Tips on cutting down

To reduce the amount you drink you could try :

  • making a plan - Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you're going to drink and stick to it
  • setting a budget - Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol
  • take part in special alcohol-free initiatives such as Dry January or Go Sober for October
  • alcohol-free drinks or a selection of mocktails
  • mindful drinking; click this link to find out more;

There are lots of other simple and effective ways to cut down:

  • Have a smaller drink.
  • Cut down alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %). Check the label on the bottle or ask bar staff for advice.
  • Have a glass of water before you have alcohol and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a soft drink.
  • Have several drink-free days each week.
  • Cut back a little each day. That way, every day you do, is a success.
  • Let your friends and family know you're cutting down and it's important to you, they can support you.

Drinking diary

If you're aiming to cut down your drinking, a good thing to do is to keep a note of what you drink and when.

On a daily basis, make a note of:

  • the alcoholic drinks you've had
  • what time you had them
  • where you were
  • how many units you drank – use the Scottish Government's alcohol unit generator and alcohol unit calculator to work this out

This will give you a good idea of:

  • how much alcohol you're drinking
  • the situations in which you drink
  • how you could start to cut down.

Download, or ask your GP for a copy of the daily drinks diary from NHS Health Scotland to record your progress