We asked people in our small and therefore deeply unscientific survey about how they cut back or quit drinking, and they gave us some interesting answers.
Here’s what we learned from the results:
You need to go beyond just changing your drinking. 44% of those who successfully quit or cut back started a new fitness routine, and 44% found new hobbies to keep themselves from getting bored. Some also talked about waking up earlier, just as a way of making it harder to drink. But the point is that it’s rarely enough to simply stop drinking. You need to address the reasons you wanted to drink in the first place, which may require some life changes. And you need to find new ways to cope with life’s inevitable stresses.
A lot of people found it helped to simply avoid their triggers. 44% didn’t go to places they thought might tempt them to drink, and 36% got rid of all the alcohol in their houses. It doesn’t help to change your mind about drinking, but it helps introduce some friction between you and the booze. You have to go out of your way to drink.
Many people (about 24%) joined some kind of support group. These ranged from AA to church groups to making new friends to joining Reddit communities. You don’t necessarily need support specific to sobriety, but you do need a strong support network that’s ok with you not drinking.
Different strategies worked for different people. The diversity helps to convince us that there’s not just one way to quit or cut back, that the path to success depends on what help you need. That’s why we ask so many questions at the beginning of the Drinker’s Helper app, to personalize your experience so you get the right exercises in your Program and the right Matches in your Group.
We hope you are successful in your desire to cut back or quit drinking, and we’d love to help. We provide a support group, a program of motivational exercises, a drink tracker and insights into your drinking to help you along the way. Try it out free for a week in the Drinker’s Helper app.