How To Stop Drinking Every Night

Drinking alcohol on a regular basis has become accepted and even encouraged in today’s society, and many people don’t think twice about reaching for a glass of wine or a pint of beer every night.

However, certain factors could cause this evening routine to spiral into an addiction.

Even if you have a healthy relationship with alcohol, you may wish to reduce your consumption and stop drinking every night for health or financial reasons.

There are a number of strategies that can be utilised to help you achieve this goal, from removing all traces of alcohol from your home to being open about your plans to friends and family.

Helpful questions to determine the extent of your drinking problem

Below, we have put together some basic questions to help you determine the extent of your drinking problem:

1. If I drink alcohol every night, am I an alcoholic?

It is possible to drink alcohol regularly without developing an addiction or dependency.

However, if you are concerned about your alcohol intake and drinking behaviours, read through the following questions and think about how they may apply to your personal situation.

2. How much alcohol are you drinking every night?

The likelihood of developing an alcohol addiction is increased when you regularly consume large quantities of alcohol.

Both men and women are advised to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol each week, and it is recommended to abstain from alcohol for at least two or three days each week. [1]

While 14 units may sound like a lot, some of your favourite drinks may contain a lot more alcohol than you realise.

A large glass of wine may contain up to three units, and each pint of beer can pack in two or three units. If you regularly drink alcohol every night, you may be consuming far over the recommended limit without your knowledge.

3. Why are you choosing to drink alcohol every night?

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional drink to wind down or celebrate with friends, but turning to alcohol as a way to escape the pressures and stresses of daily life or block out unpleasant emotions and memories can be a slippery slope towards addiction or dependency.

Instead, it’s important to focus on fixing the deep-rooted issues that caused you to turn to alcohol in the first place instead of simply masking the problem.

If your stressful and demanding job causes you to long for alcohol every evening, it might be worth reducing your workload or finding a new role that puts less pressure on you.

Likewise, if you use alcohol as a way to cope with painful memories or feelings of low self-worth then you may find professional counselling to be helpful.

4. Have you slowly started to drink more alcohol every night?

If you have noticed that the amount of alcohol you consume has started to steadily increase, this could be a sign that your body is building a tolerance to this substance and requires more alcohol in order to experience the same effects.

You may have started with a glass of wine in the evenings to relax after a long day, slowly progressing to two or three glasses and resulting in a bottle of wine disappearing every night before you are aware of it.

Over time your body’s tolerance can increase even more and lead to you consuming large quantities of alcohol on a regular basis, increasing your risk of developing a physical or psychological addiction. [2]

4. Are you drinking alcohol alone every night?

Alcohol is often used as a social lubricant to help us relax and enjoy ourselves in social situations.

But if you find yourself becoming secretive with your drinking and frequently choosing to consume alcohol alone in the privacy of your home, this could signify that you are developing a drinking problem.

Ask yourself why you prefer to drink alone – are you embarrassed of the amount that you are drinking and worry that others will judge you?

Do you behave inappropriately once you have had a few glasses of wine? It’s normal to drink alone on occasion, but feeling ashamed and guilty of your drinking habits and choosing to conceal your behaviour could point to a deeper problem.

5. Have you tried to stop drinking every night and found that you couldn’t?

One of the hallmarks of addiction is the desire to stop ingesting a particular substance or repeating a certain behaviour but being unable to, despite attempting one or more times.

You may have realised that you don’t enjoy drinking alcohol every night or may have simply grown tired of the negative effects that this substance is having on your life.

However, no matter how much you try to avoid alcohol in the evenings, you find yourself picking up the bottle when the cravings become too strong.

Unfortunately, this could be a sign that your regular evening routine has begun to spiral into a physical or psychological dependency and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Easy ways to help you stop drinking alcohol every night

You may find that you have a reasonably healthy relationship with alcohol and simply wish to cut down on your consumption by stopping the habit of drinking every night, and the following strategies can help you to achieve this goal.

1. Don’t keep alcohol in the house

Many people find themselves drinking alone at home and therefore keep a collection of their favourite alcoholic beverages safely secured in the house.

When you are attempting to reduce your alcohol intake and stop drinking every night, the knowledge that you have this substance within easy access can increase temptation and cause you to lose sight of your goal.

Go through and clear out all traces of alcohol from your house – give it away to friends and family members, use it for birthday or Christmas gifts or simply pour it down the sink.

Make a rule that you will not purchase alcohol from supermarkets or shops and keep your home an alcohol-free zone.

2. Develop new hobbies, activities and routines

If you often find yourself reaching for alcohol in the evenings out of boredom or habit, make a plan to fill your evenings with enjoyable activities that keep you so busy that you won’t even have time to think about pouring a drink.

Starting a new exercise routine, joining an educational class and picking up a new hobby such as photography or pottery-making will keep your mind and body occupied during the evenings and break the cycle of drinking alcohol.

If you usually sip a glass of wine while watching Netflix shows after work, switch off the TV and pick up a book instead. It is possible to break these ingrained habits, and all it takes is a bit of willpower and forward-planning.

3. Let other people know about your goal

Studies have shown that you are more likely to stick to your goal if you let other people know about your plans, particularly when you admire these people and respect their opinion. [3]

It increases accountability and gives you a reason to continue working towards your goals – after all, you don’t want to let those people down.

Consider sharing on social media that you have decided to stop drinking alcohol in the evenings, and ask for support and encouragement.

Alternatively, you could tell one or two trusted friends or family members about your goal in confidence if you prefer a more private approach.

4. Find reasons to cut down on your drinking

Achieving a difficult goal such as abstaining from alcohol during the evenings can be made easier by thinking about your reasons and motivations behind the goal.

You may want to save money, sleep better or manage your time more effectively in order to start a business or pursue further education, and giving up alcohol in the evenings can allow you to achieve these desires.

There are also numerous health benefits associated with cutting back on your alcohol consumption – you may want to lose weight and improve your overall appearance or enjoy a better quality of life.

You can increase your motivation by focusing on why you want to stop drinking alcohol every night, and therefore increase your chances of achieving this goal.

How can I get help for problem drinking?

If you are concerned about your behaviours around alcohol and wish to reduce or completely stop your consumption, it is recommended that you do so under medical supervision.

Withdrawing from alcohol can be dangerous and even life-threatening, so the following tips can help to ensure that you recover from alcohol addiction or dependency in a safe and comfortable environment.

1. Consider a rehabilitation centre

The most effective way to gain control over your alcohol consumption and potentially stop drinking completely is to check into a rehabilitation centre or treatment programme that specialises in treating alcohol addiction and dependency.

Here you will have the option to undergo a medically supervised detoxification and receive counselling to address the root cause of the addiction, as well as a personalised aftercare plan to help prevent relapse.

2. Attend regular counselling sessions

It is possible to attend rehabilitation centres as an outpatient if your budget or lifestyle doesn’t allow for a lengthy in-person stay, and this is a great way to take advantage of the counselling options available in these programmes.

Alternatively, you can receive free counselling on the NHS or opt for private therapy sessions in order to examine your behaviours around alcohol and address any past experiences or negative mindsets that may have contributed to the problem.

3. Join local support groups

Almost every town and city across the UK contains one or more local support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in which members attend regular meetings and support each other through their recovery from alcohol addiction.

These meetings are free to join and can usually be accessed online if you live in a remote location, making them accessible and appealing to a large number of people.