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Changing your drinking

Changing your drinkingFacing up to your drinking

If you’re ready to face your drinking problem, congratulations! Admitting you have a problem is a huge first step. It takes tremendous strength and courage to face your alcohol abuse or dependency head on. The second step is reaching out for support.

Much as you may want to, don’t try to face your drinking problem alone. Changing your drinking habits will be hard and you’ll need support. Without it, it is very easy to rationalise just one more drink, especially since alcohol is everywhere in our society, or to fall back into old patterns when things get tough.

Getting started

Alcohol dependency is a complex disorder that affects every aspect of your life. Overcoming it requires making major changes to the way you live, deal with problems, and relate to others. It’s not just a matter of willpower or simply wanting to quit. If you decide you want to stop drinking for good this is difficult without treatment and ongoing support. The good news is that there are many tools that can help you on your journey.

Thinking about change

Your first step in thinking about change is to examine your own drinking pattern honestly and consider the following:

What do drinkers need to believe before they will try to change?

Wren &Thomas 2001
(Brief Intervention Skills for Health Promotion)

Cutting Down or Quitting for Good?

How do you know if you should just cut down on the quantity and frequency of your drinking or if you should quit drinking altogether? Indicators for and against Controlled Drinking:

Those more likely to succeed with controlled drinking:

Those more likely to succeed with total abstinence:

Heather and Robertson (1983) and Ward (1988)

Factors Affecting Outcome

Once drinkers have decided to stop what factors affect outcome?

Reasons for Lapse

Why might drinkers lapse in their early attempts to change?

Reasons to Try Again

What factors will influence whether lapsed drinkers will try again?


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