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How to Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Updated on April 25, 2017
Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah has several alcoholic relatives and became active in Al-anon, for families of alcoholics, over 36 years ago, often helping others.

It is Possible to Have a Good Time While Enjoying a Moderate Amount of Alcohol

With a little self-control, most people can learn to moderate their drinking.  If you will be out for the evening, alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and adding food, will keep you from over-indulging.
With a little self-control, most people can learn to moderate their drinking. If you will be out for the evening, alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and adding food, will keep you from over-indulging. | Source

How to Prevent Excessive Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages

There are many people who may not feel that they are alcoholics, but they realize that they have a periodic drinking problem. They may be able to go weeks or longer without overindulging in alcohol. However, whenever the annual company picnic, Christmas party season or New Years Eve rolls around, they consistently embarrass themselves by drinking too much, talking too loudly, or generally acting foolish. Whenever these special occasions arise, they may secretly cringe, fearful of repeating past mistakes.

No one wants to feel humiliated the next time they see their friends, family or co-workers. No one wants to suffer from a miserable hangover the day after a party. If you have trouble sticking with a comfortable limit on your alcohol consumption at parties and weddings, the suggestions listed below may help.

Stop Drinking on an Empty Stomach

The first thing you can do to keep from over-indulging with alcohol is to start out with a full stomach. Before you leave the house, eat some food that includes a protein and a starch. A roast beef or turkey sandwich would do a lot to fill your stomach and a small meal like this will lessen the chance that you will get drunk too easily. Continue to eat during the evening. Food slows the absorption of alcohol into your system.

In addition, make sure you also drink a large glass or two of water, tea or a similar non-alcoholic beverage before you leave home. Continue drinking these non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening. If you do this, you will not arrive at the party feeling thirsty. In addition, you are less likely to drink too much because you are becoming dehydrated. Many people do not realize that the the combination of alcoholic beverages with salty snack foods like chips or processes meats can cause them to feel thirsty. This, in turn, may cause them to drink even more alcoholic beverages. Stop the cycle by being sure to stay hydrated with water.

Moderate your Alcohol Consumption

If you do not usually have a problem with alcohol, you should have no trouble limiting the amount that you will drink during the evening. If you are not hungry or thirsty, you should be able to slowly slip one or two drinks during the evening, and not feel the urge to gulp them down.

Take it slow. Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and sip whatever you are drinking. Don't stand next to the bar where it is easy to keep getting refills. Find a place to sit down, relax and socialize away from the food and drinks. If you get involved in an interesting conversation, you are less likely to keep running to the bar to refill your glass.

Enjoy Some Non-Alcoholic Beverages

As mentioned before, another good technique is to alternate your alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones. After your first cocktail or glass of wine, ask for a glass of water, juice or soda and slowly sip it.This is your best bet for avoiding either an embarrassing situation or a hangover the next day!

Most people will not even notice that you have made the switch to a non-alcoholic drink. If they do, only the alcoholics will care!

Pay close attention to people who are too hard to get you to drink. After my husband developed some medical issues that made it dangerous for him to drink alcohol, he had some people get really aggressive about getting him to drink ... even trying to pour alcohol into his non-alcoholic drink! Obviously, people who engage in this type of behavior have a serious problem!

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You Can Turn Down Alcoholic Drinks

Remember that you really don't have to drink any alcoholic beverages at all. That is your right. Don’t be afraid to say “No, thanks” to the offer of a drink. If it makes you uncomfortable, you can always use an excuse such as “I’m driving,” “I think I’m coming down with a virus,” or “I’m on a medication that I shouldn’t mix with alcohol.” However, even if you can’t think of an excuse, there is no reason why you cannot simply say “No!”

If these suggestions don’t seem to be helping you to cut down on your drinking, and you discover that your tendency to drink too much happens more than just a few times a year, you may have a more serious problem. If so, you may want to contact Alcoholics Anonymous for greater assistance. Meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are held around the world nearly every night of the week. They have a successful program that has helped people stop drinking for more than half a century. They can help you end your problems with drinking, too!


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    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      Many people can learn to moderate their drinking. Other people have to give it up entirely. This summer is a good time to learn which category you are in!

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      It amazes me how aggressive people can be about pressuring the people around them to drink. I hope these suggestions will empower some people to stand up and control their alcohol consumption.

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 3 years ago

      This is a great and useful article. Sometimes it can be very hard to have will power around certain people pushing you to drink, I like the idea of drinking non alcoholic beverages in between.Voted up

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      With football season and the winter holidays coming up, many people find themselves drinking far more than they had intended. This article will help you reign things in.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you, Au fait. I would love to see a year when we didn't have any alcohol related deaths on New Year's Eve. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Wonderful suggestions here for people who have trouble managing their alcohol intake and who need some ideas on how to get their drinking under control. I hope as many as possible will read this and make good use of these good ways of controlling their drinking tomorrow night.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      An important article that can be helpful to people anytime, but the holidays are an especially difficult time to control drinking with so many parties and celebrations that include alcohol underway. I hope people who need to read this will find it and get the help they need. Sharing.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Actually, signing karaoke naked is a lot of fun, so long as the other the people around you are naked as well (referring to a previous comment); I started doing that when I was three years sober.

      Great advice for the non-alcoholic, for sure. If fact, alcoholics could actually follow some of the preparatory advice to good advantage. We might even be able incorporate some of the "during party" advice as well, although that is more problematic.

      You see, the difference between an alcoholic and a heavy drinker is the point of going to a party is to, for the alcoholic, consume alcohol; the heavy drinker goes to party and ends up making a fool of themselves in the process. With the alcoholic, it is a compulsion, with the heavy drinker, it is not.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great tips to avoid over-indulging during the holidays. Very hpful. I like the one about not drinking when hungry or thirsty. Thanks!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      It's that time of year when there are lots of opportunities to celebrate with alcohol. Christmas is just 2 weeks from today and some people are going to be making the rounds to all the parties at their office and their friends and relatives homes. This article could be a big help to them in learning ways to celebrate and enjoy the holidays in other ways besides drinking. They will have a better time and their minds will be clearer, their memories sharper. Sharing this again in hopes it will help someone make important changes in their life . . .

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you so much! This is the time of year when alcohol consumption increases dramatically!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      With the holiday season upon us, there will be lots of opportunities for people to drink to excess as well as over and above their usual consumption -- which may already be too much.

      Sharing again in case someone may see this who needs this help right now or who knows someone who does.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Going to share this again in case someone out their may see it and find the help they need. Sometimes people let something that really isn't good for them become to important in their life. Sometimes it even takes over their life and starts controlling that life and calling the shots (addiction). You never know what will happen that can make a difference for the better in someone's life. This article may be just what someone needs right now.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Good information that will hopefully help someone who needs it, or better yet, before they get in a position where they need it.

      I've always said that one needs to keep control of themselves and not let 'things' take control. Some people are actually predisposed through genetics to be alcoholic. If they know that, then it makes sense to be careful with alcohol.

      One way a person might suspect s/he may be predisposed to alcoholism is if they have a parent or grandparent who is/was an alcoholic. That doesn't mean they are predisposed to it, but they are more likely to be predisposed than someone who does not have alcoholism in their family.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thanks for reading my article. I know it isn't always easy for people to control their drinking, but it is an important part of behaving like an adult!

    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 4 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Very true!

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      This article is particularly timely just after a holiday weekend, such as the Memorial Day weekend. So many people end up drinking more than they intended, and definitely more than they should. As a society, people need to learn how to get better control of their drinking, or stop entirely.

    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 4 years ago from Orlando, Florida


    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Moonlake, thank you for sharing your story about your sister-in-law's husband. Most people do know when someone is an alcoholic, even when they think they are keeping it a secret.

      JCressler, you are so right that these tips for reducing alcohol consumption will only work if the person is not an alcoholic. If they are addicted to alcohol, they should not drink at all ... ever. If they have trouble stopping,, AA is one of the best places for them to get help.

    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 5 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I'm sure all these great suggestions would work if one great fact isn't in play: Their an earth person - none alcoholic.

      If the person is alcoholic no amount of planning, promising, and choosing will matter....intoxication results.

      The alcoholic can never safely drink as the first one is too many and the twelfth is never enough.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      I don't drink but I know these are good suggestion that I wish many people I know would use. My sister-in-law came to our house one day carrying a box full of alcohol, all of the alcohol from her house. She let us know she was sick of her husband's drinking. She was shocked that we knew he was an alcoholic for some odd reason she thought no one knew. He was a quiet alcoholic went to his job each day never loud but we saw the many shots of brandy he took. He would say he was going to the kitchen for a drink of water but would take a shot instead. He stopped for awhile. She's gone now and he's drinking again. Voted up.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you so much for your comments. I agree that life is complicated enough without adding alcohol to the mix. You said it well!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      All great suggestions! Personally, I've had no alcohol since New Year's Eve 1987/88. No special reason other than I just don't care about it and I don't feel the need to drink just because other people think I should. If I wanted a drink tonight, I would have it, but I haven't missed alcohol at all. I never did drink it much anyway, so now that I'm comfortable saying no thank you, it's just not a part of my life at all. I don't think that makes me better than anyone else, but I'm so glad it's not an issue for me. Life is complicated enough without adding alcohol to the mix. I really hope these suggestions you have listed here will help be helpful to people.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      You are absolutely right. When people reach the point where they realize the cannot cut back on their drinking, even when they want to, it is time for them to contact Alcoholics Anonymous or go into an alcohol rehabilitation facility.

    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 5 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Good article and thanks for sharing you opinions. I suppose for the beginner those suggestions would work, however for the problem-alcoholic drinker these are but a list of humorous antidotes. The only moderation and control going on is how much alcohol is controlling the drinker on their way to oblivion!

    • special4k profile image

      special4k 6 years ago from Texas

      Very, very useful advice Deborah. I have used them all and appreciate your candor. Voted up!

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      There are two dangerous words spoken, particularly at weddings. "Open bar." They always seem to get me. Something about a man and free beer. :)

      Very sound advise here, and my wife will be happy I read it. She will be even happier if I implement some of what I've read.

      At least I CAN say that I don't usually wind up on top of tables, nude, singing karaoke, or making awful Austin Powers impressions...

      At least not that I can remember...

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is all very good advice. It is true that this type of drinker usually does not think he or she has a problem. However, it can be an issue in certain situations, especially work functions. Voted up!

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      You make a good point. When our daughters were high school exchange students in France, they drank watered down wine with their meals. Very common there!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You know I know most people would think it was just awful but my dad use to buy rock and rye, sherry, just tasty drinks and let us taste them (me and 4 younger brothers) and if we were sick with a cold he gave us a tiny hot toddy which was whiskey, hot water, honey and ginger and there is none of us with a drinking problem and I have absolutely no desire for any of it. Just wonder if it weren't hid back or forbidden to look like such a temptation would it possible be better? Of course with alcoholic parents i couldn't really say since Mom didn't drink and Dad didn't but maybe once or twice a month.

    • profile image 6 years ago

      One of the 'tricks' I use is ask for water with a slice of lime - no one thinks about drinking water that way at a cocktail party - so 'drink' and enjoy!

      rated up


    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I don't like drinking. I love fruit juice than alcohol. Thanks for share this tips. Very useful for us. Peace, prasetio

    • lovesleftovers profile image

      lovesleftovers 6 years ago from Texas

      You give some great advice Diane. Coming from an alcoholic home I can relate. Informative advice :)

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Excellent advice, Deborah. I am sure it will be of considerable practical use to a great many people. I would love to say that I have never fallen in to the traps you describe how to guard against... :)


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