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Self-help for problem drinking

If you are finding it hard to control your drinking, if drinking is causing problems in your life or you think you may be dependent on alcohol, you may be thinking of trying to control your drinking or stopping.

You can do it

You may not believe you can change your drinking pattern, especially if you have tried and failed before.

With the right motivation and support, change is possible for anyone - many thousands of people succeed every year.

Do I need professional help?

Not everyone needs professional help to change their drinking, but the support and advice of a GP, counsellor or an alcohol support service can make things easier for some people.

If you’re not sure, talk to your GP or local alcohol service, and they can advise you. You can also read more about the different types of help and what to expect from treatment.

If you get physical withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink, you will probably need medication and professional advice.

your drinking - worried about your drinking - self help1

What you can do

1. Decide how you really feel about your drinking pattern
  • Do you need to change? Think about the effects alcohol is having on your life 
  • Do you want to change? Benefits of staying the same or making a change
  • Do you believe you can change? Are you ready? What's making it hard?

See our section Think about change, for ways to answer these questions.

2. Prepare for change, if you feel you're ready
  • Decide if you want to cut down or quit
  • Make a plan
  • Stay positive
  • Plan for danger times and triggers

Read more: Plan for change

3. Make a change
  • Cope with cravings and urges
  • How to handle a relapse

Read more: Making the change

4. Find help and support
  • Help from family and friends
  • Help from people in the same situation
  • Professional help

Read more: Getting support

5. Keep the change going
  • Keep fighting temptation
  • Enjoy your successes 
  • Build a new life

Read more: Keeping the change going

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Where to get help

Find your nearest support group, by selecting your county below