Alcohol Use and Older Adults

Frequently Asked Questions

22. What can I do to cut back on my drinking?

Here are some things you can do to cut back on your drinking.

  • Write down the reasons you want to cut back on drinking.
  • Write down a goal—a limit on how many drinks you will have each day—and put it somewhere easy to see.
  • Keep track of your drinking habits for a week to see if the goal was achieved.
  • Plan alcohol-free days each week.
  • Drink water, juice, or soda instead of liquor.

You can also try the following.

  • Remove alcohol from your home.
  • Sip slowly and eat food when drinking.
  • Say "no thanks" or "I'll have a soda instead" when offered a drink.
  • If tempted to drink, think about the reasons for changing, talk to someone, or get involved with a non-drinking activity.
  • Avoid drinking when angry, upset, or having a bad day.
  • Stay away from people who drink a lot and the places where drinking happens.
  • Use the time and money spent on drinking to do something fun.

See these interactive worksheets to help you decide whether or how to change your drinking pattern.

(Watch the video for tips on cutting back on drinking. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner of the video screen. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)