Practical tips to help you cut back

Feel the positive ripple effects of cutting back on alcohol by using some, or all, of these practical tips.

Know your standard drinks

A standard drink is often less than you think. You can learn more about standard drinks here.

Set a goal and track your progress

It can be helpful to set a goal and make a plan before you decide to reduce the amount you drink. Having a plan will help you stay on track and measure the benefits of cutting back.

Your plan might be to have more alcohol-free days or to have less alcohol when you drink. To help with your plan, think about:

  • Your goals — Why do you want to reduce or quit alcohol?
  • Your triggers — Why and when do you drink alcohol?
  • Strategies to overcome these — How will you reduce or quit alcohol?
  • Support networks and services — Who will you turn to if you need support?

Sharing your goals with close family members and friends can also help you achieve them.

Be prepared to explain why you’re not drinking (or having another drink)

To avoid situations where people around you encourage you to drink, it can be helpful to have a planned response.

You might be confident enough to simply say:

  • “No thanks, I’m not drinking today.”

Other options include:

  • “I want to keep a clear head,” or
  • “I find I sleep much better when I don’t drink.”

Keep in mind that your friends or family members might also want to cut back or give up drinking. Always ask if others want to have an alcoholic drink before offering it to them, and make sure you have alcohol-free alternatives on hand.

Are you a woman in the ACT aged 40-65? Want to participate in a study to test effective ways to reduce the amount you drink?

About the Ripple project

How alcohol affects your health

Benefits of cutting back alcohol

Invisible influences on your drinking

Need more help and support?

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