Cut down or quit?

What am I going to do?

If you can't decide whether to cut down or quit 
Good reasons to drink in moderation
Drinking in moderation: factors for success
Test yourself 

If you can't decide whether to cut down or quit

You have a number of choices open to you. You may wish to:

  • quit drinking altogether
  • drink less
  • not go back to bingeing
  • quit drinking for a time and then drink moderately
  • first try to drink less, but if that doesn’t work, to stop altogether

Which choice you make is up to you, but it’s important that once you have made a choice you stick by your decision, for it will increase the likelihood that you’ll succeed.

If you’re not sure, you can always sign up for our online therapy programme where you first focus on examining your drinking habits. You don’t have to change immediately. You won’t have to make a decision until you’ve had five sessions with your therapist.

There is no clear-cut answer to the question of whether it’s easier to quit or to cut down drinking. Sometimes it’s simpler to quit altogether for a time, say three months, because that way you break the ingrained habit(s) straight away. Other people however prefer to gradually cut down on the amount they drink. It all depends on the individual. Neither can we automatically say what the best way is. 

Good reasons to drink in moderation

  1. You don’t want to quit drinking altogether, and you think you can maintain a lifestyle in which you only drink moderately.
  2. You want to learn to drink safely and sensibly.
  3. You want to learn to drink in a way that isn’t harmful to you.
  4. The people near and dear to you are confident that you can do this.
  5. Your physical condition permits moderate drinking (i.e. no medical objections).
  6. You’d like to keep drinking in moderation because you like to drink socially and you like the taste.
  7. Your friends also drink in moderation.
  8. You have drunk in moderation for a long period with no problems.
  9. You have only been drinking excessively for a short time (less than 2 years).

Drinking in moderation is often harder than quitting, but sometimes it can be easier. You have to choose what works best for you. You might just try something out for a brief period.
In short: just do it!

Drinking in moderation: chances for success

Several studies have shown that the chances of successfully remaining a moderate drinker are greater if:

  • you are under 40
  • there is no alcoholism in your family
  • you aren’t having withdrawal symptoms and have not had them previously
  • you are female
  • you have had a problem with drinking for less than 10 years
  • you don’t have any major problems in other areas of your life, such as work, finances, family, love life, or finding accommodation
  • you have been a moderate drinker before

The more of these points that apply to you, the better your chances are.

Test yourself

To take an informative test of your alcohol consumption, fill out our alcohol use questionnaire. It will give you a good idea of whether or not you need to take action. 

The questionnaire is for guidance purposes only. You should always seek the advice of your GP if in doubt.