Drinking Problem? 16 Practical Useful Top Tips

Drinking Alcohol has its benefits if it stays at one or two drinks. It helps you socialize, helps you stay calm and relaxed, and gives you more confidence. To read more about Alcohol and the associated benefits and risks and take a quiz to check whether your drinking is a problem, read my recent blog  Alcohol: Trick disguised as a Treat?

As an Addiction counselor and Psychiatric practitioner, I have supported several people to overcome this addiction. In this blog, I share useful tips on what to do and actions to take if you are worried about your drinking. These tips are informed by talking to those I was supporting, my clinical experience, and evidence-based research.

What Actions can I take about my Drinking?

1.Creating a drinks diary:

Choose a week and note exactly what you drink, the number of units, the situation (at home, alone, in the pub, with friends), time of the day. As a result, the diary will give you useful information and evidence of whether you need to cut down. And it will help you recognize themes or situations when you tend to drink a lot.

2. Be clear about your goal:

Do you want total abstinence or just cutting down? Do you want to stop binge drinking? What are you hoping will be different as an outcome? Write down your reasons – It usually works better if you put them somewhere visible. Address Positive statements and reminders to yourself. For example; I want to feel good about myself or I want to cut to 2 units per week are usually effective.

3.Choose a specific day to start

Choose a day that is likely to be a relaxed one. Similarly, a day when you are likely to avoid alcohol such as a weekday and not a weekend.

4.Identify what situations are most likely to lead you to drink a lot

Identify any patterns from your drinking diary above. Also think of ways how to avoid the situations. For example, alternating alcohol for soft drinks, try Heineken 0.0% alcohol, suggest going out for a meal instead of pub etc.

5.Identify supportive people

These could be friends you know who are supportive and helpful if you tell them what you are trying to do. Remember, It’s easier to drink less when you are with people who drink moderately.

6.Keep going and focus on the gains you make

You are bound to have ups and downs along the way same as with trying to break any habit. It helps to notice what you have done well or differently. If you relapse – the challenge is to start again and choose a new date.

7.Decide on your drinking limit

And Do this before going out or entering a pub and stick to it.

8.Rehearse saying ‘NO’

Practice saying no in advance and don’t let others pressurize you into accepting.

9.Drink slowly

Sipping instead of gulping.

10.Pace yourself

Rehearse pacing yourself by putting the glass down between sips and set time limits for each glass.

11.Smaller drinks/Low alcohol

Choose drinks with low in alcohol percentage.

12.Small glasses

Buy smaller glasses for home.

13.Alternate between drinks

Take non-alcoholic drinks in between alcohol.

14.Arrive late or start drinking a bit later than usual.

15.Eat before or while you drink and avoid drinking on an empty stomach.

16.Seek support

A lot of people drink to self-medicate against anxiety and in so doing they may experience depression because alcohol is a depressant.

In the long run, if you are finding it difficult to stop or cut down on your drinking, or if you drink more than 80 units per week, seek professional support (see below).

More Support

Alcohol Anonymous

Alcohol Concern

Al-non Anon


6 thoughts on “Drinking Problem? 16 Practical Useful Top Tips”

  1. This topic is one close to me. I’ve cut out alcohol for 95%, three years ago. Occasionally I will taste some, but that’s with very strict rules. I never saw myself having a drinking problem, but realized that it was causing me a lot of anxiety and stress. As I went overboard almost every time I went out to party. On the flip side, I never had the urge to drink at home or alone. This made it easier for me to quit. But the ‘saying no’ part was the one that I found difficult, the peer pressure has an incredible effect on me. That’s why I set my limit to zero, because I know how easily I go to 20. Great post!

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