Strong Desires, Urges or Thoughts

Most people experience strong desires, urges or thoughts about drinking alcohol when they start to cut down or quit. It helps to recognize that these urges, desires and thoughts are natural and that there are things you can do to maintain your goal.

Many different people have found many different ways to cope with their desires, urges or thoughts about drinking. The following are some of the most common ways that others have used to deal with the urge or desire to have a drink when they know they shouldn't. Pick the strategies that make sense to you:

  • Drink nonalcoholic beverages (e.g., water,soda, pop, juice, coffee, tea)
  • Eat some food
  • Engage in other activities (e.g., walking, sports, hobbies, distract yourself by working around the house)
  • Engage in activities with others who aren't drinking to distract you and help you get over the urge
  • Think about how much money you'll save by not drinking
  • Try not to think about your desire to drink
  • Think about the benefits of not drinking
  • Reassure yourself that the thoughts and desires will go away on their own
  • Avoid places or situations where you'll have the urge to drink (e.g., parties, bars, or sporting events)
  • Try to identify what's causing the desire to drink
  • Review your Toolbox to remember what you've learned from this program
  • Help other people who can benefit from you advice or experience

Remember, if one method does not work well for you, you can try something else.

Also remember to use our Support Group or Instant Messaging Service. They're anonymous and they're here for you to use. Don't be shy!

In the next section we'll give you some reasons why support is very important…