Sipping The Booze Away

By Posted in Skills and Tips

Club Soda member Jon shares his “scientific method” of slowly cutting down alcohol with the aim of quitting completely, and some creative hints and tips on how to do it.

My last AF (alcohol-free) period lasted a few months about 10 years ago. Number of AF days last year, probably less than 5, probably nearer 2 and I merrily caroused into May drinking 100 units plus per week.

I had started reading The Naked Mind and been browsing Club Soda for a while, so had an intention of cutting down (no particular reason driving it), but very little conviction that I could so do, even for one night. Having got through five bottles of red in two nights the previous weekend, I was fairly convinced that attempting to restrict myself to even 14 units on a Friday night would result in panic and a re-stocking trip at about 9pm.

I certainly did not want to suddenly go AF, but knew from experience that attempts at moderation usually quickly creep back up as the restricted amount becomes treasured and longed for. So I devised my own method, based on a combination of existing ideas for weaning off alcohol, heroin and human blood (as shown in the excellent, good guy vampire featuring series, Being Human).

Using this method, I successfully stuck to my daily targets for a month without a single failure, even with other drink available, unheard of for me. I started on 10 units per night (14 at the weekend) and was down to 5 units per night after two weeks or so, 2.5 after 3 and 1.3 after 4. I’ve remained on 1.3 for a week while I prepare for the final hurdle of an AF night – I plan to alternate at first, depending on how it goes. The rate of reduction is entirely up to you, take two months if you want, but I think you do need to keep momentum in reducing.

I was also able to get through preparing the evening meal without drinking at all – a major victory for me as hunger was a real weak spot for me, I would usually start drinking at 6pm as I commenced cooking and would get through the best part of a bottle in 45 mins. Snacking, which I never used to do, helped with this. After getting through this period, when traditionally I experienced an uncontrollable booze lust, the rest of the evening was relatively easy.

I’ve written this in the form of a science experiment to make it more easy to read and put in some of my experiences to help, but everyone is different and tapering is not for many. It never worked for me in the past, so it may be giving this method a try =).

Your aim is to avoid withdrawal.

To drink just enough to avoid physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms and no more, so at no point do you enjoy the drink or lose control, thus allowing you to successfully stick to your daily allowance and reduce it comfortably over time thus gradually reducing your need and desire for alcohol and preparing you for a less traumatic and more successful transition into freedom from alcohol.

1. Set your daily allowance for sipping the booze away.

2. Drink tiny amounts. Remember you are drinking as little poison as possible to avoid withdrawal.

3. Do not under any circumstances enjoy the drink. You are drinking a poison to avoid withdrawal.

Desired result

General hints for sipping the booze away

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