Craving is a major factor in addiction, predicting poorer outcome to treatment. To improve our understanding of craving for alcohol, we have compared in the laboratory the effects of inducting craving for alcohol by exposure to the sight and the smell of an alcoholic beverage, imagery of craving scripts, and recall of autobiographical memories of craving. We used subjective measures of craving, together with autonomic measures, in 14 abstinent alcohol-dependent individuals in the first month after detoxification. All subjects reported a significant increase in ratings of urges after exposure to alcoholic drinks, following the imagery of craving and after recalling autobiographical memories of craving. Physiological measures have shown that craving imagery as well as memory induction were equally effective as exposure to alcoholic drinks in modestly increasing autonomic arousal (indicated by systolic blood pressure). Our preliminary findings support the existing evidence in nicotine and opiate dependence that images and memories are as effective as in vivo exposure in eliciting craving for drugs.