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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I would like to cut down drinking alcohol. What advice would

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I would like to cut down drinking alcohol. What advice would you give to help me develope a strategy to begin to cut down?
Thank you
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

The most important factor you need to reduce and/or eliminate your drinking you already have- motivation. Without motivation, it is almost impossible to stop using alcohol. That may sound like common sense, but many people try to stop using without feeling all that motivated to do so. The motivation to stop can come from any source- your health, your family etc. But most of all, you need to see that alcohol is hurting you and causing you pain.

If you have tried to stop or cut down before using before and were not successful, you are not alone. It can be very difficult to stop. Alcohol not only becomes a habit to help you cope with life, but your body also becomes addicted. And going against those things alone is not easy. But with help, you can do it.

Support is the biggest factor in reducing your use or quitting successfully. The first step is deciding that you want to cut back or quit, the second is gathering all the support you can to help you reach that goal.

First, talk with your doctor. Let him/her know that you want to reduce or stop using. They can help you explore any medical options that can help you (there are drugs that can help for example). And your doctor can add their own support to you, checking in with you and being sure your health stays good during your withdrawal.

Second, see a counselor. A drug and alcohol counselor is best, XXXXX XXXXX regular counselor with drug and alcohol experience is fine too. You need to explore why you use and how alcohol has affected your life. And you need to find replacement behaviors for alcohol. It can help you have alternatives when you do want to use.

Third, join a group. That can be Alcoholics Anonymous, or just a support group. That can help you become accountable and let you have people to turn to when you need to talk. And having others who understand how you feel can help a lot.

Fourth, read all you can about reducing or quitting alcohol use. The more you know, the more tools you have that can help you, especially when you struggle.

I hope this has helped you,
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