How to Cut Down on Your Drinking......
1. Write your reasons for cutting down or stopping. Why do
you want to drink less? There are many reasons why you may
want to cut down or stop drinking. You may want to improve
your health, sleep better, or get along better with your
family or friends. Make a list of the reasons you want to
2. Set a drinking goal. Choose a limit for how much you will
drink. You may choose to cut down or not to drink at all. If
you are cutting down, keep below these limits:
- Women: No more than one drink
- Men: No more than two drinks a
3. Write your drinking goal down on
a piece of paper. Put it where you can see it, such as on
your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Your paper might look
My Drinking Goal:
- I will start on this day
- I will not drink more than
_________ drinks in 1 day
- I will not drink more than
_________ drinks in 1 week
- I will stop drinking alcohol
4. Keep a "diary" of your drinking.
To help you reach your goal, keep a "diary" of your
drinking. For example, write down every time you have a
drink during the week. Try to keep your diary for three or
four weeks. This will show you how much you drink and when.
You may be surprised. How different is your goal from the
amount you drink now?
Putting your plan into action
Now you know why you want to drink less and you have a goal.
There are many ways you can help yourself to cut down. Try
- Watch what you drink at home.
Keep a small amount or no alcohol at home. Don't keep
- Drink slowly. When you drink,
sip your drink slowly. Take a break of one hour between
drinks. Drink soda, water, or juice after a drink with
alcohol. Do not drink on an empty stomach! Eat food when
you are drinking
- Take a break from alcohol.
Pick a day or two each week when you will not drink at
all. Then, try to stop drinking for one week. Think
about how you feel physically and emotionally on these
days. When you succeed and feel better, you may find it
easier to cut down for good
- Learn how to say NO. You don't
have to drink when other people drink or take a drink
that is given to you. Practice ways to say no politely.
For example, you can tell people you feel better when
you drink less. Stay away from people who give you a
hard time about not drinking
- Stay active. What would you
like to do instead of drinking? Use the time and money
spent on drinking to do something fun with your family
or friends. Go out to eat, play sports or go to a
- Get support. Cutting down on
your drinking may be difficult at times. Ask your family
and friends for support to help you reach your goal.
Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble cutting
down. Get the help you need to reach your goal
- Watch out for temptations.
Watch out for people, places, or times that make you
drink, even if you do not want to. Stay away from people
who drink a lot or bars where you used to go. Plan ahead
of time what you will do to avoid drinking when you are
- Do not drink when you are
angry or upset or have a bad day. These are habits you
need to break if you want to drink less
- Don't give up! Most people do
not cut down or give up drinking all at once. Just like
a diet, it is not easy to change. That is okay. If you
do not reach your goal the first time, try again.
Remember, get support from people who care about you and
want to help. It's hard to give up drinking and you can