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The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) suggests the following steps may help reduce your drinking:
- Write down your reasons for why you want to stop drinking. For example, you may want to feel healthier, sleep better, improve relationships.
- Set a drinking goal. The recommended guideline is no more than one standard drink a day for women and men over 65, and no more than two standard drinks per day for men under 65. Talk to one of our Ria Health addiction specialists to see what is right for you.
- Keep a record of your drinking habits. Ria Health does this for you automatically as you follow our program.
- Don’t keep alcohol in the house. By keeping alcohol out of close reach—just one step further—you can help counter the urge to drink.
- Drink slowly. Sip and savor. Drink soda, water, or juice after having an alcoholic beverage.
- Set alcohol-free days. Start with one or two days each week and slowly increase.
- Identify peer pressure. You shouldn’t feel obligated to accept offers to drink. Practice ways to say no politely, and if necessary, keep in mind a few handy excuses to not drink.
- Find hobbies or other activities. Basically, you want to be busy and have things to do. Need help finding a new hobby? Check out our blog post on interesting hobbies to try out here.
- Guard against temptation. Easier said than done, but try your best to stay clear of people and places that make you want to drink. If you associate certain events with drinking (e.g. New Year’s Eve), develop a plan for managing them in advance.
- Be persistent and honest. Most people cut down or stop drinking over time. Setbacks happen, but don’t let them keep you from reaching your long-term goal.