Tips for cutting down
First start by working out what you drink in a week by reviewing the last week. If it is difficult to remember keep a daily note for the next week. Note all the drinks, how many units in each, the times of day and where you were. If this is a typical week, your notes should give you a good idea about whether you are drinking too much and, importantly, the situations in which you drink and whether it's going to be hard to cut down.
Here are some ideas from Alcohol Concern that others have found useful for cutting down:
- Going out a bit later or just having your first drink later
- Replacing some of your drinks with non-alcoholic or low alcohol drinks.
- Switching your usual drink to one with less alcohol in it.
- Avoiding the quick drink situation - missing out the one at lunchtime or after work can make a huge difference over the week.
- Having at least two alcohol free days - taking up a new interest, sport or just going to the cinema if you find most of your social life is involved around the pub.
- Drinking longer drinks - beer rather than spirits and drinking more slowly.
- If you drink at home, buying beers and wines with lower alcohol content could make a great difference.
- Decide a limit of no more than, say, 5 units on any one occasion.
- Buy smaller glasses for the home or buy a drinks measure.
- Keep a supply of non-alcoholic alternatives for drinking at home and entertaining.
- Tell others you are cutting down and avoid rounds.
- Finding other ways of relaxing - exercise or relaxation techniques for example.
- If you anticipate a heavy evening, avoid drinking on an empty stomach and make sure someone else is driving.
- If you are worried about your drinking, are finding it hard to cut down or stop, there are many agencies which offer a confidential service and will be happy to help you (see the links section).