Reduce alcohol consumption: yes or no?

It is not surprising that it takes you a long time to decide whether or not you are going to work on your alcohol behavior. You may have complaints, but have not yet linked them to your drinking behavior. Or you just want to drink less because your family wants this from you. There are a number of ways to find out what you want.

The benefits and harms of alcohol consumption

As you know very well, alcohol has both a nice, pleasant side and an unpleasant, destructive side. Your mind is often torn between these two extremes. To gain insight into the advantages and disadvantages of your alcohol consumption, you can draw up a handy list.

Advantages and disadvantages list

Complete the list below. Don’t just think about the advantages and disadvantages that alcohol consumption has for you, but also think about your environment, your work, your relationship, your family and the like. Also try to see for each advantage or disadvantage whether it is a short- or long-term advantage or disadvantage.
Then take a detailed look at your list and think about which advantages and disadvantages you find most important. Why do you think these points are important?
Do you have more advantages or disadvantages on your list ? And how much weight do these factors weigh against each other? It is possible that 1 disadvantage outweighs 4 advantages.

The RCQ questionnaire


A very important but also one of the most difficult part of reducing or stopping drinking is motivation. If you are really motivated to reduce your alcohol consumption, you will be in a much stronger position than if your partner really wants you to stop. To see how motivated you are, you can complete a questionnaire, the RCQ questionnaire: Readiness to Change Questionnaire.

Reduce or stop?

You can decide to reduce your alcohol consumption or stop drinking completely. You have to decide for yourself what you want and what you have confidence in. Questions that can help you with this are:

  • Am I really drinking too much considering my alcohol diary?
  • Are there certain reasons/circumstances why I should stop or cut back? Why do I think that?
  • Why shouldn’t I stop drinking?
  • What’s stopping me from quitting drinking? What needs to change?
  • What weighs most heavily on me, the benefits or harms of my alcohol consumption?


Other questions you can ask yourself

  • What do you think will happen if you don’t decide to change your drinking habits?
  • Why are you looking for articles about alcohol problems?
  • What has kept you drinking since you started drinking?
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