Help to stay sober

Quitting drinking is a huge achievement, but staying sober can be equally as tough.

Having a relapse prevention plan is critical. Alcohol can be difficult to avoid in our society, so you will need to work out ways to avoid or refuse alcohol and cope with its presence.

1.       Ask for help

You don’t have to do it alone! These thoughts and feelings will pass usually within 30 mins if you don’t let them escalate. And the most amazing thing is that as soon as you start to talk to someone else, your cravings start to disappear!

You might find it helpful to make a list of the people you can call on for support. Try filling in this My Support Network Tool and keeping a copy on you, so you always have it handy.

You can also talk to us online in the evening on SMART Chat (6pm -11pm), or Get In Touch here.

2.       Know your triggers

There are some people, places, things and situations that are more likely to make you feel like drinking. These are known as ‘triggers’. Knowing what these are can help a lot to make a plan to deal with them. You might find the My Triggers Worksheet helpful to identify your triggers, and plan how to avoid them.

3.       Practice your refusal skills

It’s highly likely someone will offer you a drink when you don’t want one. Having a polite, convincing “no, thanks” ready can make a huge difference. The faster you can say no to these offers, the less likely you are to give in.

Use our Refusal Skills Worksheet, to plan your responses.

4.       Make a plan to deal with high risk situations

Alcohol is everywhere, and the list of events and situations you associate with drinking could be endless, so having a plan is essential.

If you are caught in the moment by a craving or in a high risk situation remember to:

  • Stop
  • Take a breath
  • Take your time
  • Put things into perspective
  • Plan your next move

Acting in the moment often means doing what you have always done, so try to take your time and do something different.

Better still, plan ahead, using our High Risk Situations Planner. This will help you to prepare, so you can manage any situation you find yourself in.

5.       Learn from your experience

Lapses happen, so if you do slip up, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t throw away all the good work you’ve done, the important thing is to learn from the experience. Spend some time thinking about:

  • What will you do differently next time?
  • Who can help me get over this hump?
  • What have I learnt about myself?

Then use the tools above to put a new plan in place with the things you have learned.


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The help I received changed my outlook: I am happy, healthy & more confident.
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