Saying no to alcohol – reducing consumption of alcohol and quitting drinking

There are many ways to successfully cut down on or quit alcohol consumption. If you want to stop drinking alcohol, but find that you cannot succeed on your own, help is available.

Assessing alcohol use can be challenging. Monitoring tools and tests can help you to understand your alcohol consumption. If you are concerned about your drinking, try reducing the amount you consume. Those who consume much alcohol might fail repeatedly in their efforts to drink less. In such cases, it may be sensible to stop drinking completely.

Alcohol tests help in monitoring and testing alcohol use

Tools and tests are available for monitoring alcohol consumption and assessing alcohol dependence:

Tips for reducing alcohol use

If you are concerned about your drinking, try reducing the amount you consume. Here are tips for reducing your alcohol consumption:

  • Drink less alcohol per occasion.

  • Switch to a beverage with a lower alcohol content or choose a non-alcoholic option.

  • Avoid situations in which you drink to excess.

  • Learn to say no to alcoholic beverages when they are offered.

  • Have a Dry January – or a dry month at some other time of year. Quitting alcohol consumption entirely for a while will show you how dependent you are.

If you cannot reduce your alcohol consumption on your own, or fail repeatedly in your efforts to do so, seek help.

Source: AddictionLink

Where can I find help for quitting alcohol use and alcoholism?

If you cannot stop drinking on your own and would like assistance for alcoholism, you should seek help. In such cases, contact:

  • a health centre
  • occupational health care provider or
  • the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS)

The Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention (EHYT) operates a free substance abuse counselling service, 24/7 all year-round. The helpline number is 0800 900 45 (mainly answers calls in Finnish).

The A-Clinic Foundation’s AddictionLink provides comprehensive information, support and counselling on intoxicants and dependence to both substance abusers and their family members and loved ones.

The Concern Card provides contact information for professional assistance with substance abuse

The Concern Card, Huolikortti in Finnish, is a tool for Alko store staff for situations in which a customer expresses concerns about alcohol use, whether their own or that of a loved one. The Concern Card includes the number for the helpline of the Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention (the helpline mainly answers calls in Finnish), the website address of the AddictionLink and a link to the section of this article concerning the purchase ban agreement.

The Concern Card provides contact information for professional assistance with substance abuse.

Alko’s purchase ban agreement supports efforts to cut down and quit alcohol use

If you want to help yourself or a loved one to reduce problematic drinking, you can draw up a purchase ban agreement at any Alko store. A purchase ban agreement is a voluntary agreement aimed at limiting a customer’s purchases of alcoholic beverages from one or more Alko stores. The agreement can set a limit on how much the customer can buy at one time, the ABV of the purchased drinks or forbid alcohol sales entirely.

The initiative for the agreement may come from a relative or loved one, but the agreement cannot be concluded without the customer’s consent. However, a guardian appointed by a local register office or district court has the right to draw up a purchase ban agreement on behalf of a customer, even if the customer has not consented to this.

The customer commits to complying with the purchase ban or restrictions for a certain period of time. If Alko staff identify the customer at the store specified in the agreement, they will refuse to sell alcohol to them as set out in the agreement. The agreement is always valid for a fixed term, which is determined by the customer.

Ask for more information from Alko store staff.

Article picture: Folio Images