To stop the craving for alcohol:
Avoiding Cravings vs Resolving Cravings
Avoidance and distraction techniques, or urge surfing (observing and describing urges without reacting) are commonly suggested to avoid cravings .
Whilst this may help resolve short-term cravings, this is not a long-term resolution and can lead to:
This is especially true when dealing with intrusive cravings.
Dealing With Triggers In The Short Term vs Long Term
Continual short-term avoidance of known triggers is not viable in the long term as:
Whereas, taking action to resolve triggers for the long term means:
Stopping Emotional Cravings vs Physical Cravings
Emotional cravings are the result of psychological associations and conditionings that occur during periods of drinking .
Whereas, physical cravings are created as a result of withdrawal symptoms and deficits in neurotransmitters and receptor sites in the brain .
Differentiate between the two types before attempting to resolve either.
Physical cravings cannot be overcome alone, professional assistance to detox is required .
How To Stop Emotional Cravings For Alcohol
Separate Intention From Behaviour
Where the trigger involves another person:
Separate Meaning From Events
Where the trigger involves a situation, or circumstance:
Recall Negative Consequences
Understand That Alcohol Did Not Fix Anything
Identify Your Why
Find An Alternative Way To Address The Need/Stressor
Plan ahead to find alternative ways to overcome triggers, without using alcohol as a coping mechanism:
How to Resolve
Recurrence of previous negative events - leading to alcohol relapse
Collapse underlying beliefs and meanings attached to previous events
Trying to recapture positive feelings from previous alcohol use
Challenge the positive meaning attached to previous experiences with alcohol
Being at parties, bars etc where alcohol is normalised
Consciously recognise craving. Remember that drinking doesn't fix issues. If unable to tolerate, leave.
Previous drinking paired with specific environments or times - causing cravings at those times/places.
Plan ahead of time or environment. Be aware of triggers and implement positive coping mechanisms .
Association to old trauma being re-triggered
Recognise trauma is causing craving. Separate trauma from the conditioning/meaning attached via CBT .
Identify And Resolve The Underlying Beliefs
When considering a previous occasion of feeling triggered to drink, write down:
For both versions, look for beliefs about self, that surface, e.g. I'm good enough, I'm worthy, what I say matters, etc.
If having a drink results in feelings of "I'm good enough again", or "I'm important now", is it clear that these point to underlying beliefs of "I'm not good enough" and "I'm not important"?
And is it clear that if these beliefs were resolved, there would be no need to turn to a coping mechanism, like alcohol?
This is what we help our clients identify, every day, in our Scotland and Gloucester clinics.
Always address the core underlying beliefs with professional therapeutic assistance.
How To Stop Physical Cravings For Alcohol
Aftercare Plan vs Cravings Plan
The differences between an aftercare plan, usually done when leaving rehab, and a cravings plan are:
Being confronted by a situation initiating cravings compromises clear thinking, and our ability to access help, in that moment.
Therefore, a cravings plan should be as detailed as possible to make it easy to follow through at the point of crisis, and describe:
Long Term Plan
Contact from social services re access to children - fear they will be taken away
Contact therapist, sponsor or in-person/ online parents in recovery groups 
Demonstrating sobriety to improve access to children - using a drinks diary and keeping contact with ADP key worker
Manager unhappy with work quality - fear of losing job
Therapy, self-help CBT worksheets or employee counselling
Breaking old associations and beliefs through therapy - remembering work was not the problem, alcohol was
Previous drinking habits and routines - drinking associated with specific times or places 
Contact sponsors or therapists - self-help worksheets to identify triggers
Changing environments or using distraction techniques at specific times/ places until habits and routines are broken
Persistent Cravings Over Time
When emotional or psychological cravings have persisted over long time periods, consider: