March 15

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Ways To Cut Back On Drinking


Are you concerned about your drinking habit? Perhaps you feel that you consume too much alcohol or drinking too often. But, on the other hand, maybe you want to change this bad habit and make it a little more manageable.

You should always consult your doctor regarding whether you should cut back or abstain. However, individuals with alcoholism or who suffer from other illnesses or mental health problems should stop drinking altogether.

You can reduce the harm that alcohol can cause if you change your current drinking habits — even if those changes are seemingly small. Moderate drinking can reduce your risk of developing health problems. You can call it harm reduction. The objective is to enhance your health and your life by reducing the harmful effects of alcohol.

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Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can be controlled with the tips provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Therefore, to help you overcome your addiction to alcohol, we’re going to share some handy and effective tips that will definitely help you regain sobriety.

Some of these tips may work for you, and others may not because the strategy of cutting back varies from person to person, according to Canadian addiction statistics. However, the best way to successfully reduce alcohol consumption is to find what works for you.

On this note, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can reduce and finally quit alcohol:

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Measure your drinks

According to experts, the first step to sobriety starts by noting down how much alcohol you’re actually consuming on a daily basis. For instance, a typical wine glass typically contains 5 ounces, with an alcohol content of about 12%.

The standard size of a vodka shot is 1.5 ounces and has a 40 percent alcoholic content. According to the NIAAA, an average 12-ounce can of beer contains about 5% alcohol, and an average glass of sherry contains about 17% alcohol.

Therefore, keeping track of the amount of alcohol you’re consuming daily will help you formulate a strategy for cutting back.

Set a Realistic Goal

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Put down how many drinks you want to drink per day and how many days a week you will be drinking. Setting measurable goals will help you set limits.

Drinking within the recommended limits will reduce your risks of developing health problems. As a matter of fact, the National Institutes of Health report that less than two percent of those who drink within the set drinking guidelines have an alcohol use disorder.

Start Small

No one can or should quit cold turkey. Take it slow, and gradually taper off the number of glasses you drink, so you’re able to sustain it in the long run. For instance, you can start by limiting your daily intake and then gradually building up your resilience to having one or two glass in the whole day. Doing this will eventually make you used to staying sober.

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Additionally, keeping track of how many drinks you consume may help you slow down or reduce your drinking. Likewise, write down your drinks inside a notebook or in your phone to keep track.

Plan Your Drinks & Pace Yourself

Pacing one’s drinking has been a successful way to cut down on alcohol consumption for some people. Drink slowly or limit to one drink per hour. Use nonalcoholic beverages as spacers between alcoholic drinks to reduce alcohol consumption.

Drinking plenty of water along with alcoholic beverages is always a good idea, no matter how much you drink. Similarly, some people alternate water, juice, or soda with their alcoholic drinks to slow down their consumption.

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Stay away from your triggers

You should avoid situations in which you are used to drinking if you’re trying to reduce or quit drinking altogether. Triggers may include a person, a place, a thing, or a certain activity that brings back the urge to drink. In many cases, avoiding these triggers will prevent you from drinking when otherwise it would not be necessary.

Developing the ability to say “no”

You will likely be offered a drink or asked to drink with someone as you have been in the past. Thus, it’s important to learn how to say “no, thank you” in a polite way. In addition, it is important to make your point quickly and clearly, so that you don’t allow room for second guessing yourself.

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Keep Yourself Busy

If you have been relying on drinking too much and drinking has become an essential part of your life, substitute another activity at times when you tended to reach for the drink. Spend more time with your family, develop a hobby, start an exercise program, or make new friends. Find an activity you enjoy that will populate the time you would otherwise spend drinking.

Exercise regularly

Try exercising instead of drinking alcohol to reduce anxiety. Physical activity, especially done outdoors, is known to help in reducing stress and managing negative emotions. For those who enjoy outdoor and other physical activities, exercise can help reduce anxiety and cope with different negative feelings.

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Think about medical assistance

Alternatively, you might consider talking to a healthcare provider about naltrexone, an effective treatment for alcoholism and a key component of the Sinclair Method for reducing drinking.

Taking naltrexone before drinking is part of the Sinclair Method. A person drinking alcohol normally releases endorphins, but the medication blocks their release. So, in addition to becoming less pleasurable, drinking alcohol becomes easier to stop.

Try abstaining for one month

Try following the campaigns like No Alcohol January, Sober October, or Go Dry for July if you want to try it. The campaign to reduce alcohol consumption, Dry January, was organized by Alcohol Change UK in January 2020 and reported to have attracted more than 6million participants.

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Relapses are normal

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that it’s not possible to quit drinking instantly. You are leaving behind bad habits, and it will take you some time to overcome. During the recovery process, it’s normal to get sidetracked once or twice, so don’t feel shocked if you feel tempted to drink. However, persistence is the key, so stay persistent, and you’ll reach your goal eventually.

Final Words

Ultimately, people who want to give up alcohol may find these strategies useful. Staying busy, asking for support, being aware of your urges and temptations, staying persistent,and resisting peer pressure are all ways you can ensure that you overcome your destructive habit.

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