Craving for alcohol comes suddenly like a wave and goes away also equally fast. One just has to control for few minutes. Following strategies have helped many people to quit.
1) Peer pressure is the most important reason why people relapse. Refuse boldly & clearly if someone pressurizes you to drink. Think and keep how you will answer them. Motivate your friends also; and help each other in quitting this addictive poison. Quitting together makes it easier.
2) Keep a reminder card/ note always in your pocket. Write down your reasons “I need to quit because…..”. Read it whenever you get the craving. Getting reminded of the true consequences of drinking often kills the craving.
3) Calling up a friend or family member who is helping you to quit and talking for 10 minutes helps many people to start thinking straight again.
4) Make a list of things and situations that spark your craving. Avoid them or plan and keep how will you respond in those situations.
5) Think of few activities you can distract yourself with for 10 minutes when the craving comes. Eg. Seeing stand up comedy or an episode of your favorite dance show on YouTube, eating or drinking something else that you like, chatting with a friend, taking some deep breaths for 5 minutes/ doing pranayam, listening to guided meditation, taking bath, playing with your child, reading a book you like, etc.
6) Exercise regularly, sleep well and eat on time. If you are hungry or feel exhausted cravings can increase. Drinking a glass of cold water helps many people to kill the craving. Don’t overwork. Take out at least 1 hour daily to enjoy life healthily.
7) Discover better ways to enjoy life. Develop new hobbies like sports, music, coloring, going on walks in nature, dance, meditation, etc. Or join an NGO and start working for a cause you feel strongly for. Developing new friendships and new lifestyle help to sustain the change. When you start enjoying life through constructive activities, your life will become more meaningful and it will make you happier.
8) You can share your experience with youngsters around you and motivate them to stay away from alcohol. In the process, your resolve to quit would strengthen.
9) Taking the help of a psychiatrist/psychotherapist/de-addiction center increases the probability of success. Some medicines can decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms. You can also attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a free self-help group where people who have quit alcohol help new people to quit it. Being a part of this community helps to stay sober. Their centers are there in almost all towns. You can find their center near you on their website Alcoholics Anonymous or by calling 8097055134.
It is important to decide and keep exactly which strategies you are going to try next time when the craving comes. That will help you act promptly at that moment. Even if you fail few times, don’t lose heart. If you analyze why you slipped and keep trying; you are bound to succeed soon!