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10 Coping Skills for Alcohol and Substance Recovery

Alcohol and substance addiction is challenging and one of the adversaries one must face is the powerful pull of cravings. These intense urges can be overwhelming, but the good news is that there are effective coping skills that can help you manage and eventually overcome these cravings. In this blog, we will explore ten coping skills to handle alcohol cravings and regain control of your life.

people leaving beer bottles on a curb
Photo by Selim Özgür on

1. Mindfulness and Meditation

Practicing mindfulness and meditation techniques can help you become more aware of your cravings without judgment. By observing your thoughts and feelings in a non-reactive manner, you can reduce the intensity of cravings and make healthier choices.

2. Deep Breathing

When a craving strikes, deep breathing can be a simple yet powerful tool. Take slow, deep breaths, inhaling for a count of four, holding for four, and exhaling for a count of six. This can help calm your nervous system and reduce the urge.

3. Distraction

Engaging in distracting activities, such as going for a walk, playing a game, or pursuing a hobby, can divert your attention away from the craving. By focusing on something else, you give the craving less power over your thoughts.

4. Social Support

Lean on your support network. Call a friend or family member who understands your journey and can provide encouragement and distraction during challenging moments.

5. Delaying Gratification

When a craving hits, commit to waiting for a set period before making any decisions. Often, cravings pass if you can hold out for a brief amount of time. Use this period to engage in a different activity or coping skill.

6. Identifying Triggers

Understanding the triggers that lead to your cravings is crucial. Once you identify the situations, emotions, or people that trigger your cravings, you can work on strategies to avoid or manage those triggers.

7. Positive Self-Talk

Challenge negative thoughts and cravings with positive self-talk. Remind yourself of your goals, reasons for recovery, and the progress you’ve made. Positivity can be a potent ally in managing cravings.

8. Seeking Professional Help

Consider working with a counselor or therapist who specializes in addiction. They can provide you with personalized coping strategies and support tailored to your specific needs.

9. Self-Care

Prioritize self-care as a means to manage cravings. A well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can help regulate your mood and reduce the intensity of cravings.

10. Visualization and Imagery

Use guided imagery to envision your life without alcohol and the positive outcomes of your recovery. Visualization can be a powerful motivator to resist cravings.


Overcoming alcohol cravings is an essential aspect of the recovery journey. These ten coping skills, from mindfulness and meditation to visualization and seeking professional help, can empower you to regain control and make healthier choices when cravings strike. Remember that recovery is a process, and it’s entirely normal to experience cravings along the way. With determination, support, and the right coping strategies, you can successfully navigate the challenges of alcohol addiction and create a healthier, more fulfilling life in sobriety.

At The Pursuit, a group of experienced therapists have come together to offer best in class counseling services. We prioritize clinical theory, non-judgmental approaches, and effective interventions, treatment plans, and coping skills. We have therapists who specialize in different areas and we strive to find the best match for your unique needs. Our services cater to individuals, families, and organizations, including adolescents in high school. Our aim is to connect you with the specialist who can best address your concerns. Our specialized trauma counseling services aim to address the underlying emotional wounds that contribute to behaviors. We offer evidence-based trauma counseling that is effective with working many presenting problems. We provide a holistic approach to recovery, focusing on healing the past to create a healthier future. 

Are you ready to take the first step on your Pursuit towards a happier, healthier you? We invite you to book your free 20-minute consultation with one of our skilled therapists. Don’t wait; it’s time to invest in your well-being. Simply click “Book Now”  to start your Pursuit towards personal growth and positive change today.

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