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There are many different reasons why you might want to stop drinking alcohol.
These can include developing a health condition that could be affected by alcohol, religious reasons or simply because you want to have a healthier lifestyle. Whatever your reasons, once you have made the decision to stop drinking alcohol, this contains some tips that may help.
Important: Before you stop drinking, talk to your GP or local health professional if you think that you will find it hard to stop drinking or if you are worried that you may be at risk of alcohol dependence. Our Support hub contains a list of national and regional alcohol services that can provide support, information and advice.
Everyone has their own personal reason for making this change. Frequently reminding yourself and the people close to you why you want to stop drinking can help keep you on track. It may even encourage someone else to give up or cut down with you.
Similarly, try to identify the times when you would usually drink and fill the gap with something else. So if you would usually head to the pub after work on a Friday evening, you could organise to meet friends at the cinema. Try to identify why you were unsuccessful — did you still go to the pub most evenings?
Did you explain your reasons for not drinking to your partner? Was alcohol still readily available at home? If you want to stop drinking alcohol as part of a move towards a healthier lifestyle, cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink as opposed to giving up alcohol completely can help bring lots of health benefits, and can be easier to stick to.
Reducing the amount you drink can also be an effective stepping stone to giving up alcohol completely in the future. If you drink every night at home in front of the TV, start by deating a couple of days a week as alcohol-free days.
This can soon become a new habit and may encourage you to add even more alcohol-free days to the week. Always remember the low-risk guidelines — less than 11 standard drinks spread out over the week for women and less than 17 standard drinks for men.
Helping a drunk friend
These drinks should never be saved up for one session and aim for at least two alcohol-free days in the week. Here are some more tips to help you drink less. Perhaps you could aim firstly for an alcohol-free week, then an alcohol-free month, for example.
The cost of alcohol mounts up quickly — you could try putting aside the money you would normally spend on alcohol at home or while out, and spend it on another treat at the end of the week or the month. Use our Drinks Calculator to see how much you could save. In the long-term, you will also be helping to reduce your risk of developing alcohol-related health conditions including cancerliver disease or heart disease and could lower your blood pressure.
Learn more about the benefits of drinking less or cutting out alcohol. Get support.
What are the low-risk weekly alcohol guidelines? How does alcohol affect me?
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Benefits of cutting down or cutting out alcohol Tips to drink less alcohol Explore sober curious and mindful drinking How to stop drinking alcohol completely Drink driving in Ireland Minimum unit pricing explainer Support Services. Make your intentions known Everyone has their own personal reason for making this change.
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Give up or gradually reduce your drinking? Drink driving in Ireland. Understanding alcohol What is a standard drink? Get the latest from Drinkaware.
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