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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

In order to manage your disease you will have to make some permanent changes in your lifestyle. The following strategies can help you stay away from alcohol and reduce your risk of relapse:

  • Socialize without alcohol.
  • Avoid going to bars.
  • Do not keep alcohol in your home.
  • Avoid situations and people that encourage drinking.
  • Make new, nondrinking friends.
  • Do fun things that do not involve alcohol.
  • Avoid reaching for a drink when stressed or upset.
  • Continue attending group therapy, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Identify your potential relapse triggers and develop coping strategies for difficult situations.
  • If you have a relapse, don’t get discouraged—get help.
  • Learn to manage stress with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, regular exercise, rest, and relaxation.
  • Eat a healthful diet.

References:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/.

Marlatt GA, Donovan DM, eds. Relapse Prevention. 2nd ed. New York: The Guilford Press; 2005.



Last reviewed April 2007 by Janet Greenhut, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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