I’m looking for advice around my alcohol use

Thinking of making changes

Whatever your motivation, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is a positive step.

Cutting down doesn’t heave to mean stopping all together. Whatever level of drinking you’re aiming for, making a plan is the best and safest way to ensure those changes stick.

How’s your drinking? Try our Alcohol AUDIT

Why safest?

Withdrawal from a physical dependence on alcohol is extremely dangerous and can even be fatal. If you are, or think you might be physically dependant on alcohol, speak to a medical professional first before making any significant changes.

Symptoms of withdrawal

If you experience any of the following symptoms after making changes:

  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Speak to a medical professional or call NHS 111. 

If you experience a seizure or begin to see or hear things that others cannot, seek emergency medical attention (999) immediately.

How much

Getting an accurate picture of how much you are currently drinking is a very useful first step.

You may be able to work this out from your buying habits.

If you are unsure, keeping a diary of your drinking for around 3 days should do the trick.

Make sure you write down:

  • What drink you had and how big it was
  • Where you were
  • What day and time it was
An example of a simple drinks diary with columns for what was drunk, where and on what day and time

What’s the plan?

Once you have a good idea of the amount you are drinking, it’s time to think about what your goal is.

Try to keep goals manageable (you don’t need to do it all at once) and specific.

‘I want to drink less’ or ‘I don’t want hangovers’ may be difficult targets to aim for.

‘I want to have 2 alcohol free days a week’ or ‘I will aim to not drink before 7pm each day’ are better.

Set your intention – “My goal is…”

 

At this point you might find it useful to give us a call – Project 6 is here to offer non-judgmental support and advice, whatever your goal.

We run a range of services, this includes 1:1 support, group work and both therapeutic and social activities to help you gain a better understanding of your drinking and develop alternative coping strategies.

What’s the plan?

Once you have a good idea of the amount you are drinking, it’s time to think about what your goal is.

Try to keep goals manageable (you don’t need to do it all at once) and specific.

‘I want to drink less’ or ‘I don’t want hangovers’ may be difficult target to aim for.

‘I want to have 2 alcohol free days a week’ or ‘I will aim to not drink before 7pm each day’ are better.

Set your intention – “My goal is…”

 

At this point you might find it useful to give us a call – Project 6 is here to offer non-judgmental support and advice, whatever your goal.

We run a range of services, this includes 1:1 support, group work and both therapeutic and social activities to help you gain a better understanding of your drinking and develop alternative coping strategies.

Handling cravings

Feeling strong cravings for alcohol after making changes is completely normal.

A craving might mean you can’t stop thinking about having a drink, mean you feel anxious or irritable and they may feel like they are getting more intense.

It’s important to remember a craving by itself won’t hurt you, and although uncomfortable, they will pass on their own.

Distraction is often the best technique; most cravings will last about 20 minutes. Once you notice it starting, go and start a new activity; wash up, go for a walk, listen to music, play a game on your phone.

Try to notice when the feeling has gone, the more you do it the more you’ll believe in your ability to manage cravings and recondition your brain not to respond in this way. 

Bumps in the road

Each day will be different and it’s probably not always going to be plain sailing.

If you have a drink, don’t beat yourself up. Treat it as an opportunity to learn, ‘How was I feeling when I had that drink?’, ‘What happened that made me feel that way?’.

Telling someone else your goals can be a powerful way of helping you maintain motivation. Don’t be afraid to share when things get tough as well.

Get more support – the fact you’ve already started to think about making changes is amazing. We are here if you want some extra support. Whatever your goal or motivation, speak to us, find out how we can help.

Looking after you

If you’re feeling well in yourself, you will feel more able keep on track with your goal.

Eating – It may sound obvious but eating regularly throughout the day can make a big difference to how you’re feeling. Try to have balanced meals where possible but a little sweet treat every now and then may help with cravings.

Hydration – It’s always important to stay hydrated. Between each alcoholic drink try drinking a half a pint of water.

Sleep – This can be a tricky one if you have relied on a drink to help get yourself off at night. Inebriated sleep is not as restful as falling asleep naturally. You wake feeling more tired which will start to negatively impact on your mood and decisions you make tomorrow.

Set a routine and stick to it. Try not to fall into the habit of both going to bed and getting up later and avoid resorting to sleeping tablets.

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Airedale Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Agency trading as Project 6 is a registered charity number 1173006 and a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales number 3430925

Contact Us

Doncaster

Call Us: 01302 360090

Address: 

18 Priory Place, DN1 1BZ 

Email: info@project6.org.uk

Keighley

Call Us: 01535 610 180

Address: 

15-17 Devonshire St, BD21 2BH 

Email: info@project6.org.uk

Sheffield

Call Us: 0114 258 7553

Address: 

646 Abbeydale Rd, S7 2BB

Email: info@project6.org.uk

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