Thinking About Dialing Back Your Drinking? Here are Ten Tips

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If you’ve ever had this thought:

“Maybe I should take a break from drinking for a while. Or at least not drink as much as I do now.”

You should pay attention to it.

We’re not saying quit cold turkey right this second – if you’re a heavy drinker that could actually be dangerous – but what we are saying that if you drink, and you’ve had that thought, then yes – not only should you pay attention to it, but you should follow up on it.

Meaning drink less.

Which can be hard in our culture, since alcohol is the center – or very close to – almost every social function in the U.S.

But there are millions of sober people out there, and millions more who drink moderately. So it’s definitely possible to drink less. If that’s what you’re after, but aren’t sure how to go about it, don’t worry: the ten tips below will get you on the right track.

Ten Tips for Cutting Down You Alcohol Consumption

  1. Ask your primary care physician to determine if drinking is affecting your health
  2. Arrive later at social events where you’re likely to drink more than you planned
  3. Leave earlier from social events where you’re likely to drink more than you planned
  4. Ask others to bring a soft drink from the bar, rather than another round of alcohol
  5. Engage in conversation, dancing, or other activities away from the bar
  6. Drink club soda, juice, ginger ale, coffee, or other non-alcoholic drinks while out doing social activities
  7. Avoid ‘pre-drinking’ before the social or planned event
  8. Avoid ‘after-drinking’ after the social or planned event
  9. Socialize with others who drink socially or not at all
  10. Consider attending a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous or other self-help group

Alcohol Use Disorder: Important Facts

If you’ve experienced any of the following as a result of excessive or frequent alcohol use, there’s a chance your drinking has exceeded typical thresholds and has become a problem:

  • Blackouts: loss of memory associated with alcohol use
  • Loss of control – drinking more or longer than intended
  • Failed attempts to quit or slow down on your own
  • Health issues, job loss, family dysfunction, divorce, financial strain, failure to meet life obligation
  • DUI or other arrests

If you’ve experienced any of these, you should consider seeking an evaluation from a qualified counselor or physician. They may be signs of a more serious condition called Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). AUD is a medical disease that affects 12-15% of our population. It’s characterized by the inability to control alcohol consumption. AUD can cause serious health, relationship, and family problems. In some cases, the complications from severe AUD can result in death. This condition is progressive and rarely improves on its own, but with proper medical stabilization and treatment, AUD can be placed in remission, and people with AUD can live, long, healthy, and productive lives.