If you would like to cut down the amount of alcohol you drink, it’s well worth spending a couple of minutes on our alcohol use test. This quick test can determine how risky your current drinking is and help create a plan that works for you. How you cut down drinking is up to you, but a printed (or emailed) plan can help you stay on track.


Cutting down – Have a clear goal

It’s important to be honest with yourself about the reasons why you want to cut down drinking. Giving yourself a realistic timeframe will help keep you motivated and help you measure your success.

Ensure you have plans for those social situations where you could be overcome by the urge to drink lots, such as parties or after-work drinks.

Be positive

Rather than focus on giving something up, try thinking about starting something new. By spending time on an activity you enjoy or benefit from, you’ll associate this behaviour with a positive thing in your life.

Increasing your chances of cutting down alcohol

If you talk about your goal of drinking less with a trusted friend, or even through social media, you’ll increase your chances of becoming successful at cutting down.

Alcohol – Tips for cutting down

Here are some additional ways of cutting down the amount of alcohol you drink:

  • Try to have an alcohol-free day twice a week
  • Avoid going to the pub after work
  • When bored or stressed have a workout instead of drinking, or go for a walk to help clear your head
  • Explore other interests, such as going to the cinema or doing some exercise, and plan these activities at times you would usually drink
  • Plan things to do with people who don’t drink at those times you would usually drink
  • Have you first drink after starting to eat and not before
  • Quench your thirst with non-alcoholic drinks before and in-between alcoholic drinks
  • Avoid drinking in rounds or large groups
  • Avoid competition based drinking
  • Switch to lower strength drinks (5% to 4%)
  • When you do drink, set yourself a limit and stick to it
  • Try collecting all your empties for a week or keep a drink diary to see exactly how much you are drinking
  • Avoid or limit the time spent with ‘heavy’ drinking friends

Find out how other people have cut down drinking via these drinking stories

If you are alcohol dependent, then suddenly cutting down the amount you drink drastically is not safe. Ensure you get the right support plan agreed with a medical professional or alcohol specialist worker.