Worried about your drinking
It can be hard to know if alcohol is an unhealthy habit or more of a problem for you. Lots of people have some worries or nagging doubts about their drinking and wonder if it would be a good idea to change the way they drink.
This isn’t surprising. Research shows that over 50% of people in Ireland who drink do so in a harmful way.
Should I drink less?
Do you regularly drink over the low-risk limits and / or have heavy drinking days?
Does alcohol make things worse in your life?
Do you wish you could stop or drink less but feel you can't?
Do you use alcohol to cope with stress or depression or to handle a difficult situation?
Is alcohol starting to cause problems in your life? For example:
- Relationships: Arguing more, staying away from certain people, resenting other people, becoming isolated from friends and family
- Work /study: Losing interest, lack of energy, putting things off, no ambition
- Weight / looks: Putting on weight, looking bloated, little energy, no motivation to take exercise or keep fit
- Physical health: New symptoms and illnesses, or existing conditions getting worse
- Mood and mental health: For example, feeling depressed or anxious
- Money: Spending more on alcohol, buying alcohol instead of other things you or your family needs
- Drinking behaviour: Feeling regret, guilt or loss after you have been drinking. Lying about your drinking or hiding how much you drink.
If you answered yes to some of the questions or can see that alcohol is causing you some problems you may be thinking about making a change.
If you think you would like to make a change but don't feel you can, our section Are you ready to change? has advice on how to move forwards, overcome your doubts and information on why it's better to take action sooner rather than later if drinking is causing you problems
Ways to make a change
If alcohol is an unhealthy habit for you...
See our section Drink less, gain more for advice on cutting down and information on the benefits of drinking less.
If you're worried you might have a problem with alcohol
See our section Dependence for signs to look out for or to take an online test about your drinking.
If you are no longer in control of your drinking...
Our section Self-help for problem drinking has information to help you to decide if you’re ready to make a change and lots of advice if you want to change.
If you think you will need extra support to change your drinking pattern:
- Talk to your GP
- Call the HSE Alcohol Helpline Freephone 1800 459 459
- Visit our section Where to get help to see places you can go for advice and support.
- Read about different types of treatment, and what to expect