In one of our previous blog posts we discussed alcohol abuse and how to identify if a problem is present. Today we discuss some ways to help reduce alcohol intake. In a country where social settings are heavily focused on drinking, it can be a daunting and difficult task to reduce consumption but it is not impossible- there are ways to get around this.
Do I Drink Too Much?
It is difficult for people to tell exactly how much they drink without keeping a record of it and of course that is not something people generally do. Accustomed drinkers are less aware of feeling drunk, so perhaps keeping a diary of this could help to keep tabs on how many drinks have been consumed.
If I Do Not Feel Drunk, I am Not Drunk?
The problem with having a high alcohol tolerance is that it can lead an individual to consume heavily while yet falsely re-assuring themselves that they do not feel drunk. In reality, requiring a lot of alcohol to get drunk indicates that an individual is already drinking too much. When individuals develop a tolerance to alcohol, the body’s natural signals can no longer be trusted and it then becomes difficult to know when you have had too much. If this is the case it may be necessary to keep count of how many drinks have been consumed to realise when individuals have drank too much.
Some Steps to Reduce Alcohol Intake
As mentioned above keeping a record of alcohol intake is a good idea. Here are some steps which may also help. Remember this can be a gradual process and taking smaller steps, one at a time may be the way forward for you. By setting smaller targets, for example taking one step a week, will likely increase the chance of success.
- I will stop drinking on weekdays
- I will not drink at work (e.g. at lunch)
- Try to pace your drinking on nights out.
- I will substitute every second drink with a soft drink, non-alcoholic beer, coffee etc.
- Take a different route home so you don’t pass your local
- Visit family instead of drinking with friends.
- Clean out the alcohol cupboard at home.
- Distract yourself with activities like reading, watching movies, painting, cooking or whatever you might take an interest in.
- Get Fit- Getting fit can help to provide a focus away from drinking as well as providing you with the natural boost and feel-good benefits of being healthy.
- Reward yourself- Set down goals beforehand and once the goals are met reward yourself afterwards.
- There are of course, numerous other ways to reduce intake but these are some of the more commonly seen approaches.
There is Always Help at Hand
If you think you cannot reduce alcohol consumption on your own, then seek help from a friend, family or qualified professional. There is always non-judgmental help available through various channels depending on what you think will work best for you. A conversation with a loved one, group meetings, or with a psychologist might be what you need.
If you think that you or somebody close to you has a problem with drinking and would like to speak to one of our Psychologists please click here to make an appointment. To read more about Alcohol Abuse follow this link.