Why Am I Craving Alcohol? [And What to Do? Explained!]

Alcohol comes in so many drinks, liquors, and spirits. They are also available in light, complex, or even moderate content. Thus, many people enjoy alcohol in different ways, and it can be a part of many consumers’ routines. For this reason, it’s not surprising to hear someone craving alcohol. Still, it may make you ask:

Why am I craving alcohol? If you’re craving alcohol, it’s because it’s part of your routine or habits. Another reason why you may crave alcohol is stress or emotional reasons. Lastly, you can also be tempted by alcohol when you’re a regular drinker and haven’t had one for a while. 

Alcohol cravings often come from a sudden halt to drinking. Such an urge can be hard to resist, so it’s something you should learn when you plan on stopping. Lastly, when satisfied, the effects of this craving can be dangerous. 

This article will walk you through all the things you need to know about alcohol cravings and what you can do about them. This way, you can learn about the risks involved and understand how to deal with such a craving without compromising your health.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Craving Alcohol

Why do I crave alcohol?

What does it mean when you are craving alcohol? Stress, your habits, or having stopped drinking alcohol suddenly may be causing your craving. The following are three scenarios you might want to consider to see if they fit your situation.

Alcohol consumption habits and routines

Several internal and external factors can contribute to solid alcohol cravings in addition to solid cravings. For example, objects, emotions, and places can trigger a desire to drink, while routines and habits appear automatic.

After work, if you’re used to going out to your favorite bar for happy hour, you may want to have a drink now.

In addition to external and internal factors, excessive drinking can also be influenced by factors. For example, when you’re with others who drink, you’re more likely to be triggered. 

Emotions and stress

A traumatizing thought or feeling can trigger stress, depression, sadness, anger, anxiety, and depression. When combined with a sense of celebration and fun, even happiness can trigger the desire to consume alcohol.

We are likely to crave alcohol when stressed or experiencing strong emotions. It happens when the body releases endorphins when you drink alcohol. As a result, you feel a sense of happiness and pleasure. 

Alcohol can help you deal with stress and emotions more effectively if you drink regularly. However, moderation is always the key to success when you use this method.

So long as you don’t drink a lot of alcohol, you can relax and enjoy yourself away from your stress.

Withdrawal symptoms and struggles

You may also suffer from Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome if you recently stopped drinking, and it can make you crave alcohol. This symptom is common in people who have recovered from alcohol withdrawal.

When someone gives up alcohol, their brain chemistry may take some time to adjust. People might also feel stressed when readjusting to everyday life and developing new routines after drinking. 

When PAWS is dealt with properly, it will usually go away. However, in the meantime, if it does not disappear on its own, you might experience intense cravings.

Anxiety and depression are symptoms of PAWS, irritability, cognitive problems, self-defeating thoughts, insomnia, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Most people in alcohol recovery will experience PAWS at some point.

Why am I craving alcohol all of a sudden?

If you’re craving alcohol suddenly, it’s likely a withdrawal symptom. First-time drinkers may take some time to adjust their brain chemistry. This may explain why they experience alcohol cravings.

When people drink, they may also experience intense emotions, and readjusting to daily life and building new routines after drinking can cause them stress. You will be happier by eating healthier alternatives and focusing on other things instead of your alcohol craving.

Why am I craving alcohol all the time?

If you’re craving alcohol all the time, you have drinking routines and habits. Objects, emotions, or locations can trigger drinking we associate with alcohol; routines and habits can make it feel natural.

Internal and external factors can trigger alcohol cravings. Alcohol or being in the presence of others who drink can trigger one. 

It’s a temporary condition, and it passes as soon as you’re over it and more accustomed to not drinking.

How to stop craving alcohol?

You need to identify patterns and trends to stop craving alcohol. The cues and triggers that make you crave alcohol can be identified, and you can prepare for and overcome them.

While experiencing temporary discomfort, you can use some calming strategies to distract yourself.

Unless you deal with your cravings, they will last only a short while. Our feelings arise and fade harmlessly, so you are in no danger as long as you acknowledge and accept them.

What to eat when craving alcohol?

Certain foods can help people manage their alcohol cravings daily, especially those in recovery. For addiction experts, the key is to eat foods that promote digestion, maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day, or promote brain chemistry. 

Here are seven craving busters they recommend:

  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Whole-grain Bread
  • Organic Yogurt
  • Nut butter
  • Nuts
  • Fruit

Aside from that, perhaps it is better to find a healthier alternative to alcohol. Doing so will help you avoid drinking too much alcohol and giving in to your cravings.

Craving alcohol during pregnancy

Why are you craving alcohol when pregnant? Women during pregnancy are strongly advised not to drink alcohol. In this situation, it would be best to ignore your cravings and drink healthier alternatives instead.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy may harm the unborn child. Furthermore, prolonged alcohol consumption can cause long-term health problems and fetal abnormalities in pregnant women.

Alcohol should be avoided by pregnant women or those trying to conceive. It’s also not known when pregnant women should consume alcohol. Any alcohol is thought to have the same harmful effect on pregnant women.

Craving alcohol before period

Why are you craving alcohol before your period? If you crave alcohol before your period, you won’t get the iron you need from drinking alcohol.

Alcohol can negatively impact your hormone levels when you’re on your period. Alcohol increases estrogen and testosterone production. Irritability and mood swings are symptoms of PMS.

Usually, giving in to your alcohol cravings is a terrible idea because hormones cause those cravings. To help you through your period, choose healthy foods and beverages.

Craving alcohol in period

Why are you craving alcohol when you are on your period? When you’re on your period and craving alcohol, you need more iron, but sipping some won’t help.

Alcohol might affect your hormones during your period, so it’s natural to crave alcoholic beverages. Drinking boosts both testosterone and estrogen synthesis. Excessive mood swings and irritability are symptoms of PMS.

Hormones are usually at the root of alcohol cravings, so you should avoid giving in to them. To keep your diet healthy during your period, choose healthy meals and beverages.

Craving alcohol at night

Why are you craving alcohol at night? Don’t give in when you have an alcohol craving at night. Instead, look for other options, especially iron-rich beverages.

Consuming alcohol within four hours of bedtime is not recommended. While alcohol may help you fall asleep, it damages your sleep quality. In addition, it can take an hour for alcohol to digest.

Don’t give in to your alcohol cravings before bed, especially before sleeping. If you have other healthier alternatives, you should choose them instead.

Craving alcohol when sick

Why are you craving alcohol when you are sick? While you’re sick, you probably need more iron, but drinking won’t help you get it. Also, if you are sick, you should not drink alcohol since it hurts your immune system. 

You are less likely to be able to fight infections when you drink alcohol. A weakened immune system increases your chances of getting sick and recovering slowly.

In summary, you should eat and drink nutritious foods and beverages instead of giving in to your alcohol cravings while you’re ill. It will help you recover and prevent further problems associated with alcohol consumption.

Can you have an alcohol addiction?

Yes, it is possible to have an alcohol addiction, and people who don’t limit their alcohol consumption are more likely to suffer from this condition.

People who drink alcohol should drink at least one drink a day or drink alcohol 3 or 4 times a week. You should limit your everyday alcohol intake to two drinks at most.

If you drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day, you may be more likely to suffer from heart disease and die.

Overall, if you resist your urges and avoid alcohol at all costs, you’ll be fine. By doing so, you can avoid drinking too much alcohol and its problems.

Is craving alcohol a sign of pregnancy?

A craving for alcohol is not a sign of pregnancy and should not be interpreted as such. Alcohol is not recommended for pregnant women. Studies indicate that the desire for alcohol and its benefits persist even after you stop drinking.

Alcohol cravings usually result from having drank it frequently, quitting, and then haven’t had one in a while. Moreover, you may feel such a craving when stressed, but it isn’t always related to pregnancy cravings.

Can you drink too much alcohol?

Yes, it is possible to drink too much alcohol, and we don’t recommend it. You may suffer from complications if you drink too much alcohol. These symptoms include flushing, confusion, difficulty regulating emotions, blackouts, loss of coordination, and convulsions. 

Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption can result in breathing difficulty, chills, low blood pressure, nausea, constipation, bleeding, irregular heartbeats, and other side effects.

As a result, drinking too much alcohol is bad for your body. Additionally, you will be able to avoid consuming vast amounts of alcohol daily.

Craving alcohol after quitting

If you’re craving alcohol after quitting, you have Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome PAWS. Those who have recovered from physical alcohol withdrawal are likely to experience this symptom.

After giving up alcohol, a person’s brain chemistry may need some time to adjust. People may experience intense emotions when drinking, but they may also feel stressed when readjusting to daily life and developing new routines. 

When PAWS is dealt with properly, it will usually go away. However, in the meantime, if it does not disappear on its own, you might experience intense cravings.

Frequently asked questions

Here is a question about alcohol that is frequently asked. Perhaps you have some thoughts about these topics.

What does craving alcohol mean emotionally?

Only a tiny amount of alcohol releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us want to drink more alcohol. The brain uses dopamine for several purposes, but it is most commonly linked to motivation, reward-seeking behavior, and drug addiction.

You can view such a craving as a form of self-medication. As an example, alcohol can pique your interest since you appreciate it and haven’t had any for a long time. Additionally, satisfying this urge can increase your mood, i.e., make you happier.


In a nutshell, alcohol cravings can happen because of several reasons. First, if you crave alcohol, it may be because it is part of your routine. Stress and emotional factors may also cause you to crave alcohol. Last but not least, if you usually drink alcohol and haven’t had one in a while, you may crave it. 

When you stop drinking suddenly, you may experience alcohol cravings. It may be hard to resist such a desire, so it’s essential to learn to control it, especially when you plan to stop. Finally, this craving is associated with a lot of risks when satisfied. 

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Image credits – Canva

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