Have you been thinking about cutting down or completely stopping your alcohol or drug use for a while? It’s common that people aren’t sure where to start, so we are going to have a look at some easy ways to help prepare for change.
Along with the tips below, you might like to try our ‘Ready Willing and Able’ module in the member portal. Its set up to help you find out where you’re at right now, and will give you some tips to take the next step in your quest to change.
Time and place
Set a date that you are going to start cutting down or stop – try not to make it too far into the future, within a couple of days is probably a good idea.
Really commit to this start date – maybe tell someone who is going to help support you to make yourself accountable.
In the lead up to the day prepare yourself, get rid of anything from your home, your phone, your car, and anywhere else that's been associated with using alcohol or drugs.
This way once the date comes, any reminders won’t be there to trigger you and increase your cravings.
Why am I making a change?
Really think about the reasons why you don't like using alcohol or drugs and the benefits you are hoping to see by making the change.
Writing these reasons and benefits down, and keeping a copy of them in your wallet, can help reinforce why you are making a change.
To make it really easy we have developed a credit card sized template that will fit perfect into most wallets or purses.
- Download the Reasons I Want to Cut Down/Stop card (253KB PDF)
- Print it and cut it out
- Add your reasons why and maybe even a photo
- Fold in half and put it in your wallet/purse.
Now you have a handy little reminder wherever you go! Just pull it out if you are ever having a craving.
If you would like some more assistance try our ‘Setting Goals’ Module in the member portal. It doesn’t take long and will help you decide what goals are important to you.
Try to anticipate situations where you may feel very tempted – make a list of the situations you think may happen to you, that could lead you towards unwanted alcohol or drug use.
Situations could include:
- Being with friends who use lots of substances
- Going to a party
- Being offered alcohol or drugs
- Feeling tired, bored, or angry
- Feeling happy
- Wanting to celebrate or reward yourself
- Having lots of money
- Having no money
- Having a craving
- Putting on weight
Make a coping plan for each situation you identify. Your plan could include things like:
- How will I avoid the situation where possible?
- What would I say if someone offered me…?
- If I am feeling an urge I should
- Call … (your support person)
- Take a time out and look at my list of why I want to make changes
- Set non alcohol or drug related rewards.
These are just a few of the things you could do, if you need some assistance with this you can start a counselling session with us anytime to talk it through.
To read a bit more about preparing for change – go to our page preparing to cut down or stop.