills and tools needed to achieve Recovery for Life. Contact us today and find out more.