Would you like to cut down on your drinking? Some tips
- Keep a diary of your daily and weekly consumption
- Set consumption targets and stick to them
- Pick a date to change
- Make a list of ‘Pros and Cons’ and review regularly
- Consider telling family and friends
- Try to drink no more than 3 standard drinks per day for males and 2 standard drinks per day for females. (A standard drink is a small glass of wine or a half pint of normal strength beer)
- Have at least 2 or 3 non drinking days
- Avoid fast drinking and binge drinking
- Sip your drinks and drink more slowly
- Have non-alcoholic drinks between drinks
- Dilute your drinks with water
- Have a ‘water-tight’ (sic!) explanation ready and prepare your script if people pressurise you to drink more
- Avoid drinking in rounds
- At functions keep alcoholic drink on your non-favoured hand and water, non-alcoholic drink on your favoured hand
- Persist and avoid complacency
Would you like to stop drinking? Some tips
- Go to an Alcohol specialist for further help and assessment. Your family will also usually need to be involved in this process. This will be an opportunity to discuss other personal issues as well.
- Set a start date and tell your close family and friends.
- Think about joining a self-help group such as ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’, LifeRing and/or ‘Anew’ (for females only).
- Work out and list the pros and cons of change yourself.
- Decide what times and places put you most at risk and take steps to develop alternative interests and leisure pursuits.
- Talk to someone who has gone through this before
- Ask your Doctor for more help and more details. The Doctor may prescribe medication to help you withdraw from alcohol or to reduce craving or to act as a deterrent.
- Read literature. The Counsellor can advise on suitable reading.
- Reward yourself for success. It is so important to treat yourself during this process.
- Avoid complacency
Alcoholics Anonymous is the longest available self-help group and the most effective to date. There are numerous meetings all round the country. All you need to attend is a desire to stop drinking.
Contact; Tel; 01 8420700 or www.alcoholics-anonymous.ie
Able and New Women, for women only – contact details can be provided by Rolande on request
The ‘newest kid on the block’ – it is a secular self-help group for people with all forms of addiction. More and more meetings are coming on stream.
Contact; Tel; for Dublin meetings; 085 1837444 and
International website; www.lifering.org
Once again all of the above is carefully discussed and explained during counselling sessions.
Often people who choose to stop drinking will be offered some form of script to help ward off people who put them under pressure to drink in social circles. ‘Pushing’ alcohol is a common reality in Ireland. The drinks industry and their agents have sophisticated marketing and advertising strategies to encourage people to drink alcohol. It is a sad reality of this culture that we have to provide such scripts. People should certainly be more respectful of people who choose not to drink.
Alcohol Action Ireland
Is an independent non-governmental agency that provides all sorts of information on alcohol and campaigns to reduce alcohol-related harm in our society. They have interesting statistics and much more on their website.