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 abuse treatment and self-help. HelpGuide website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated February 2015. Accessed April 10, 2015.
Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
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Updated February 25, 2015. Accessed April 10, 2015.
Alcohol withdrawal. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
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Updated December 19, 2014. Accessed April 10, 2015.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse. HelpGuide website. Available at:
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Updated February 2015. Accessed April 10, 2015.
Drink alcohol only in moderation. Health Finder website. Available at:
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Accessed April 10, 2015.
Larimer ME, Palmer RS, et al. Relapse prevention: An overview of Marlatt's cognitive-behavioral model. Alcohol Research and Health. 1999;23(2):151-160.
Self-help strategies for quitting drinking. Rethinking Drinking website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed April 10, 2015.
Treatment for alcohol problems: Finding and getting help. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed April 10, 2015.
Last reviewed February 2014 by Peter J. Lucas, MD
Last Updated: 4/10/2015

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