A standard glass of wine is 5 ounces, which contains about 12% alcohol. A shot of distilled spirits like vodka is 1.5 ounces and equally 40% alcohol. One 12-ounce can of beer contains about 5% alcohol, and a standard glass of sherry is 3 to 4 ounces and contains about 17% alcohol, according to the NIAAA. Get to know what 5 ounces looks like by measuring it out at home. That way you can estimate how many standard drinks you’re being served in a restaurant or bar that uses large glasses and generous serving sizes.

You can also reach out to other sober people who understand what you’re going through. At Monument, we offer a 24/7 anonymous forum and over 60 moderated alcohol support groups each week. There are many people who want to see you reach your goals, and are ready to support https://ecosoberhouse.com/ you through your cravings. By educating yourself on why cravings occur and for how long, you’re already taking a step towards being better prepared to combat them. Practicing coping tools can also help you manage cravings as you change your relationship with alcohol.


A huge risk factor for people who develop alcohol use disorder is early-onset drinking. So, if you drink before the age of 14, there’s about a 50% chance you’re going to develop an alcohol use disorder in your adulthood,” explains Dr. Anand. Here’s some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your health care provider or mental health provider. You’re likely to start by seeing your primary health care provider. If your provider suspects that you have a problem with alcohol, you may be referred to a mental health provider.

Learning more about the science behind cravings can help you better understand your experience and what to expect in the alcohol recovery timeline. Before you reach for your next drink, Dr. Anand explains how alcohol can affect your brain — not only in the short term, but also in the long run. “When you drink alcohol, it makes you a little bit more talkative.

Other Medications That May Reduce Alcohol Cravings

In addition to feeling less anxious and having better digestion, you may notice bigger changes a few months into sobriety. For instance, your doctor might find that your heart and liver are in better shape, or your skin may have a certain new glow. “Just get a sparkling water, put a lime in it, and have fun,” he says. When you have alcohol cravings, there is usually some form of trigger. In some cases, it may be because you believe alcohol will bring you some relief.

Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol. It’s often easier to turn down a drink when you don’t have to do it alone. Knowing why you drink is essential, says Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, a Virginia therapist specializing in addiction treatment and alcohol moderation.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Think about these ebbs and flows as though they were waves in the ocean. The urge loses its grip on you when you realize it won’t last forever. Dr. Bowen’s MP3 files (link above) offer an excellent “urge surfing” meditation.

how to reduce alcohol cravings

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. Once you’ve cut back on your drinking (so you’re at or below the recommended guidelines), examine your drinking habits regularly to see if you’re maintaining this level of drinking. Some people attain their goal only to find that old habits crop up again later. The program provides an urge tracker, which is a great way to monitor and manage your urges as they come and go.

However, even if infrequent cravings do persist, after a year of sobriety, an individual is typically comfortable using coping tools to manage these long-term cravings if they do arise. A singular intense craving for alcohol typically lasts between 3-5 minutes. These sudden urges to drink can arise frequently throughout the recovery journey. There’s no way to determine exactly how long an individual will continue to experience alcohol cravings, but we can look at common patterns to help give us an idea of what to expect. It’s important to remember that this experience is incredibly common, and that with time and practice cravings will become significantly more manageable. While coping strategies can offer short-term solutions for managing cravings, changing your relationship with alcohol on a long-term basis requires a more comprehensive approach.

For severe alcohol addiction, the withdrawal symptoms can last between five and ten hours following the last drink. For more mild drinkers, this withdrawal phase can last between five and seven days. It’s always wise to check with your doctor — she should be able to help you decide whether it is best for you to cut back or to abstain. People who are dependent on alcohol, or have other medical or mental health problems, should stop drinking completely. It’s available as a pill (generic) and as a once-monthly injection (Vivitrol) given in a physician’s office. While the FDA has not approved naltrexone for moderate drinking in the U.S., it is used for this purpose in Europe.

Medication to Help with Alcohol Cravings

You might achieve this by walking, calling a friend or enjoying relaxing activities like reading. You can’t always change the situation that’s creating these feelings. One way or another, if you can change your response to the urge, you can then change your response to the negative feelings. Evaluate the coverage in your health insurance plan to determine how much of the costs your insurance will cover and how much you will have to pay.

If you answer “yes” to six or more questions, your symptoms align with severe AUD. Consult with a licensed mental health professional to further explore AUD. Examples of medical conditions for which it’s safest to avoid drinking include liver disease (such as from hepatitis C), bipolar disorder, abnormal heart rhythm, and chronic pain. Her fields of interest include Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health, along with books, books, and more books.

Learn to manage stress and other difficult emotions

This is partly because cravings are experienced slightly differently for each individual. One way to define a craving is the sensation of a general ‘need’ for alcohol, in the same way one feels hunger before eating. This sensation can vary in intensity and can be characterized by withdrawal-like symptoms such as restlessness and nausea.

how to reduce alcohol cravings