Keeping Party Drinking Under Control: 7 Ways to Drink Responsibly

Your liver can start to heal, your risks of heart disease and cancer go down, and you may begin to sleep better. Exploring, in writing, what you find difficult and when you most want to drink can help you notice patterns that offer more insight into your alcohol use. Comparing the emotions that come up when you have a drink with the feelings you experience when abstaining also helps you recognize when drinking doesn’t fix the problems you’re trying to manage. Maintaining moderation in drinking means starting out with a specific goal. The specific goal will depend on the individual’s particular situation. For example, someone might want to cut back on the amount they drink, or maybe slow down their rate of drinking.

how to control drinking

They will also learn to cope with stressors without alcohol, how to avoid drinking when desired, and how to control drinking and keep from overdrinking when drinking is reestablished. Many of the most common forms of alcohol addiction treatment promote complete abstinence and sobriety; however, alcoholism is a complex and highly personal disease, and this method may not be ideal for everyone. Moderation management programs accept that some people may not agree with complete abstinence from alcohol; as a result, they allow for a certain level of continued, controlled drinking.

Moderated Drinking May Empower You to Give Up Drinking Entirely

After how many drinks do you begin to make poor choices or lose control? Below are seven tips to help you stay on top of party drinking, and not overdo it. Taking care of your emotional and mental health can help you better help them.

Regardless of the limit you’ve set, try to stick to one drink per hour. Sip drinks while talking or dancing, rather than hanging out at the bar taking shots. Pacing yourself gives you a chance to listen to your body, and better understand your limits. Before you leave your house, choose a maximum number of drinks.

Remove alcohol from your house.

But that advice changes if you’re living with alcohol use disorder. Laying it all out in black and white can take time and some serious self-examination. Understanding your habits and your motivations to quit drinking can help you understand the change you’re making in your life and reinforce why it’s important.

how to control drinking

Another possible option is using medications such as naltrexone or disulfiram along with psychotherapy. You may be able to gradually decrease the amount you drink without needing to go for full abstinence from alcohol. Drinking is often a coping strategy subconsciously used to avoid having to deal with uncomfortable or painful issues.

How to Know When It’s Time to Cut Back

Psychological symptoms can include irritability, anxiety and restlessness. “Try doing a ‘dry’ month like Dry January, Go Dry for July or Sober October,” says Moore. In January 2020, more than 6 million people reportedly participated in Dry January, a campaign to reduce alcohol consumption organized by Alcohol Change UK. Follow-up research suggested that most tended to drink in healthier amounts afterward. Home blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription. Talk to a health care provider about home monitoring before you get started.

how to control drinking

That means looking at your relationship with alcohol so you can understand why you drink, when you drink and how much you drink. Consider tracking and analyzing your urges to drink for a couple of weeks. This will help you become more aware of when and how you experience urges, what triggers them, and ways to avoid or control them. She notes that it can help to avoid your triggers as much as possible in early recovery, since triggers are often most intense when you first stop drinking. The new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) includes cravings as part of the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Eat a healthy diet

From there, you may need social support, consistent self-care, and new routines that can help redirect your mind. The most straightforward drinking diaries just record how much you drink each day, but the more you can keep track of, the better you will understand your own drinking patterns, and thus be able to control them. how to control drinking For example, every evening (or the following morning, if you forget), write down how many drinks you drank, where you were, and with whom. Your drinking goal should be based on what is best for your long-term health, as well as what is realistic for you, your family and friends, and other aspects of your lifestyle.

  • If you’ve decided that moderation is the best way for you, help is available.
  • Once a person identifies the activities and situations that can cue their cravings, they can work to avoid some of them.
  • Talk with a healthcare professional if you’re concerned you may experience detox symptoms when quitting drinking or cutting back.
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