According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol consumption in the United States. Binge drinking is a common problem in many countries worldwide. Binge drinking is not the same as alcoholism, another common pattern of alcohol misuse, but it has its own set of health and wellness risks. Whether you want to merely cut back on your drinking or quit drinking alcohol altogether, you can learn to plan a series of goals for yourself, put an accountability system in place, and give yourself the best chance for success.
Method One of Four:
Forming a PlanEdit
1Think about how drinking has affected your life. One sign that you have a problem with alcohol is that it’s started to affect areas of your life such as work or school, your personal relationships, or your health. A pattern of drinking that causes these issues is called “alcohol abuse,” and left to go on, it can turn into alcohol dependence, or alcoholism. Ways alcohol can impact your life include:
- Not being able to fulfill responsibilities at school, work, or home
- Feeling unable to do things you enjoy doing because of side effects (hangovers, black outs, etc.)
- Drinking even when your friends don’t, or drinking to feel accepted
- Increased feelings of anxiety or depression
- Getting into unsafe situations because of alcohol (risky sex, driving while intoxicated, etc.)
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after a binge episode, such as difficulty sleeping, nausea, vomiting, sweating, irritability, shakiness, anxiety, or depression
2Examine your drinking habits. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a “pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08g/dL.” For men, this usually takes about 5 drinks (8 alcohol units) in 2 hours. For women, it usually takes 4 drinks (6 alcohol units) in 2 hours. Other warning signs of binge drinking include:
- You tend to drink quickly
- You regularly drink more than the moderate consumption guidelines (1 drink/2-3 alcohol units per day for women, 2 drinks/3-4 alcohol units per day for men)
- You drink to “get drunk”
- You sometimes feel unable to control how much you drink, or you find it hard to stop drinking once you’ve started
- You drink more than you intended to, or you lose track of how much you’ve drunk
- You have developed a tolerance for alcohol so you have to drink more than you once did to feel “buzzed”
3Decide whether or not you need to quit all together. For many people, drinking is an all or nothing kind of deal: one drink is too many and 20 are never enough. If you’ve tried to cut back on your drinking and failed, or if you suspect that you’ll never be able to “just have one,” it might be better to channel your efforts into quitting altogether.
- Alcohol abuse can become alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, especially if the abuse continues long-term.
- If you enjoy drinking socially and want to distance yourself from abusing alcohol, you can learn how to change your relationship with drinking so you can comfortably have a few without going overboard.
4Set clear goals for yourself. Whether you think you simply need to cut back your alcohol consumption or eliminate it entirely, setting clear goals for yourself can help you. Keep these reasonable: remember, significant change doesn’t happen overnight. It can help to set these goals in stages, too.
- If you’ve decided to cut back on alcohol consumption, set yourself days when you will drink, and set aside days when you won’t. For example: “I will drink only on Saturday night and Wednesday afternoon. The other days I won’t drink.”
- Make sure to set a limit on the number of drinks you will have, too. Write it down on a little card and keep it in your wallet or purse. For example: “On Saturday night, I will have no more than 3 beers. On Wednesday afternoon, I will have one cocktail.”
- If you want to quit drinking altogether, set a deadline for yourself. For example: “By July 31, I will not be drinking any alcohol.”
- If you’ve been a heavy drinker, be aware that stopping “cold turkey” can produce dangerous side effects. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, sweating, shakiness, headache, loss of appetite, hallucinations, confusion, seizures, fever, and agitation. “Tapering off” your alcohol use may be easier for you to maintain as you work toward your “no-alcohol” deadline.
- Some studies suggest that drinking a little every day (no more than 1 drink) may reduce your likelihood of bingeing.
5Consult with your doctor. If you believe your drinking is a problem, you should speak with your healthcare provider. Your doctor can help you determine what will be the safest way for you to reduce or stop your drinking. S/he can also refer you to an alcohol specialist, such as a counselor or psychiatrist, if you decide that would be helpful. Before you see your doctor, put together some information:
- How often and how much you drink. Be honest; it isn’t your doctor’s job to judge you, and s/he can’t help you unless you are honest about your habits.
- Any symptoms you experience, such as headache, nausea, depression, etc.
- Personal information, such as any major stresses or life events (e.g., divorce, starting college, a new job, etc).
- Medications, supplements, and vitamins you’re taking.
6Tell your loved ones that you think you might have a problem. As uncomfortable as the truth might be, if you’re struggling with your drinking and suspect you might need to quit, it’s important that you tell your close friends, family, and loved ones that you need to make a change. Surrounding yourself with supporting friends and loved ones will help keep you accountable and be a good first step in admitting that you've got a problem you need to work on.
- Tell your drinking friends that you're worried about your fun developing into a more serious problem. Emphasize that you aren’t judging anyone or asking anyone else to change their behavior. Ask them for their support, and express that you still want to socialize -- you just won’t be drinking (or drinking as much). For example: “I’m not liking some of the effects of my drinking. It’s interfering with my life in ways I don’t want, so I’m going to cut back for awhile. This decision is just for me. I still want to hang out with you guys; I’ll just have a Coke instead of a cocktail.”
- If other people in your family also drink alcohol, consider whether having alcohol in your house would be an insurmountable temptation. If so, discuss your options with your loved ones. It may be necessary to completely remove alcohol from your home, especially if your goal is to completely stop drinking. If you convey the importance of this issue to your loved ones, they’ll probably be very supportive of whatever helps you.
- If your drinking feels more serious, ask your friends and loved ones to socialize with you in places that do not serve alcohol. Hanging out with friends in a bar if you really want a drink can be too much pressure.
7Learn to recognize the triggers that make you want to binge drink. If you drink with the intention of becoming very drunk on a regular basis, it's important to confront the causes of that desire, so you can start healing yourself and avoiding temptations. What makes you want to drink? Does a particular event, person, or emotion make you want to get drunk?
- Peer pressure is a common trigger for binge-drinking, especially among younger people. About 90% of the alcohol consumed by people under the age of 21, for example, happens during binge-drinking. It can be tempting to drink to “fit in,” or to keep up with hard-partying friends. Friends who do not have a problem with their drinking (or who don’t recognize that they do have a problem) may pressure you to have “just one drink.” If your friends continue to binge-drink around you or pressure you to drink with them, you may need to stop socializing with them.
- Stress leads many people to drink. If you struggle with looking to alcohol to escape stresses of home life, or relationships, or of work, you might need to take serious steps to relax and find other more productive ways to channel that stress and control your emotions, rather than looking to drink for relief.
- Boredom can cause lots of people to drink. If you're drinking alone on Friday nights not because you're depressed but because you can't think of anything else to do, or if you're constantly drinking to liven up regular activities like going to the grocery store, filling your time with more healthy and productive activities will become important.
8Keep a drinking journal. It may sound corny, but many of these questions can be tough to answer if you're a regular drinker and frustrated with yourself. Drinkers are often also in denial, and it's hard to figure out what makes you drink. Making a point of writing regularly about your drinking habits, though, can reveal information about you that you might not have been able to uncover just by thinking about it.
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has an “Urge Tracker” form that can help you record your urges, how you responded, and what you plan to do next time.
- Think back to the last time you binged and write about what went on that day. What do you remember about the evening? What led up to it? What did you do the next day? How did you feel?
- Keep track of how many times you drink over the course of a week. When did you want to drink? When did you think about drinking? Why did you want to drink? Stay focused on keeping track of your impulses so you can learn more about how you think.
- You can also find mobile apps, such as the MyDrinkAware app, that will help you track your alcohol consumption. These can be helpful for when you’re out and about.
Method Two of Four:
Cutting Back Your DrinkingEdit
1Establish drinking ground rules for yourself. It’s important to keep the goals you set in mind if you want to reduce your alcohol consumption. You can help yourself stick to these goals by setting ground rules that will guide your behavior whenever you’re in a situation where you may encounter alcohol. Every drinker's rules are different, and you have to find what works for you. Some guidance rules that might help the binge drinker become more casual include:
- Never drink before parties or other social gatherings (i.e., no “pre-gaming”)
- Never drink more than the “low risk” guidelines set by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
- For women: no more than 3 drinks on a single day, and never more than 7 drinks per week
- For men: no more than 4 drinks on a single day, and never more than 14 drinks per week
- Only drink with other people, not by yourself
- Stick to the limit goals you set for yourself (e.g., “only 2 beers on Saturday”)
- Avoid drinking with others who binge-drink or have problems with alcohol
- Never drink to relieve stress
2Get a sense of what “one drink” looks like. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has set standards for what counts as “one drink,” which will contain roughly 14 grams of alcohol. However, many people have no idea what a standard drink looks like. If you don’t know what 5 ounces of wine looks like, use a measuring cup with colored water to get a sense. Remember that the alcohol-by-volume (ABV) level determines what counts as “one drink,” so if you regularly drink things like “high-gravity” beer (which often has ABV ranges from 6-9%, but can be as high as 12%) calculate how much you’ve had by the alcohol content. One drink counts as:
- 12 ounces of regular beer or cider (5% ABV)
- 8-9 ounces of malt liquor (7% ABV)
- 5 ounces of wine (12% ABV)
- 1.5 ounces (1 shot) of hard liquor (80 proof)
3Slow down and make each drink last longer. If you become quickly intoxicated and end up slamming back a bunch of drinks to ease your nerves, or if you're just a "thirsty drinker," it can be very helpful to slow down and make each drink last longer. You will enjoy the taste of your drink more, and you will have fewer drinks over the space of your socializing.
- Aim to have no more than one drink per hour, depending on your tolerance. (For example, men can often drink more than women before they feel the effects of alcohol.)
- Use a straw to sip cocktails. It will take you longer to drink them this way.
- If you’re used to ordering pints, order a half pint instead. Sip it slowly rather than chugging it down.
- Order your drink “on the rocks.” As the ice melts, it will dilute the drink. You’ll end up taking longer to finish it, and you’ll get a little extra water.
- Your body absorbs alcohol into your bloodstream much faster than you can metabolize it. The quicker you drink, the more time that alcohol spends buzzing around your body, doing damage that you’ll really regret during next morning’s hangover.
4Stay busy. A big reason for continuously drinking from whatever is in front of you is lack of activity and sitting or standing next to a drink. What else are you inclined to do if you are not moving about or participating in something? Dancing, talking, playing pool or darts, etc. can all keep you occupied over and above the drinking. Once you remove alcohol as the focus, you're less likely to drink as much.
- Have a plan made in advance for what you will do if you can’t find something to keep you busy. For example, if you can’t distract yourself, determine whether you will politely excuse yourself and leave, find someone to chat with, or do something else to take your mind off drinking.
5Make yourself drink four times as much water as alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates you. Your body can expel four times as much liquid as you consume in an alcoholic beverage. Drinking water will also mean that your alcohol consumption slows way down. The added hydration cuts down your chance of having a hangover the next morning, too.
- For example, if you have a cocktail that has 2 ounces of alcohol, drink at least an 8-ounce glass of water before you have another alcoholic drink.
- Try a “spacer” beverage between alcoholic drinks. Sipping a club soda or Coke between alcoholic beverages forces you to go more slowly, while giving you something to drink and fiddle with.
6Only drink with meals. "Going out for drinks" is a loaded proposition, because it means that you basically have to drink. It's what you went out for, after all. But, if you only allow yourself to drink with meals, it'll mean you can still enjoy the ritual of going out to bars and restaurants with friends, but with a limit on it for the length of a meal. Have a glass or two of wine with dinner, or drink a beer with your BBQ, but call it a night when your plate is clean.
- Drinking on an empty stomach makes a hangover much more likely. Eating a healthy meal before or during drinking slows down how fast your body absorbs the alcohol, giving your body more time to metabolize it. Fats and complex carbohydrates are especially good.
- When the meal's over, switch to coffee or sip water and call it a day. Don't continue drinking when you're done. If you're at a busy restaurant, it might be time to give up your table anyway, or you'll start getting dirty looks.
7Make it difficult to drink more. If you've got to meet friends at the bar and are worried you won't be able to control yourself, take steps to actively make it impossible to drink more than you want to allow yourself to drink. Getting in your own way can help you stick to your goals even when your motivation wanes.
- Only bring enough cash to pay for two drinks and leave your card at home. Look up the menu ahead of time and find out exactly what you'll be able to afford and only bring enough to pay for that, then call it a night.
- Drink more expensive alcohol. For one thing, more expensive brands of alcohol have fewer congeners, a chemical that can contribute to hangovers. In addition, you won’t be able to have as many drinks if they’re pricier than what you usually spend.
- Don’t keep alcohol at home. If you're a regular after-work drinker and want to avoid plowing through a six pack every night, stop buying them and bringing them home with you. If they're sitting there in the fridge, it can be difficult to resist, so don't put them in the fridge.
- Buy smaller glasses. It can be easy to overindulge if your glasses are too big. For example, a wine glass could actually hold far more than the 5 ounces that counts as “one drink.” You’re more likely to pour too much if your wine glass is wide, or if you hold the glass rather than setting it on a table.
8Set rigid time-lines for your drinking. If you're going out with friends and have a tendency to want to always order one more, stay another hour, and push your drinking in the wee morning hours, an effective way of cutting back can be to set very rigid times for your drinking. If you're going out around nine to meet friends, don't stay out any later than midnight or one. Make it a particular time that's your "pumpkin hour," or choose a particular number of hours that you can be out.
- Setting a limit doesn't mean you should slam as many drinks as possible before your pumpkin-hour rolls around. Remember the end goal, or your goals aren't serving you.
9Make other plans. Fun doesn’t always have to involve alcohol. Instead of going out for drinks with your friends, suggest that you do something else. If you're worried you won't be able to resist at the bar, try to arrange to go to a movie, or check out a concert, or doing something else active instead of just hanging around the bar.
10Practice saying “no, thanks.” You will probably find yourself in situations where you’re offered a drink you don’t want, or encouraged to drink on a day you’ve set aside as a “day off” from alcohol. Practice saying “no” in a polite but firm way.
- Make eye contact when you refuse the drink. This can help reinforce that you mean what you say.
- Keep your answer short and simple. Long winded answers or excuses tend to be unconvincing to others. Say something firm and to the point, such as: “No, thanks, I don’t want to” or “No, thanks, today’s my ‘day off’ from alcohol and I’d be really disappointed in myself if I broke that promise.”
Method Three of Four:
1Get rid of your access to alcohol. If you've got a full liquor cabinet, get rid of it. Pour out all the alcohol, recycle the bottles, give away your barware. Reminders of alcohol can trigger the desire to drink.
- If you always hit up the same bar on your way home from work, start taking a different route so you avoid it. Head straight home instead, or find another place to go to blow off some steam after work, like the gym.
- Avoid the places you used to drink and get your friends to help you avoid alcohol for the time being. You may get to a place where you don't mind being in bars while your friends drink, but give it some time first. Avoid temptations as much as possible.
2Expect physical side effects from withdrawal. You don’t need to drink every day to have developed a physical reliance on alcohol. Considerable binge drinking, even on an uneven basis, can lead to physical side effects if you stop drinking altogether. Even if you cut back, you may notice a variety of warning signs that, if you’re not careful, might lead you to stress out and drink to excess again. If you’re a regular binge drinker, it’s likely that you’ll experience any of the following physical symptoms:
- Dizziness or shakiness
3Tell your loved ones about your goals. You’ll need the support of family and friends to help you through this process. Let them know that you’re worried about your drinking, you don’t feel like you can drink “in moderation,” and you need to stop drinking entirely.
- If you face peer pressure or encounter friends who don’t support you, consider distancing yourself from them while you work on your drinking problem. Being around people who have their own problems with alcohol can make it very hard for you to stay on track.
4Talk to your doctor about disulfiram and other "warm turkey" methods. Disulfiram is a prescription drug that's designed to make drinking undesirable by producing hangover-like symptoms almost instantaneously by blocking the liver's ability to process alcohol. It can be extremely effective in fighting the desire to drink. Other mood-altering drugs are sometimes recommended by doctors, to help you manage stress and deal with your cravings. Talk with your general practitioner and find out what's a good idea for you.
- If you struggle with other kinds of addiction, be careful when trying to stop. Quitting certain drugs, including cocaine, crack, heroin, and certain prescription drugs, must be managed under medical supervision. Drastic or sudden alterations in your consumption of these substances could cause severe medical complications, or even death.
5Find a drink replacement. If you're psychologically tied to having that after-work beer, replace it with a healthier drink. Pour iced tea into a beer glass like you used to do and sit in the same spot and enjoy the same ritual, just without the alcohol. Soda, tea, coffee, smoothies, and other drinks can be healthier alternatives.
6Don't argue about quitting with people. If you decide to quit drinking entirely, it's likely that your friends–particularly friends that you drank with–will try to convince you that you don't have a problem, or want to debate the issue with you. It's best to avoid getting sucked into any kind of debate or discussion about whether you're "overreacting" or whether or not you really have a problem. It's nobody's business but your own.
7Find a support group. It's very difficult to quit on your own. Learn to lean on others and surround yourself with supportive friends and loved ones who will support you in your desire to quit drinking and will make the process easier on you.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most famous and one of the most successful ways of quitting drinking. Even if you don't consider yourself an "alcoholic" strictly speaking, going to a few meetings can be an excellent way of finding support and concrete steps to quitting.
Method Four of Four:
1Make yourself accountable. Find a way to keep yourself honest. Drinkers are often adept liars, often making lots of excuses to rationalize excessive drinking. Doing things like keeping an alcohol journal and setting clear, specific goals will help you keep yourself on track.
- Keep track of any slip-ups. For example, if you drank on an “off day” or had more than your set limit of drinks, note it down.
- Tell a particular person, a close friend who you'll trust to not judge you, but who you know you can't hide things from. Confide in this person.
- Go to support group meetings regularly. Knowing you’ll have to be accountable to your group friends may help keep you on the wagon.
2Avoid people who make you want to drink. If you used to drink a lot socially, or used to hang around people who drove you to drink to excess for whatever reason, you might need to sever ties completely, or at least significantly restrict your access to these people. People you might need to avoid include:
- Heavy drinkers
- One-up drinkers, or competitive drinkers
- Stressful friends
- Toxic relationships
3Surf your urges. Sometimes, you will experience the urge to drink, and there’s no way around it. Rather than fight the urge, accept that you’re feeling it and then ride it out. Remember that the urge can only rise so far before it breaks and falls, just like a wave.
- Accepting your urge doesn’t mean giving in to it. Instead, it means that you’re not struggling in vain to “make” yourself have a different feeling.
- Take a physical inventory. Take a few moments to breathe deeply and focus your attention on your body. Notice where you feel that craving, and how it manifests. For example, maybe you feel your craving most strongly in your mouth and nose, or perhaps your hand feels twitchy.
- Focus on one area where you find yourself experiencing this urge. Pay close attention to your physical sensations. Make statements that describe how you feel, but keep them judgment-free: you’re not here to make yourself feel bad, just to understand what your body’s doing. For example: “My mouth feels really dry. I feel like having a beer would be so cold and refreshing. I keep swallowing and I’m imagining the bubbles going down my throat.”
- Repeat this process with each part of your body that’s experiencing your craving. With time and practice, your urge may not go away, but you’ll be much better at understanding how to wait it out.
4Manage your stress levels. Find healthier ways to process your stress that don't involve drinking alcohol. Stress can be a reason that we drink, and can act swiftly and powerfully in forcing us to give up our principles and take a drink. You might have several months on the wagon, but one terrible day at work or a bad argument with your partner can make a beer sound awfully good. Find other ways to process that stress and that frustration without turning to the bottle.
- Recognize when you’ve got a craving for a drink, based on a stress-induced situation. If you’ve just gotten off a long and frustrating shift at work after getting chewed out by your boss, it might be tempting to swing by the bar on the way home. Instead, find another activity to do when confronted with the same scenario. Maybe you head to the park and shoot hoops, or head to the gym and lift heavy stuff, or head to the basement and throw darts at an effigy of the boss. He’ll never know.
- Instead of drinking, call your supporting friend and talk about how you want to have a drink. Be accountable before you slip. Talk out your craving and help make it disappear together. Come up with a distraction and get distracted. The craving will pass.
5Find new hobbies and interests. If you used to spend a lot of your free time drinking with friends, sobriety can seem kind of boring at first. What else is there to do? Find new hobbies and productive ways to spend all that time you used to spend drinking.
- Take up creative projects you've always meant to get down to. Write that book you've always wanted to write, or pick up the guitar, or learn how to knit. Develop a new creative skill that will get you enthusiastic and motivated to do other things.
- If you can, try to join social groups that will allow you to spend time with people in a social setting that doesn't involve drinking. Join a hobby club, or a bowling league, or a kickball group. Make new friends doing a joint venture together.
6Start exercising. Getting physical can make the idea of drinking to excess seem terrible by comparison. If you get excited about getting in shape, getting sweaty, and losing weight, you'll hardly waste any time thinking about taking a drink.
- Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise has been shown to have positive effects for recovering alcohol abusers.
- Aerobic exercise also improves symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can be triggering for alcohol abuse.
- Mindfulness meditation is also helpful for people who are recovering from alcohol abuse. Mindfulness meditation focuses on observing what your body and thoughts are doing in a non-judgmental way. It can help you acknowledge urges without having to automatically follow through on them.
- Competing at team sports can provide a healthy distraction. If you're shooting hoops with your friends, or playing tennis, or swimming, you can spend quality time that doesn't involve drinking.
7Reward yourself for periods of sobriety. Set up a series of rewards for yourself for given periods of sobriety. At the end of the first week, take yourself out for a great meal. At the end of the first year, tell yourself you'll take that trip abroad that you've always wanted to take. Give yourself an incentive to get to the next rung on your sober ladder.Advertisement
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- Don't go out with the intention to get drunk when you have a celebration. Rather, think about the reason you're celebrating and the people you're with.
- While not everyone who binge drinks is an alcoholic, sometimes binge drinking is a sign of alcoholism. If you find your life being negatively affected by alcohol but can't stop binge drinking then you may be an alcoholic. If you're concerned that your binge drinking has grown to more than a bad habit or occasional overindulgence, then it is advised that you search for some real help.
- Don't drive when you are drunk. Be responsible and call a cab, or even better - stay sober!
- Binge drinking can result in alcohol poisoning. Signs of alcohol poisoning include: confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow or irregular breathing, blue or pale skin, hypothermia, and unconsciousness. If someone has been drinking and displays these symptoms, call 911 or emergency medical services immediately.
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Reader Success Stories
PS"I found writing a weekly journal in a diary about when to have your next drink and limiting yourself to only 6 drinks a week helpful. I have motivated myself to do the things I used to do by printing out cards and have them placed around the house to remind me."..." more
VW"Reading this material has been an eye opener for me. It showed me the irrationality I have been applying to and validating for drinking in my life. Yes, there is stress in my life. It's time for me to quit drinking starting today."..." more
A"I think for me it was finally understanding why I binge drink. I do this occasionally and I know this is not good for me. I find the day after is ruined because of the self inflicted hangover. Great article, thank you."..." more
MM"My wife was so miserable when we went out with friends, that we don't really go anymore. This helped me understand that my binge drinking has turned into alcoholism. "..." more
A"The information I have read is true in my attitude towards binge drinking. I lost my father recently through alcohol and I don't want to follow the same path!"..." more
A"I think this article was excellent, as it covered all unhealthy aspects of drinking habits, varying in severity from cutting back to quitting altogether."..." more
A"This helped me realize I am a binge drinker not an alcoholic. I need to change my reason for drinking and set day and number limits on my drinks."..." more
A"The most helpful tip was to drink four times more water as alcohol, especially in a bar setting where people expect to see a drink in your hand."..." more
A"Journaling and setting goals helped me a lot. Also rewarding myself when I've reached my goals of drinking less and sticking to my plan."..." more
JN"Really helped me accept that I have a binge drinking problem. I definitely intend to get a diary and take it day by day. Thank you."..." more
A"What helped was that you need a plan, keep busy and stay out of your head, keep a strong mindset. It is very tough at the start."..." more
A"This is the best advice I have come across so far, after realizing a lot of my problems/anxieties have been post binge drinking."..." more
A"The cutting back slowly, weaning oneself off instead of going cold turkey is what I found to work best for me."
JS"Just an awesome site and would love to see more of them! 10/10"
A"Plenty of slow-down ideas and no judgement."