Tips on cutting down
There are a number of things you can try to reduce the amount you drink.
What can you do to reduce your drinking?
Why not begin by making a plan and before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you're going to drink and stick to it.
You could set a budget and only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.
There are other things you could try too:
- taking part in special alcohol-free initiatives such as Dry January or Go Sober for October
- trying alcohol-free drinks or a selection of mocktails
- learning about mindful drinking at Club Soda
- having a smaller drink
- cutting down alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %)
- drinking a glass of water before you have alcohol
- alternating alcoholic drinks with water or a soft drink
- having several drink-free days each week
- cutting back a little each day and make every day you do a success
- let your friends and family know you're cutting down and it's important to you, they can support you
If you're aiming to cut down your drinking, a good thing to do is to keep a note of what you drink and when.
On a daily basis, make a note of:
- the alcoholic drinks you've had
- what time you have them
- where you were
- how many units you drink – use the Scottish Government's alcohol unit generator and alcohol unit calculator to work this out
This will give you a good idea of:
- how much alcohol you're drinking
- the situations in which you drink
- how you could start to cut down
Download a daily drinks diary from Public Health Scotland or ask your GP for a copy.
Scottish Health Action on Alcohol (SHAAP) has produced a useful guide if you're a heavy drinker and would like help to cut down your drinking.