Alcohol: how to drink less

Some tips for controlling your drinking

Be aware of how alcohol affects you as an individual.

If you know you will be drinking alcohol, make sure you plan ahead.

Staying safe

If you are partying with a group of friends, agree that one of the group will not drink, and will be responsible for driving and looking out for the group generally. Of course, each person is ultimately responsible for his or her own behaviour. Make sure you can call a member of your family or a friend if you need help.

Reducing your drinking

  • Set limits for yourself and stick to them. Don’t let other people pressure you into drinking more than you want.
  • Quench your thirst first. Have a non-alcoholic drink first if you are thirsty.
  • Drink slowly. Take sips, not gulps.
  • Drink from a small glass. Some wine glasses can hold several standard drinks.
  • Be aware of exactly what you are drinking. Remember that 'alcopops' (sweet flavoured ready-to-drink or pre-mixed spirits/wine) can be quite strong, even though they don’t taste like strong alcohol.
  • Try a low alcohol/non-alcoholic alternative.
  • Eat before and while drinking, but avoid salty snacks, which will make you thirsty.
  • Avoid getting into 'rounds' or 'shouts'. They are sure to make you drink faster, and drink more, so that you can keep up with your friends.
  • Avoid 'top ups'. Drink one drink at a time to keep track of how much you are drinking.
  • Stay busy. Don’t just sit and drink. Dancing, playing music or games can take the focus away from drinking.

For more information, please click on the Australian Drug Foundation's DrugInfo Clearinghouse web site link below.
australian drug foundation logo

Last Reviewed: 01 June 2009
Reproduced with kind permission from the Australian Drug Foundation.
©Copyright: myDr, Cirrus Media Pty Ltd, 2000-2016. All rights reserved.


  • 1. Australian Drug Foundation. Drug Info. The facts about binge drinking. Number 1.10 Revised June 2009. (accessed Aug 2013).