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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 support groups, 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 stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, regular exercise, rest, and relaxation.
  • Eat a healthful diet.

Revision Information

  • 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, NY: The Guilford Press; 2005.