Look after yourself

Eating

Always try to eat a substantial meal before drinking. The alcohol is absorbed more slowly and gives you a more pleasant sensation than if you drink quickly. If you eat crisps and peanuts while drinking, always have a non-alcoholic spacer with them, otherwise they will make you thirsty and you will drink more alcohol. 'Spacers' in between alcohol drinks also act like food, which slows down the absorption of alcohol.

Learn to refuse a drink

Remember, you are the one who decides when, where and how much you drink. So rehearse a way of refusing drinks. For example, "No thanks, I'm cutting down" or "Not tonight, I've got a bad stomach" or "Sorry, doctor's orders". Following the refusal, you may like, to make a request for a non-alcoholic drink, eg, "No thanks, but I'd love a coffee." If people persist, ask yourself why are they so keen to see you drinking more.

Days of rest

If you drink every day, then your body and mind will miss it when you don't drink. If you never take a day off from alcohol, then you may well lack confidence about being able to break the habit. Abstaining at least a couple of days a week boosts your confidence and helps you enjoy your drink more when you have it. For all these reasons, as well as for reasons of health, give your body a break from alcohol for a while - aim to have at least three alcohol-free days per week, and preferably more.