Strategies for drinking less out and about

How to do it:

  • Use the smartphone version of the MyDrinkAware drink tracking tool.
  • Ditch the rounds. Rounds encourage you to drink at the speed of the fastest drinker, which means you could be drinking far more than you really want.
  • Ask for a small glass of wine. A 125ml glass is around one and a half units of alcohol.
  • Drink spritzers if you like wine, or pints of shandy if you’re a lager drinker. You’ll still get a large drink, but one that contains less alcohol.
  • Opt for half pints if you prefer higher strength lager or try lower strength beer. You really won’t notice the difference.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks.
  • Ask questions. If you are still uncertain about how much you are drinking, ask the bar staff. Do they pour doubles or singles? How big is their large glass of wine?

Is there any help out there?

The good news is that there is lots of help available for people who want to address their drinking.  Where you live will determine what NHS and other services, maybe run by charities or social workers, are available.  Often you can self-refer to these, but if you do need to be referred your GP will be able to do this.

Other useful resources are:

Alcoholics Anonymous UK – 0845 769 7555

This organisation has a long history of helping people to stop drinking and research has shown that attending AA meetings is very effective in helping people to stop drinking. If you live in a town or city there will almost certainly be an AA group near you.

Drinkline – 0800 917 8282- is a free national advice helpline for people with alcohol problems and anyone concerned about alcohol misuse.

DrinkAware – Provides information and resources on alcohol, the dangers of drinking and tips to cut down intake.

Alcohol and You Self Help Guide – On the website of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, a wide range of self help leaflets is offered. This one contains information on alcohol use, problems associated with it and ways to control your drinking.