Lockdown Home Drinking: 4. How to cut back

16 April 2020 Posted by

In the checklist within the Drinksmeter, the AUDIT tool, a score of 8 to 15 is defined as Increasing Risk.

This would cover anyone drinking above the 14 unit per week guidelines, and could represent up to a third of all people who drink alcohol.

Within that range, some people are drinking just a bit too much, and could do with cutting back a little and then monitoring their drinking to make sure they can keep it within safe levels. Again, the Drinksmeter is the perfect tool for doing this.

Other people may be drinking rather more, perhaps even without realising until they do this type of self-monitoring process, and then they may find that reducing their drinking is more of a challenge than they expected.

This means that you could find that you might be in one of these categories:

  1. Someone whose drinking is under control within the healthy guidelines;
  2. Someone drinking above the recommended limit, but who can carefully bring it down a little on their own;
  3. Someone drinking above the recommended limit, but who then tries to reduce and finds it difficult; or
  4. Someone who is drinking at more risky levels, and who needs advice or support to carefully and safely reduce their drinking.

The only way to work out where you sit within that range is to keep a record of what you are drinking, to see what that means in terms of units of alcohol and risk levels, and then to set a reduced level you feel you can achieve and try it to see how it goes.

All of those processes are covered in the Drinksmeter app. At this lockdown moment, when getting out to see and talk to someone about your drinking is impossible, the Drinksmeter is a perfect self-monitoring tool. For most people it’s all that’s needed, but if you find you need to talk to someone for advice, the right contact details are within the app, based on the region where you live.

If you do find that the amount you’re drinking is higher than you expected, and puts you in the Increasing risk range, a sensible approach is to reduce slowly. If you regularly drink 30 units per week – for example about 12 to 15 cans of cider, or above 3 bottles of wine – to suddenly go ‘dry’ might sound a good goal, but could be more difficult for you than reducing what you drink by a manageable amount over a few weeks.

If even that is a problem, then the contacts listed in the Drinksmeter can give you good advice. However, for most people, if you reduce slowly, it will help to make it manageable and safe.

The next in this series will cover what to do if you realise you are in the Higher Risk drinking category.

At this lockdown moment, when getting out to see and talk to someone about your drinking is impossible, the Drinksmeter is a perfect self-monitoring tool. For most people it’s all that’s needed, but if you find you need to talk to someone for advice, the right contact details are within the app, based on the region where you live.

If you have any comments, questions, problems or feedback, please email us at daat@cornwall.gov.uk

 

 

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