Stopping Drinking Alcohol


It’s the age old question, should I stop drinking?  It has been asked for as long as I can remember, everybody has this thought after a heavy night on the beer.  Hangovers are seen to many as a joke worth going through just so you could have a night out before it.  But did you really need the alcohol to have the night out in the first place?


You don’t actually have to have a drink to have a good time… I'm sure this is a song or was it something about not having to take your clothes off to have a good time? I forget.  But I can tell you that you certainly don’t have to drink alcohol to have a good time from my experience.

Many of the negatives of alcohol only become apparent once you give up.  I am so much more productive now since I stopped drinking, for starters, I would not have the knowledge or inclination to be writing this article on a Saturday morning before 12 o’clock in the afternoon if id have been drinking the night before.  

Many of the negatives of alcohol only become apparent once you give up.  I am so much more productive now since I stopped drinking, for starters, I would not have the knowledge or inclination to be writing this article on a Saturday morning before 12 o’clock in the afternoon if id have been drinking the night before.  

Now with my sober head, I feel able to tackle great problems like how to convert my video files on my stop drinking course to a format which is not going to drain all my bandwidth on my server.  I can single handily get an entire website up and running using WordPress and figure out all the stope needed to get it working correctly. 

If I was my old self, trying to learn new things, id get frustrated rather quickly if I had alcohol in my system, or if I was suffering from a hangover from the night before.  There is no way id have the time to attack a new course on how to lose weight if I was still attacking the booze.

Now, this is not to say that I have stopped going out and just sit at home every day working.  Nor do I constantly hit the gym whenever I feel like I should be sat with my friends drinking up to 7 pints of beer every weekend.  There is time to go out and meet friends, weather that be for a nice meal in a pub, or just hanging out at their house having a cup of tea.

Most of my friends in the UK are now in steady relationships, so going out every night is no longer a possibility or a need.  They have children to take care of, jobs to hold down and with age, comes a lack of interest in hanging around the bars.  But why do they continue to drink at home?

I think the main reason is to escape reality each day.  It’s a never ending circle of living each day and then downing a few drinks to forget how boring that day actually was.  I remember when I would go through this pattern myself, it was normally at weekends.  I would work all week in a normal office job, and be ready, so ready to hit the bars on the weekend.  

Now I have discovered a new life without having to do this, I feel fresh each day I wake up and no longer have anxiety from the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.  The feeling I got from not going out was like some kind of FOMO (fear of missing out).  It was the alcohol giving me this feeling, or the lack of alcohol.  The drink itself makes me think I need it to have a good time, when in reality, I really don’t.

Many of my friends have decided to quit drinking in the lockdown periods.  These are the friends who would only go to bars and clubs, but now are forced to stay at home.  I have encouraged them to not drink at home, and many have decided to take that advice.

Here are a few of the tips I have been passing on to my friends to help them stop drinking.

Write down some reminders

If you are often thinking of drinking, take some time to write down reminders of how you are feeling when you are hungover and place them around your home.  When you are feeling at the lowest of lows, sweating in bed, and can see no way out, then this is a great time to write down how you feel.

I remember feeling of not even wanting anybody to contact me on my mobile phone via a message.  It would send feelings of anxiety through my body if I as much as got a notification that I had a message.  What would it say? Would they want me to meet up with them to start drinking again?! I was not ready for this and I even decided to just turn my phone off to avoid these messages.

Set a drinking goal.

It may not be possible for you to set goals then it comes to drinking, but its something you could try if you are not quite ready to give up yet.  Can you set a goal of only having the recommended government level of alcohol? It sounds crazy to you now, as you will be thinking that just 1 small glass of a wine a night is a waste of time, and you need at least half a bottle to get you where you want to be.  But the guidelines are there for a reason and seeing if you can stick to them could be something you could try and attain.

Keep a diary of your drinking

I used to drink in a bar where I had a tab.  If I was not getting a tab, then it would have been really difficult to know exactly how many drinks I had drank.  Would it be possible for you to monitor your drinking for a week or two?  If you can track them on your debit (maybe pay for the wine in a separate transaction at the supermarket) card, then this could be one way of tracking your drinking.

It might be rather difficult to write down how much you are drinking each day if you are paying by cash as once you have drank a few, you are going to lose count.  This is why I suggest using a debit card to track how much you are spending on alcohol.

It was a frightening experience going to the bar for me, the next day to settle up my bill.  It just showed me how much I was drinking, and it scared me because I knew how much damage I was doing to my health and waist line.


Drink slowly

Try mixing non alcoholic drinks into your alcoholic drinks.  For example, you can add lemonade to your beer, of soda to your wine.  This method is going to help you drink more slowly than your friends.  

If you are drinking in rounds, then doing this method is a good method to control your drinking.  You will still be enjoying a night out with your friends, but you will be drinking less and less.  You can even make sure you just drink a completely alcohol free drink on occasion to.

The aim here is to reduce you alcohol intake so much that you don’t actually end up getting drunk.  The solution is to completely stop drinking alcohol, but this is more of a tapering method which slowly reduces the amount you drink and gets your body used to the fact.

Choose alcohol-free days

I would have many alcohol free days with I was still drinking alcohol.  They were generally down to the fact that I had over indulged for several days in a row and now felt terrible.  I would go days without having a drink, and eventually you feel great again, and when you feel great, you think it’s a great idea to have a beer!  Alcohol is a sneaky drug, and it can make you think you are having a great time until you stop using it for a few hours.

Quitting alcohol completely is really the way to go, but giving yourself a time period of a few days of alcohol free living is also quite refreshing.  You will be feeling great and like you can achieve anything, and you could have this feeling always if you decided to not restart drinking after your time off.

Watch for peer pressure

Your friends are really going to be very interested in why you are not drinking!  If you are female, then they are going to consider the fact that you are pregnant.

If you are male, then they are going to think that something is seriously wrong with you, or that you are being boring.  Don’t let them force you into drinking, they will understand if you tell them that you feel better not drinking and stop asking you if you don’t ‘just want one’ drink.

Consider Medication

If you are seriously craving alcohol, then you could go and see your doctor.  Maybe just trying to stop drinking on our own without medication is not working for you?  Have you tried following any courses or joined any groups before you consider taking medication though?

I would recommend using medication as a last resort as if you really are having problems giving up after doing a course and joining groups, then you maybe an option could be using a medication which blocks opioid receptors.  

Drink Fruit and herb-infused water

My fridge is stacked full of non alcoholic drink alternatives.  I have alcohol free beer in there, which is also 0 calorie.  It still tastes like a real beer, but does nothing for me other than the taste, it even looks like a beer when you pour it into the glass.  So I can say for sure that I actually do like the taste of beer.

A lot of people will scoff at the idea of drinking a beer with no alcohol, but just ignore them, if you like the taste then go ahead.  I can not drink diet coke all day long, so for me, and usually at nigh time, I like to have a few non alcoholic beers.

You might want to try some tea as well, or herb-infused water.  You could even go for a drink which promotes sleep if its late at night, such as warm milk or decaffeinated green tea.

Write out a plan for each evening

A great way to avoid having a slip up with alcohol if you are trying to quit would be to make and entire plan for you day and stick to it.  If you give yourself an action or activity that you should be doing for each hour of the day, then you wont have the time to start drinking.  

Its important to make sure the evenings are completed as well as this is when most people tend to want to drink.  So give yourself plenty of things to do at night time and especially weekends.


Make sure you fill in your time slots to avoid drinking by creating a plan. 

Have different drinks in the fridge 

Think about medication if all else fails

Ask your friends to accept the fact you are giving up drinking

Try not drinking one day a week every week

Drink more slowly

Set goals when it comes to drinking

Write down reminders around the house