The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has released new resources to support people thinking about cutting back on or stopping drinking alcohol this New Year.
FARE has released six fact sheets to help people understand and reduce their risk of alcohol harm, including:
- Cutting back on alcohol
- Keeping track of standard drinks
- Know the Alcohol Guidelines
- Alcohol support services
- Are you concerned about your drinking, and
- Alcohol and cancer.
FARE CEO, Caterina Giorgi, said drinking less or stopping drinking alcohol is a popular New Year’s resolution, but it can be hard to know where to start.
“Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink can deliver significant short and long-term health benefits, including improvements to your mood, energy, sleep, and concentration;”
“Reducing your alcohol intake can also reduce your risk of chronic illness, such as cancer and other diseases.”
If cutting back on alcohol is one of the changes you want to make this New Year, then there are a few tips that may help:
- Set a goal and make a plan – Making a plan will help you stay on track and measure the benefits of cutting back.
- Know your triggers – Understanding why and when you drink more, can help you to avoid these situations.
- Know your standard drinks and keep track of your alcohol intake – The Australian Alcohol Guidelines recommend having no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day. A standard drink may be less than you think.
- Introduce alcohol-free days – This can be a great way to reduce the amount that you drink.
- Create a support network – This can include physical or online communities such as Hello Sunday Morning and Sober in the Country
“It helps to make a plan and let others know about it. Planning alcohol-free activities or setting a weekly drinking limit and sharing these goals with your family and friends is a great way to help you stay on track,” Ms Giorgi said
Ms Giorgi encouraged anyone concerned about their drinking to reach out to support services.
“There are a range of online, phone, and face-to-face supports that people can reach out to if they are concerned about their alcohol use or that of someone in their lives,” Ms Giorgi said.
Two of these services are Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) and Sober in the Country. CEO of HSM, Mr Andy Moore, encouraged people to seek support from others.
“Cutting back on drinking is easier with a support network by your side,” Mr Moore said.
“Whether you’re taking a break or reducing your alcohol intake, an online support network like Daybreak can support you.”
CEO and Founder of rural-focused charity Sober in the Country, Ms Shanna Whan, knows how difficult it can be to cut back on or stop drinking when isolated and in the bush.
“Starting eight years ago as a conversation, Sober in the Country is now sharing its message that it’s ok to say no to alcohol – and we reach up to 100,000 people through our honest conversations,” Ms Whan said.
“It is tremendously difficult to access support or services in the bush, so our Bush Tribe anonymous online support group is helpful for those cutting back or quitting.”
If you need other support to reduce your drinking, you can contact the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
For more support services, visit FARE’s website – https://fare.org.au/resources/library/