Alcohol Use And Abuse

How Can I Cut Down On My Drinking?

This section is for people who want to cut down on their drinking.

If you are dependent on alcohol or have a medical problem that can be worsened by alcohol, you aim should be to stop drinking completely. 

Steps to cut down your drinking

  • Write a list of your reasons for cutting down or stopping.
  • Set a goal for your drinking — either a limit on how much you will drink or to stop completely. Write your goal on a piece of paper. Put it in a place where you will see it often, e.g. on your refrigerator or a mirror.
  • Keep a “diary” of your drinking to help you reach your goal. Every time you drink, write down how much you drink and the circumstances in which you are drinking. Note what triggers your drinking so that you can learn how to avoid or cope with these things. Also use the diary to see and appreciate the progress you are making. Write down the times that you choose not to drink.
  • Keep only a small amount or no alcohol in your home.
  • Drink slowly. Take a one-hour break between drinks. Eat food when you are drinking.
  • Choose one or two days every week to not drink at all. Then try stopping for a week or longer.
  • Get support from your family and friends to help you cut down on your drinking.
  • Learn to say “no” when people try to persuade you to drink.
  • Avoid or reduce your exposure to people and places that trigger your drinking.
  • Get involved in new activities and social groups where drinking is less important or does not occur.

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