May 30, 2024

How to Cut Back on Drinking

image depicting vyvanse withdrawal symptoms

Deciding to cut back on drinking can deliver many health benefits, including lowering your risk of cancer. Drinking less can improve your sleep and help you feel better in the mornings. It also reduces your risk of accidents, high blood pressure, and liver disease.

Alcohol causes seven different types of cancer. Even small amounts can damage your body’s cells. So, cutting down on alcohol is good for your health and lowers your cancer risk, no matter how much you drink.

Read on to learn why cutting down on drinking is so hard and how to get help from professionals to achieve this.

If you or a loved one needs help overcoming alcohol addiction, call our friendly recovery experts today at (800) 994-2184.

Why Is Cutting Back on Drinking So Hard?

Cutting back on drinking can be very difficult for several reasons:

Habits

Drinking can become a habit, something you do automatically without thinking. Breaking this habit takes effort and time. Habits are powerful and can be hard to change once deeply ingrained in your daily routine.

Social pressure

Friends or family might encourage you to drink, making it harder to say no. You might feel left out if you don’t join in. Social situations often involve alcohol, and it can be tough to resist when everyone around you is drinking.

Stress relief

Many people use alcohol to relax or cope with stress. Finding other ways to deal with stressors can be challenging. Alcohol can seem like a quick fix for stress, so it can be hard to give up if you don’t have other stress-relief strategies.

Cravings

Your body might crave alcohol, making it hard to resist. These cravings can be strong and uncomfortable. Cravings are a physical reaction and it can take a lot of willpower to resist them.

Enjoyment

You might enjoy the taste of alcohol or how it makes you feel. Giving up something you like is always tough. Alcohol can enhance social experiences and make you feel good, so it’s hard to cut back on something that pleases you.

Dependence

If you’ve been drinking a lot for a long time, your body might depend on alcohol to feel normal. Cutting back can cause withdrawal symptoms, which can be hard to handle. Dependence means your body has adapted to alcohol and stopping can lead to uncomfortable physical symptoms.

Understanding these challenges can help you find ways to overcome them. If cutting back on drinking is hard for you, remember that it’s okay to ask for help from friends, family, or a healthcare professional. They can offer support and tips to cut back on drinking.

people at gratitude lodge talking representing how to cut back on drinking alcohol

Tips for Cutting Back on Drinking

If you want to know how to cut back on drinking alcohol, here are 10 great tips to help you:

  1. Set a goal: Decide how many days a week you want to drink and how many drinks you will have. Stick to your goal.
  2. Keep track: Write down every time you have a drink. This helps you see how much you drink and where you could cut back.
  3. Choose alcohol-free days: Pick a few days each week to go without drinking. This gives your body a break.
  4. Drink slowly: Sip your drink slowly and take breaks between each one. This helps you drink less over time.
  5. Eat before and while drinking: Eating food can slow down the absorption of alcohol, helping you feel full and drink less alcohol.
  6. Switch to lower-alcohol drinks: Choose drinks with less alcohol, like light beer or wine instead of stronger options.
  7. Stay hydrated: Drink water or non-alcoholic drinks between alcoholic ones. This keeps you hydrated and can reduce your desire for more alcohol.
  8. Avoid triggers: Stay away from situations or people that make you want to drink more. Find new activities that don’t involve alcohol.
  9. Find other activities: Do things you enjoy that don’t involve drinking, like sports, hobbies, or spending time with friends and family.
  10. Get support: Talk to friends, family, or a counselor about your plan to cut down. Having support can make it easier to stick to your goals.

By following these tips, you can cut back on drinking and improve your health and well-being. Remember, small changes can make a big difference.

Getting Professional Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, getting professional help is very important. Here’s what’s involved:

Assessment

The first step is to see a doctor or counselor who will ask questions about your drinking habits and health. This helps them understand your situation and plan the best treatment for you.

Detox

Detox is the process of safely removing alcohol from your body. This might be done in a hospital or a special clinic where doctors can help manage withdrawal symptoms like shaking, sweating, and nausea.

Therapy

Talking to a therapist can help you understand why you drink and teach you new ways to cope without alcohol. Types of therapy include talk therapy, individual counseling, group therapy, and family therapy.

Medications

Sometimes, doctors prescribe medications to help reduce cravings or manage withdrawal symptoms. These medications can make it easier to stop drinking.

Support groups

Joining a support group like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) can provide encouragement and advice from others who have faced similar challenges. Support groups offer a sense of community and ongoing support.

Aftercare

After initial treatment, ongoing support is important to stay sober. This might include continued therapy, support group meetings, and regular check-ins with a healthcare provider.

Getting professional help for alcohol addiction provides the support and tools needed to recover and lead a healthier life. If you or someone you know needs help, don’t hesitate to contact a healthcare professional.

an image of Gratitude Lodge's tips on cutting back on drinking

Get Insurance-Covered Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

We can help you tackle alcohol addiction at Gratitude Lodge in Newport Beach, California. We offer a free insurance coverage check to help you determine whether your health insurance covers the cost of treatment.

Begin your recovery with our medical detox program. Access medications and 24/7 care to make the withdrawal process safer and more comfortable. After about a week, you’ll love into ongoing inpatient treatment.

All alcohol addictions are unique, so treatment programs are personalized. Therapies include:

For alcohol addiction treatment covered by insurance, call our recovery experts at 800-994-2184.

Want to learn more?

Recent Articles

Begin your journey
to recovery.

Get evidence-based treatment in a peaceful location, with a
team of dedicated, expert staff. 
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on Email
Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
an image of clients representing drug detox california

Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
Gratitude Lodge clients laughing, representing drug detox california

Psychotherapy

An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
woman at beach representing drug detox in california

Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
an image of a client and therapist at Gratitude Lodge's Long Beach addiction treatment center

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
an image of clients outside after getting help at Gratitude Lodge's rehab in Long Beach, California

Sober Living

Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
an image of clients at Gratitude Lodge's drug rehab program

Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
An image of clients going through inpatient substance abuse treatment

Inpatient
Treatment

Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
an image of clients at clients at Gratitude Lodge's representing fear in recovery

Drug & Alcohol Detox

A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.