When you would love to alter your drinking habits, AA and total abstinence aren’t your only options. Research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that the vast majority of individuals who change their drinking habits achieve this without AA or rehab. Many determine that quitting completely is their best choice, but just as many, if no more, resolve their problems by cutting back or becoming safer drinkers.
1) Safety First
If you’ve engaged in any unsafe behaviors when drinking alcohol, comparable to drunk driving, unsafe sex, drunk dialing or any of a number of others, there a is a method to assist you to to avoid this in the longer term. Get a sheet of paper and make an inventory of the dangerous behaviors you’ve engaged in and rank them in a hierarchy–remember that it’s most vital to avoid the riskiest behaviors first. Then make a written plan to avoid your high risk behaviors before you ever take the primary drink. For instance, if you must drink at a bar, take a taxi there so that you’ll need to take a taxi home. You possibly can’t drive in case your automotive is not there. Remember: think before you drink. It’s all the time a very good idea to place safety first. The life you save could also be your individual.
2) Determine What Sort of a Drinker You Wish to Be
Many individuals find that quitting alcohol altogether is their best choice. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you drink, anyone could make the selection to abstain completely from alcohol. Others find that moderate drinking is their best goal and they’ll decide to have a goal of drinking moderately and never becoming intoxicated. Even those people who find themselves unwilling or unable to refrain from drinking to intoxication at times can work at becoming safer drinkers by planning ahead. Safer drinking could be a crucial harm reduction goal for these individuals, since any plan to be safer is all the time an improvement over unsafe drinking. Safer drinking, reduced drinking, or abstinence from alcohol are all legitimate harm reduction goals they usually are all higher than making no change in any respect. Also keep in mind that your goal will not be set in stone–many individuals who select goals of safer drinking or reduced drinking determine later that switching to abstinence is their best bet. Life changes and it is sweet to be flexible and alter with it.
3) Add Some Non-Drinking Days
Many individuals find that having several alcohol-free days each week helps them to maintain their habit under control. If you’ve been drinking daily for a very long time you would possibly find that adding in even one non-drinking day each week can assist you to to start in your change plan. Be at liberty to go at your individual pace in adding alcohol-free days into your week. Warning: If you’ve been drinking heavily daily for a very long time you will have alcohol withdrawal if you happen to stop all of sudden. When you begin to have withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking then it’s safest to either taper off slowly, to ascertain right into a detox, or to get some medications out of your doctor to assist you to with alcohol withdrawal.
4) Count and Chart How Much You Drink
The most effective ways to get a handle in your drinking is to count your drinks and keep a day by day record on a calendar or another sort of drinking chart. To maintain an accurate record of how much you drink you will have to learn what a typical drink is. Within the US that is one twelve oz beer at five percent alcohol or one five oz glass of wine at twelve percent alcohol or one and a half oz of 80 proof booze. One drink in a bar can contain as much as half a dozen standard drinks so watch out for this when charting your drinks. Practice measuring at home to get a feel for a way much a typical drink really is. Write down your drink numbers in your calendar daily; if you’ve an abstinence day then write down a zero. Many individuals find that the act of charting in itself helps them to in the reduction of.
5) Make a Drinking Plan
You need to use the identical calendar where you chart your drink numbers to plan what number of drinks you’ll have in a given day. For instance, it is advisable to reserve every Sunday for making your drinking plan for the week to return and write down which days can be alcohol-free and what number of drinks you propose to have in your drinking days. Some people might need to have the identical plan every week and can select to jot down it down only once. For instance, an individual may decide to drink safely at home every Saturday night and abstain the opposite six days of the week. There are as many various possible drinking plans as there are people so be happy to make the plan which is correct for you.
6) Make a Pros and Cons List
Get out 4 sheets of paper. On the primary write out the professionals of your current drinking habits and on the second write out the cons. On the third write out the professionals of your intended change and on the fourth write out the cons. Do not be afraid of claiming that there are positives about alcohol; if you happen to attempt to repress the positives they are going to just stay in your subconscious and cause you trouble in a while. When you get this out into the open now you possibly can recognize it and you will discover other positive things to substitute for the advantages you get from alcohol. Be at liberty to do the professionals and cons list frequently–every time you write these out it’ll strengthen your resolve to alter.
7) Take a Break from Drinking
Some people find that the very best method to jump start a change of their drinking habits is to have a non-drinking period. Taking every week or two or perhaps a month or two off from drinking could be an awesome assist in changing your relationship with alcohol for the higher. A stretch of alcohol-free time offers you a probability to come across all of your old drinking situations without alcohol–and you’ll learn recent ways to address these situations without booze.
8) Make a List of Ways to Have Fun without Drinking
There are unlimited ways to have a good time without alcohol starting from swimming to knitting to the Latest York Times crossword. Get out a sheet of paper and make an inventory of fun things that you would be able to do without alcohol and keep it handy to discuss with if you get the urge to interrupt your drinking plan.
9) Accentuate the Positive
Don’t beat yourself up if you happen to don’t keep on with your plan perfectly. Research shows that the majority people do not get it perfect the primary time. Making a change normally takes several tries and there are some slip ups on the method to achieving your change goal. When you beat yourself up over a small slip you possibly can make yourself so miserable that you must drown your sorrows in booze and you possibly can wind up occurring a significant bender because of this. The individuals who achieve success in the long term are those who praise themselves for each positive change. When you determine to take a month off from booze and make it to 10 days then make sure that to praise yourself for those ten days of abstinence from alcohol–you won’t ever lose them. Don’t waste quite a lot of time beating yourself up over the incontrovertible fact that you didn’t make the complete thirty days, get right back on the plan, whether you select to complete out the remaining twenty days, go for thirty consecutive days, or go for an entire recent plan.
10) Have a “Plan B” in Place
Slip ups are the norm when people try to alter their habits; only the minority make the change completely the primary time. But having one piece of chocolate cake does not imply that you’ve to eat the entire cake. One drink doesn’t need to mean one drunk. When you are planning to abstain but slip up and choose to have a drink then make sure that to do it safely; if you happen to are out in your automotive then take your automotive home first and take a taxi to the bar. Have your plan B in place so that you just proceed to stay secure even if you happen to do slip up. A backup plan is important whether your goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting altogether.
At all times keep in mind that higher is healthier. Any improvement you make over your old drinking habits, regardless of how small, is successful!