Want to cut back?

Want to cut back?

Many Australians are proactively cutting back on alcohol — or even giving up entirely. 

It’s important to speak to your doctor if you're a heavy or long-term drinker and are considering cutting back or quitting alcohol use entirely. Your GP will be best placed to provide help including prescribing medication, symptom management and withdrawal planning. They will also be able to connect you with counselling services in your area.

This section provides resources to assist you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, or to help you support someone else to do so. 

What is a standard drink?

Knowing what is meant by a standard drink is important so that, if you’re drinking alcohol, you can stay within the recommended Australian Alcohol Guidelines.  

Keeping track of how many standard drinks you have will also help if you want to reduce or stop drinking.

It is worth noting that drinks served at bars and restaurants can be more than a standard drink. The drinks poured at home are also likely to be more than a standard drink.

A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol, which looks different depending on the type of drink and the glass or container it is served in. One standard drink equates to a can of mid-strength beer, a 100 ml glass of red wine, or a 30 ml shot of spirits.

One standard drink = 10 grams of alcohol

If you want to read more, the Australian Department of Health guide on standard drinks has more information on this.

You can also try the online standard drinks tool from AlcoholThinkAgain to measure your usual pour and see how it stacks up against the measurements.

Goal setting and tracking your progress

If you want to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, having a plan will help you stay on track. 

It can be helpful to set a goal, for example, to have more alcohol-free days or to have no more than two drinks each time you drink alcohol.  

To help with your plan, think about:

  • Your goals — Why do you want to reduce or quit alcohol?
  • Your triggers — Why and when do you drink alcohol?
  • Strategies to overcome these — How will you reduce or quit alcohol?
  • Support networks and services — Who will you turn to for help?

Sharing your goals with close family members and friends can help you achieve them — by increasing your commitment to achieve the goal and securing their support to help you keep it. 

Using an app to keep track of your drinking can help in cutting back on alcohol and understanding your habits. Popular apps you can consider include Daybreak and Drinksmeter.
Perhaps you’re looking for more specific information? ACT Health has proudly supported the following projects, focused on education and alcohol reduction for people in the ACT. 

You can also get confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs by contacting the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Page last updated on: 19 Oct 2021