If you crave alcohol, it’s likely you are showing signs of alcoholism. However, not everybody who craves alcohol will be alcohol dependent.
Alcohol is both physically and psychologically addictive, and to be considered ‘alcohol dependent’, you really need to experience both physical and psychological symptoms when alcohol is withdrawn.
Cravings are essentially psychological withdrawal symptoms. Cravings for alcohol mean you will experience discomfort unless you begin to drink alcohol. Those who suffer from alcoholism will experience powerful and overwhelming cravings, whilst others may only crave alcohol at the weekend.
Those experiencing alcoholism will crave alcohol even after they have drunk 2-3 drinks. This is one reason why those suffering from alcoholism will drink what many people consider to be an unreasonable amount of alcohol.
Alcohol cravings may be described as an obsession in action. Once a person experiencing alcohol dependency consumes the first drink of the day, he or she is then obsessed with drinking another and then another alcoholic drink.
Alcohol cravings are the major reason why those experiencing alcoholism must accept the fact that the only effective way to control their drinking is to drink no alcohol at all.
Can naltrexone reduce cravings
One drug that’s been used to effectively reduce alcohol cravings is naltrexone. Naltrexone is also used to reduce opiate cravings. Naltrexone attaches itself to brain receptors that are stimulated by alcohol. Naltrexone inhibits these receptors, and fools the body into thinking that alcohol is being consumed.
Naltrexone was initially introduced as a means of helping people moderate their alcohol consumption. Naltrexone is effective at helping non-alcoholics limit their amount of alcohol they consume during a night out on the town, but, alas, naltrexone is ineffective when it comes to treating alcoholism.
Why is this so? Perhaps because the obsession to consume alcohol felt by those who are alcohol dependent is far too difficult to overcome simply by consuming naltrexone.
Naltrexone must be consumed 2-3 hours before drinking begins. However, those who are alcohol dependent often do not have this amount of time to wait because of powerful cravings.
Other ways to overcome alcohol cravings
If you suffer from alcoholism, the best way to overcome cravings is to undergo a medically assisted detox at a rehab clinic. Residential rehab means you are removed from your drinking environment. This is advantageous because it means you will be removed from addiction triggers that enable cravings.
During your detox, you will also be given mild sedatives. These sedatives effectively blank out alcohol cravings. Once the detox process is complete, you will then be armed with the mental skills to sustain your recovery.
Once you leave rehab, you will undoubtedly begin to experience alcohol cravings. However, you will have been given the skills to cope without giving in to these cravings. You will also be introduced to the 12-step programme. Working through the 12-steps over a 6-month period is a highly effective way to sustain your recovery.
During your rehab programme, you will also discover all of your addiction triggers. These triggers fuel cravings. By becoming consciously aware of your addiction triggers, you pave the way to developing effective strategies to either cope with or avoid these triggers.
Getting help today
Rehab 4 Addiction is a specialist helpline set up to help those who are effective by alcoholism. Because alcoholism is a physical addiction, it’s important to undertake a detox with medical supervision. This level of care is offered at an alcohol rehab clinic.
If you wish to locate rehab clinics in your local area, contact our helpline today on 0800 140 4690.