What techniques can be used to cope with the urge to drink in patients with alcoholism?

Updated: Nov 27, 2018
  • Author: Warren Thompson, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

When patients have the urge to drink, there are several techniques that can be used to deal with the situation, including (1) self-distraction (i.e. getting involved with an alternate activity that they enjoy), (2) thought stopping (i.e. patients should not dwell on thoughts of drinking but should stop these thoughts), (3) reprogramming (ie, patients should avoid activities that remind them of drinking), and (4) use of social support structure. The most common cause of relapse is failure to use coping strategies.


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