Making a plan
If you are thinking about changing your drinking habits - and many people have successfully changed their habits - you may be wondering whether you’ll use less or stop drinking altogether. Read Should I cut down or quit? if you are wondering what might be best for you.
Consider what would work for you or help you most if you decided to change. When people successfully change their habits, they usually follow a simple plan, and choose a goal. We have some information about making a plan, if you would like to read some more about this.
The first step in developing a plan for you often involves keeping a drink diary. This diary can create a picture of how much and how often you drink, and any problems that may be developing.
With your agreement, your counsellor /or trained key worker will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the impact of your drinking on the various areas of your life such as your physical, mental health, family and friendships, work life, hobbies, finances, legal etc.
Remember what you decide now might not be the decision you follow for the rest of your life. You can review your drinking goal regularly. Whatever goal you choose it’s a good idea to talk it over with the person you are closest to or someone else you trust. Identifying & understanding your drinking pattern & consequences will help you to decide what kind of support might be helpful for you. Learning to cut down or control your drinking is a form of harm reduction but generally the more serious the alcohol related consequences, the more likely the need to stop drinking.
What help is available for a person who has a harmful/dependent use of alcohol?
The following methods may be used within a treatment program, either on their own or along with one or more of the other approaches:
- Alcohol education
- Alcohol detoxification
- Counselling group therapy
- Relapse prevention
You may benefit from having a combination of these programmes. You may need a number of appointments to decide on what suits you and to help you to feel confident in your ability to follow the treatment plan.