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Use the support of others to drink less

When we set ourselves goals like drinking less, it can feel like it's hard to achieve on our own.

The people you have around you, your 'social support', can help you change your drinking habits for good.

What is social support?

Social support can be friends, neighbours, family, colleagues, health professionals. They can help us cope with stress and look at things in a positive light.

How social support can help you 

Having access to social support improves the quality of your life. It improves your mood and makes you feel happier. The people you have around you can also be the key to supporting you to change your drinking for good.

Generally there are three broad types of help and support those around you can offer. There is:

  • Practical support. For example, the people you share your house with don't have alcohol in the house.
  • Emotional support. For example, your friend talks to you about how you feel about not drinking and offers encouragement.
  • Informational support. For example, a family member finds useful local support groups that you may wish to attend.

How others can help you

Think about who are those people you have in your own life that can encourage you to meet your goals and stick to them. Find out more about setting goals.

This person can be anyone, a family member, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour. You might like to write these down.

It's also as important to think about who may hinder your efforts to cut down your drinking.

Build your own social support 

Write down who you think would be able to help you reach your drinking goals, and how you think they could help you.

Then note down your social support and how they will help you for this coming week. Write as many as you feel may be helpful.

Here are a few social support examples related to drinking less:

Who: Husband (Paul)
How: To not pour a drink for me when I get in from work. (This is an example of practical support)

Who: Friend (Sue)
How: To accept and support me when I say I want to drive home instead of sharing a taxi. Also to reassure me I am making the right choice not to drink. (This is an example of emotional support.)

Who: Colleague (Billy)
How: To listen when I tell him how my week has been without drinking. Also to offer advice and suggestions of how I can continue to drink less. (This is an example of informational support.)

Try to be as specific as possible about how the people you choose can help you. This way, when you ask them for their support, they'll know exactly how you would like them to support you.

If you would like to create your social support form in your own time, download a PDF form below. 

Create your own social support (PDF) (PDF) [133KB]

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