Drinking habits are changing and more people are choosing an alcohol free life or cutting down their alcohol consumption.
It’s no longer embarrassing to order non alcoholic drinks at a bar and telling people you’re going sober – even if it’s not Dry January – is likely to bring admiration rather than raised eyebrows.
You may not consider yourself to be a heavy drinker but you may be starting to worry you’re drinking too much and want to cut down or you might have reached the point where you know you have to stop.
Despite statistics showing an increasing number of people avoiding alcohol, we can still sometimes feel alone – the odd one out at parties and social events.
It’s not an easy option to change our behavior and live a sober life. It can be hard to talk about your fears or concerns and find advice to help you learn techniques to control your desire to drink alcohol.
We’ve launched The Alcohol-Free Community as a place where you can find helpful tips, expert advice and gain inspiration from others on the recovery journey.
You can read up on alcohol-related issues such as anxiety, liver disease, heart disease and alcohol dependence and learn about the health benefits of a sober lifestyle.
We know that in times of stress and uncertainty, we may use alcohol as a crutch. It’s hard not to slip back into the old habit that might offer us temporary comfort but do us more long term harm.
Its even harder with the current health crisis when we’re learning to cope with work duties, childcare, eldercare, strained relationships, financial pressures and immediate health risks.
The normal support networks, work colleagues, friends, health workers and activities such as sport, social groups, hobby groups and fitness sessions aren’t there and our emotional well being suffers.
Struggles like these in our lives can be a huge challenge and have an impact on our mental health that trigger cravings for alcohol that will lift our moods in the short term.
Maybe you’ve seen a change in your drinking patterns or an increase in your alcohol intake. Perhaps you find urges to drink come earlier in the day, you’ve started drinking on weekdays when you would normally drink only at the weekend or you find you’re binge drinking.
You may be avoiding alcohol for health and fitness reasons, or due to pregnancy, medical conditions – or maybe because you’ve realised your drinking is harming your health, work and family relationships.
Whatever the reason you’re trying to reduce the levels of alcohol you drink, we hope you’ll find the Alcohol-Free Community offers you positive reinforcement for your choice to improve your well being.
The Alcohol-Free Community will give you the tools you need to find a new direction and the skills to stay focussed on your individual goals.
Visitors will find factual information, personal opinion, tips, news, interviews, and reviews and you’ll have the opportunity to comment on items we publish.
Access to the Alcohol-Free Community is free.
While we aim to offer a resource for anyone thinking about moderating, actively cutting down or quitting alcohol, we’ve decided not to include forums for discussion.
For those who want to share their experience, are seeking peer support, or want to find a friend who has some understanding of what it’s like to be on the road to recovery we’ve created The Alcohol-Free Community on Facebook.
This is group where you’ll find sober friends and receive encouragement to stick to you plans, celebrate your successes and help you avoid the pitfalls.
Here you’ll find lots of people eager to help you tackle issues related to harmful drinking. It’s non-judgemental – that’s a rule – you’ll find respect and help to find a balance in your relationship with alcohol that’s right for you.
We hope you’ll enjoy being part of the Alcohol-Free Community and give us your feedback to help us develop and progress in the future.