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Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

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Quick Tips: Cutting Back On Drinking - Get started

Experts say that for the best health, men should have no more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day. And women should have no more than 1 drink a day.

Tips about changing your habits

  • Know your reasons. Write down your reasons for wanting to cut back (for example, to lower blood pressure or to lose weight). You're more likely to be successful if you know exactly why you want to change.
  • Set some specific goals. You're not as likely to be successful if your goal is just to "drink less." Have a long-term goal, like lowering your blood pressure or losing weight. And set some short-term goals that will get you there, like having "no-drink" days.
  • Have a plan for dealing with barriers. Expect slip-ups. When you have one, think about what led to it. You can use this information to avoid a similar result next time.
  • Get support. Changing habits is usually easier when you get support from friends and family. Tell them what you're trying to do, and ask them to help.
  • Reward yourself. Plan to treat yourself every time you reach one of your goals. It could be a night at the movies, a new pair of shoes, or just some quiet time to yourself.
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