Finding out More about Your Drinking

The first step in making a good decision about how much or why you drink is to gather as much information as possible. Here are several suggestions to help you learn more about your drinking:

Check Your Drinking (CYD)

Once you've signed up for the Alcohol Help Center's Toolbox, click the "Check Your Drinking" (CYD) tab. The 18 question CYD survey is anonymous and we've designed it so you, your loved ones or your health care professional can get some answers about your drinking. When you're finished the CYD, you'll get a Final Report. Your Final Report will tell you some interesting facts about how much you drink and how often you drink in comparison to other people of your same sex, age and country. You’ll also find information about how much money you spend on drinking every year, how many extra calories you consume by drinking, as well as some other important facts and statistics.

When you've finished you can print your Final Report or email it directly to yourself or your health care professional. The Toolbox will also keep your Final Report for you so you can refer to it at a later date, if you choose.

Your Diary 

Your Toolbox has a diary that we suggest you use for a few weeks to see if there are any patterns to your drinking. By observing your patterns you can determine simple ways to make changes. For example, if the diary’s chart shows that during the week you tend to have 2 or 3 drinks at lunch every day, you might try cutting down to 1 drink at lunch, or going without drinking at lunch for several days.

The diary also has a “Notes and Observations” section that allows you to write down your thoughts and feelings. Review these notes and observations and think about:

1. What was happening just before you had a drink?

2. How did you feel while you were drinking?

3. Who were you with?

4. How did you feel the next day?

Get a different perspective on your drinking, review your diary results with someone you trust and ask them:

1. How do they see your drinking?

2. Have they noticed changes in you, especially on days that you were drinking?

3. How do they see you getting along with others?

4. Have they noticed any changes in your appearance?

5. Have they noticed any changes in your mood?

Depending on how you feel, and the feedback that you get from someone you trust, you may consider making some changes to your lifestyle.

In the next section, we'll offer some suggestions on deciding whether you're ready to make some changes.