Lifestyle Changes to Manage Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Management of AUD will require some permanent changes in your life. These strategies may be combined with other aspects of treatment:

  • Identify potential relapse triggers and develop coping strategies for difficult situations that pop up at work or home
  • Avoid reaching for a drink when stressed or upset. Learn stress reduction or relaxation techniques. Consider starting a regular exercise program.
  • Tell friends and family about your intentions. They can help you with your goals.
  • Find ways to socialize without alcohol.
  • Avoid going to bars or other places associated with drinking.
  • Keep alcohol out of the home or office.
  • Make new, nondrinking friends.
  • Do fun things that do not involve alcohol.
  • Continue attending support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Eat a healthful diet.

Keep in mind that relapses are common and expected. If you have a relapse, do not get discouraged—get help.

References:

Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated April 17, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated January 17, 2017. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Helpguide website. Available at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/alcoholism-and-alcohol-abuse.htm. Updated April 2018. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Drink alcohol only in moderation. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website. Available at: https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/drink-alcohol-only-in-moderation#take-action. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Larimer ME, Palmer RS, Marlatt GA. Relapse prevention: An overview of Marlatt's cognitive-behavioral model. Alcohol Research and Health. 1999;23(2):151-160.
Overcoming alcohol addiction. Helpguide website. Available at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/overcoming-alcohol-addiction.htm. Updated April 2018. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Self-help strategies for quitting drinking. Rethinking Drinking website. Available at: https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/Thinking-about-a-change/Support-for-quitting/Self-Help-Strategies-For-Quitting.aspx. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Treatment for alcohol problems: Finding and getting help. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Treatment/treatment.htm. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 4/10/2015

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