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Tips for drinking less

There are a number of ways to drink less and you may find your own particular way to do this successfully. Alcohol counsellors find the below steps can be helpful for people wanting to drink less: "remember, keep your CLASS!"

Try the CLASS method

CLASS involves four key techniques to drinking less - Communicate, Limit and Switch, Slow. 


  • Let others know that you're making changes to your drinking habits. This may make it easier in social situations when you start to refuse drinks. 
  • Learning to say no to others is also a skill that you'll need to get more comfortable with. Practice will make this easier.
  • If others know you are trying to drink less, they may also be able to help and support you.


  • Put a limit on how much you will drink. Some people find setting a range of drinks they intend to have when drinking helpful, for example 3-5 drinks. You should try to stick to the lower limit and not go over the upper limit.   


  • See if you can switch your normal drinks to something with fewer alcohol units. For example, you could have a smaller glass of wine, bottles of beer rather than pints, or a single rather than a double measure of spirits.


  • Try to slow down how much you drink. Some people find spacing their alcoholic drinks out with a glass of water or non-alcoholic drink in between can help. 
  • Remember that changing the way you drink may be easier said than done. For many people, it can take a lot of hard work and practice to stay on track with drinking less.

Next steps

If you're ready to drink less, then you can start to take action by setting some goals and making action plans.

If you're concerned you might be alcohol dependent, read our guidance on alcohol dependency.

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