In the first article on social drinking we discussed what social drinking is and when it becomes a problem. In the second part, we discuss how to quit social drinking.
The danger with social drinking, but also alcohol addiction in general, is that it creeps in. Therefore, pay attention to whether your drinking habits have changed. More or less than a year ago? Do you get drunk more often or do you regularly wake up with a hangover? Do more problems arise from a “fun” night out? Or are you addressed about your (drinking) behavior? These are all signs that it is time to take a closer look at your drinking habits.
How to quit social drinking
Quitting social drinking starts with realizing that you don't have to drink to have a good time. It can be difficult to bring up about this if the has become the norm to drink together. Leaving a habit isn't easy, but with the right motivation, you can form new habits and say goodbye to your unhealthy behaviors.
How do you approach that in practice? For example, meet somewhere else than in a bar. Do something active such as bouldering or go karting with a club. And stay positive about your alcohol quit. It will feel strange at first, but that moment will pass. You will find afterward that you don't need alcohol to have a good time.
What if my friends are difficult
Make sure to set your limits in advance. If you make a commitment to quit social drinking, stick with your plan. Think about how you say no, whether you are going to explain everything every time, or whether tonight she just has to settle for "Not today."
When friends pressure you for deciding not to drink, it is often said to be “funny”. But if they persist, you may want to consider whether these people want the best for you. In that case, find out which of your friends are less dependent on booze and try to spend more time with them.
Are non-alcoholic drinks a good alternative?
If you don't drink alcohol, you can still drink non-alcoholic beer or mocktails? Yes, you are not breaking your own rule, but keep in mind that this can also be dangerous. An alcohol-free beer can remind you of a regular lager and be a trigger.
On the other hand, it is also not a good idea to be without a drink. After all, it sometimes happens that an unsolicited round is taken and if you had nothing to drink then that beer suddenly looks good.
Make sure you are provided or that you clearly indicate that you do not drink alcohol. If an alcoholic drink is bought for you, just leave it alone. Once you start having a good night out, you don't really care what you drink at all. You don't need alcohol to have a pleasant evening!
In the third and last part of the social drinking trilogy, we discuss a number of practical tips that can help you have a pleasant evening without alcohol.