Welcome to our online peer support community. Connect with others making change in their alcohol and other drug use. Join our online community today.
  • Connect, be inspired, motivate others. Share your experience & strategies.
  • Safe. Anonymous. Professionally moderated. Free of judgement.
  • Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in Australia. Join this forum to discuss issues and find support relating to alcohol use and recovery.
    Blare C
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2022 6:26 pm

    Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Sun Dec 11, 2022 6:48 pm


    I am wanting to reduce my alcohol intake gradually, I was two bottles of white wine a night, every night, now for a few months it is only 1 bottle weeknights and 2 on the weekend when I am not working.

    I am ready for the next stage of reducing my intake, but I am terrified of any of the negative side effects if reducing too quickly, ie anxiousness, sweatiness, etc when at work, so I would much prefer to take a more gradual approach instead of cutting off at once where I could have negative side effects.

    I have been looking but cannot find much information, is there any recommendations on the amount and time period for reducing intake gradually ?

    Also, what I am stumbling on is say reducing to 3/4 of a bottle, then leaving the other 1/4 of a bottle for tomorrow night will probably to be honest not be successful.

    Has anyone any advice on reducing gradually, and also what do you do instead at that time between 6 ~ 9 at night which normally seems to be drinking time.


    1 x
    Community Builder
    Posts: 297
    Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:33 am

    Re: Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Mon Dec 12, 2022 9:03 am

    Hi @Blare C,
    Welcome to the Forums and thank you so much for sharing.
    You are doing great in cutting down the amount of drinks, from two bottles a day to 3 bottles a week! Well done!
    And this it is a good way to reduce the withdrawal symptoms.
    One thing that might help you in cutting down is to mix the wine with some other drinks like soft drinks or juice. This way you are drinking the same amount of liquid but with less alcohol in them. I have also tagged our peer workers here to see if they have some strategies that you can have a try, @PnorkelPW & @ScorpionPW.
    If you are looking for any other support to help you in this journey, please don't hesitate to let us know by tagging myself or @Lhiver.
    0 x
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 836
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Mon Dec 12, 2022 9:54 pm

    Welcome to the forums @Blare C……….thanks for sharing with us.

    I gotta agree with @sunflower and say congratulations on cutting down the way you have. That is not an easy thing to do and something I was never able to maintain. Can I start by asking how you’ve managed to cut down?

    Cutting down your alcohol intake is not only difficult, it can be dangerous and there is a risk of seizures. I went through a few dangerous withdrawals at home by myself without knowing the dangers and was lucky nothing bad happened. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. What I would recommend is to go and have a chat to your GP before progressing to the next stage so they can assist you to safely cut down from here. They can talk to you about things to be careful of and maybe even help with some medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms and help you to sleep.

    I’d also recommend making an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor so that you can work on strategies together. Some things work and some don’t. Having someone to talk through the reasons strategies do and don’t work can be invaluable in trying to find out what does work for you. Different approaches work for different people so be prepared that this could take some time. If you, your GP, and a drug and alcohol counsellor are working together it will really help.

    It’s great that you’ve identified those hours between 6pm – 9pm as the danger hours for you. My danger hour was 4.30pm and for a long time I’d get strong cravings………sometimes I still do and it’s important for me to recognise that. I’d be trying to keep busy at 6pm. Changing my routines at that time. Maybe you could go for a walk each night at 6pm and then come home and cook dinner. Try cooking new foods or menus and putting off that first drink until after dinner. Do you play any sports that you could do midweek or on weekends? How about going to the gym or swimming or something else after work? Is there any other activity you’ve stopped doing that you could take up again? It’s all about delaying that first drink.

    Leaving alcohol for the next night was never something I could do. It took me a long time to come to the conclusion that if I opened it, I was going to drink it. I hope you’re able to find a way to do it and that’s something that would be good to work on with a drug and alcohol counsellor. Something else you could try is buying 375ml bottles of wine?? Or trying a different drink that comes in cans or stubbies??

    2 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2022 3:25 pm

    Re: Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Mon Dec 19, 2022 3:47 pm

    Hi team my name is Deano and I am looking for support to reduce my alcohol intake. I have read all the posts and thank you PnorklelPW. Your post was awesome. I think everyone can take a lot from that.
    Approx 6 months ago I was drinking approx 10 wild turkey cans a night which totals 24 standard drinks. I use to get sever gout and wake up feeling shithouse. I have since changed to bottles mixed with no sugar coke. I still consume about the same amount of alcohol but without the pre mixed sugar I am waking up a hell of a lot clearer, better and no gout and even want to get out of bed at 5 in the morning to start the day instead of feeling like shit and the world sucks.

    I have recently lost my licence for drink driving and therefore my job. In addition my wife and I split early this year We sold our house at the same time I lost my licence. I had a pretty shitty year. I think alcohol has some part to play in this and I would like to change my ways.

    I have just purchased a new unit which is very run down. I think this will be a new beginning for me and give me something to look forward to and achieve. I am a carpenter by trade so this is right up my alley.

    Sorry about the rant I am new to this type of thing and just reaching out.

    Thanks for listening.

    Deano over and out.
    1 x
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 836
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Mon Dec 19, 2022 9:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing @Deano82...……..it’s not easy to open up, thanks for your honesty. I wouldn’t say your share was a rant at all, it was just an honest account of where you’re at right now and that’s what the forums are for. No-one can help if we don’t tell them exactly what’s happening and it’s also by sharing honestly that other people identify and get help themselves.

    What have you tried to reduce your alcohol intake? What’s worked and what hasn’t?

    Something that may help now that you’ve got your unit is to start the renovations. Maybe doing a bit when you get home each night and not drinking until after you finish could help? Who knows, you might even end up just going straight to bed some nights because it’ll be too late to have a drink? I haven’t had a drink in a few years now but there are times when I think about it. I ask myself the question of what the purpose of the drink is. I’m not going to have just one or two so I wonder what the point will be. Maybe if it gets late enough you can ask yourself what the point of a drink will be and you might start to have a couple of alcohol free nights?

    Even just setting a goal of one or two alcohol free nights per week could show you that you can or can’t do it. Have you thought about seeing a drug and alcohol counsellor to help you set some goals and work out some strategies?

    You’ve had a rough year with the loss of your marriage and license. They’re massive events so getting through that shows real strength. Realising the effects of alcohol on the outcome of these events is a big step too. Admitting that is a big deal and by doing so you can start to work on solutions. I know I just got sick of waking up with the regret each day. The guilt, shame, and remorse. I realised that alcohol was just making all my problems worse and nothing was being solved by drinking. It just took me way too long to do something about it.

    Let me know if I can answer any questions or provide support at all. Just put the @ in front of my name so I get tagged and can respond.

    Thanks again for sharing.
    0 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 1:40 pm

    Re: Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:09 pm

    @Deano82 , thanks for sharing your struggle. I have found it hard to limit how much I drink once I start, so aiming for an alcohol free night was a slightly more successful approach but still hard to do after long-term daily use. I hate how much money I’ve wasted, so something that I’ve done recently is start tracking my spending on alcohol. I looked at my online statements for the last 6 months and worked out the average amount I spent in a week. I then put that into a calendar for this year. It adds up to thousands of dollars in a year. If the average is $200 a week - I try to come in as far below $200 as I can each week. It’s setting a goal as money instead of alcohol which seems to help switch off the time spent thinking about not drinking.
    0 x
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 751
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Thu Feb 02, 2023 9:48 pm

    Hi @Schu70,

    Thanks for sharing with us, it's great to hear you've found a strategy that is helping you reduce your drinking a bit.

    I remember going through so many periods of time where I would try and manage/reduce/contain my substance use and there were times where I could keep it up for a period of time but I would always eventually end up falling back into the same habits.

    It took me a long time of doing this to realise I couldn't control my using or drinking at all. I'm wondering if you've heard of SMART Recovery?

    It's a peer support group where you can set weekly goals around your substance use in a peer supported environment and see how you go with making some change but it's a way of not doing it alone. Sometimes a period of trial and error, figuring out whether we can or can't control what we do can help to make things clear about what approach we need to take.

    It would be great to hear how you're going on the journey so far and how you're going now :)
    0 x
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 836
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Reducing alcohol intake gradually

    Sun Mar 19, 2023 8:08 pm

    I really like this @Schu70 ………….it’s a pretty scary exercise to do but a smart way to look at things. Thinking of alcohol as money reminds me of when I was quitting smoking. Every time I stood on a ciggie when it was finished I imagined I was standing on a dollar coin – the approximate cost of a cigarette at that stage. I hated that I was leaving dollar coins on the ground all day.

    When I looked back at how much money I spent on drugs and alcohol I was astounded. It could have been deposits on houses, round the world holidays, cars, maybe a boat – I’ve always wanted a boat - taking extended time off work to travel for months at a time, exploring new hobbies buying all the latest equipment, exploring new hobbies just because I could, or any number of things I can think of. Something else to consider is not just the money but the time. I wasted so much time either drinking and drugging and then there was the wasted time being hungover, coming down, and generally feeling like crap. It wasn’t just the night out where time was wasted but the whole next day. I wasted years that way. I cancelled plans all the time and didn’t do the things I said I was going to. That had a cost in the end too.

    But back to the money thing. It’s a great way to keep yourself accountable and an even better way to open your eyes to the extent of your drinking. It’s not cheap to go out and drink these days, I hate to think how much it would cost me if I was still drinking. Have you set nights for your spending budget? Use all of it in one go or spread it out over multiple nights per week?

    Setting goals for the money can be another way to stay accountable. What are your plans for all the money you’ll save?
    0 x

    Return to “Alcohol”