Reducing Alcohol Cravings: Medications, Foods, Natural Supplements

Some supplements and nutrition strategies may assist in reducing alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Prolonged alcohol consumption can actually deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals, causing nutritional deficiencies that may intensify cravings. Restoring these nutrients can help manage these cravings and support recovery.

Weight-loss meds like Ozempic may help curb addictive behaviors, but drugmakers aren’t running trials to find out — CNN

Weight-loss meds like Ozempic may help curb addictive behaviors, but drugmakers aren’t running trials to find out.

Posted: Thu, 01 Jun 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

The good news, however, is that there are medications that may help manage these alcohol cravings and assist someone in their recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD). Here, we review medications that are FDA-approved, those under investigation, as well as alternatives to medication that can also help manage cravings. Along with medication and other treatment support, a range of alternative therapies may be effective in lessening alcohol cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. Acamprosate is prescribed to people after they’ve quit drinking alcohol to help them maintain abstinence.

Use this strategy to kick cravings for anything.

So far, there’s no consensus on the medical definition of recovery in alcohol treatment literature. Common side effects of Disulfiram include drowsiness, tiredness, headache, skin rash, swollen tongue, metallic taste, numbness of limbs, extreme mood swings, seizures. Absolute abstinence from alcohol is advised while on this medication. It’s important to note that withdrawing from alcohol can be particularly dangerous, especially if you’ve been drinking heavily for a long period of time. Vitamins are essential for aiding the liver after alcohol misuse by helping with detoxification, regeneration, and metabolism. Research published in 2022 found that individuals who were alcohol dependent had significantly lower levels of both zinc and magnesium compared to the control group.

  • Breaking this loop can help a person overcome alcohol cravings and manage their alcohol intake.
  • You’re usually either trying to obtain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or planning when you’ll drink again.
  • Exercises help to burn out fatty cholesterol stored up in the liver and provide a boost at cellular levels.
  • The following activity offers suggestions to support you in your decision to cut back or quit drinking.

There aren’t many recovering alcoholics who can pinpoint the exact moment when they alleviated their cravings. There’s also the possibility of experiencing post-acute withdrawal syndrome which can pop up a few months after your last drink. Treatment specialists are highly trained curb alcohol cravings to approach this subject in a caring manner. A healthcare provider aims to collect only the essential information they need to begin the admissions process. Some treatment techniques include diaphragmatic breathing, distractions, and education about each person’s triggers.

Brain Chemistry Changes

For more mild drinkers, this withdrawal phase can last between five and seven days. You may have been cautioned about trading in one addiction for another in recovery. Cross addictions typically involve other dopamine-seeking behaviors.

«I had to start taking all these medications that I never had to take before. I actually felt pretty depressed about my health.» Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. Her fields of interest include Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health, along with books, books, and more books. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.

Foods to reduce alcohol cravings

Cravings develop into alcoholism and without alcohol counselors or drugs to stop alcohol craving, it can be a lifetime effect. Taking supplements like vitamin C, NAC, and GABA may help replenish your nutrient stores, potentially reducing your cravings and easing your withdrawal symptoms. For example, as part of a broader healthy lifestyle, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and B3 (Niacin) can help restore nervous system and brain health.

But if a different food is offered — say pumpkin pie or a chocolate dessert — people tend to eat more. Other animal studies have shown that CBD can lower the motivation to drink or seek out alcohol. However, there’s limited evidence to suggest CBD alone is enough to block the urge to drink. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends talking with your doctor about alcohol use disorder if you respond “yes” to at least two of the following questions. One 2019 review notes that CBD is highly tolerated and has an “absence of abuse liability,” meaning it’s unlikely people will develop an addiction to it. Even though side effects are likely to be mild, talk with your doctor before taking CBD.

As you change your drinking, it’s normal and common to have urges or a craving for alcohol. The words «urge» and «craving» refer to a broad range of thoughts, physical sensations, or emotions that tempt you to drink, even though you have at least some desire not to. You may feel an uncomfortable pull in two directions or sense a loss of control.

  • Learning how to deal with these cravings is critical, as they can seemingly come out of nowhere and be triggered by factors as simple as being hungry, tired, or lonely.
  • Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, which can help curb alcohol cravings by maintaining stable blood sugar levels and supporting overall health.
  • It also involves showing them how to recognize these instances and use the methods and strategies they learn.
  • We have so much work do to on a public health level about sugary food intake.
  • The euphoria you feel when drinking becomes a reward, causing you to crave a drink as a reward after a challenging situation.
  • It binds to and blocks opioid receptors in the brain, which reduces the buzz and intoxicated feeling you get from drinking alcohol.