Limit your drinking or drug use

You could think about whether you want to use alcohol and other drugs at all. If you do choose to use, consider setting limits or boundaries for yourself.


Sometimes people use alcohol or other drugs to deal with feeling isolated, lonely, bored, or frustrated. You could think about some different ways you can cope with these feelings when they happen.

Alcohol prevents your body from sleeping deeply. If it is safe to do so, try stopping drinking for a few days if you are struggling to sleep.

You may also want to think about these things:

  • How much you want to use and how often. Create a plan and ask trusted friends and whānau to help you stick to it. This could include avoiding drinking or using other drugs alone.
  • Delaying your first use of the day. Starting later will mean you use less.
  • What else can you do that doesn’t involve alcohol and other drugs? Establish a routine, exercise, and connect regularly with friends and whānau, even if its just over the phone or social media. Designating alcohol or drug-free days can help.
  • If you have used a lot or use more regularly, be prepared to experience withdrawal symptoms when you slow down or stop.
  • Talk with supportive friends, family, and the others in your house about your alcohol and other drug use. These chats can help you to identify early if your use is having a negative impact on yourself or others.
  • Children copy what they see. If you are living with children and they see you drinking because your stressed, they might pick up those patterns.
  • These are the safer drinking guidelines from the Health Promotion Agency. You could look at how your drinking compares to these.

HPA safer drinking guidelines


Visit Living Sober, to connect with other New Zealanders going through this, hear how they were able to reduce their drinking, and find support.