The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

Planning for not drinking on a night out

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Plan ahead

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“Visualise the event you’re going to – what you’ll be wearing, who will be there. Picture introducin­g yourself or saying hello to friends. Think ahead to what you’re going to drink and what you’ll say to people who ask why you’re not drinking. Don’t leave it all to chance,” says Simon Chapple.

Know before you go

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Practicall­y every venue has a website with a drinks menu. “Look up what they offer before you leave so you know what you are asking for when you get to the bar. This saves you from reverting to your usual alcoholic choice and not sticking to your plans,” says Claire Addiscott, founder of Mindful Sips (mindfulsip­s. co.uk). “There’s a whole world of alcohol-free drinks out there”. See Dry Drinker for ideas (drydrinker.com).

h Be curious

“Notice who’s drinking loads and who paces themselves, and how people’s behaviour changes as they get drunk. It’s a real eye-opener and helps remind you why you don’t want to drink to excess,” says Chapple.

h Plan your exit

“If you’re out with friends, have an exit strategy so you don’t feel tempted to drink. Make sure there’s something waiting for you at home like a snack or a film you want to watch, so you feel happy to make your excuses and leave,” says Chapple.

h Fake it

“If you’re going to a party or event, plan to drink a bit less alcohol – or not to drink at all. When they’re drinking heavily people don’t notice what you’re having. As long as you’ve got a glass in your hand they won’t care,” says Borg.

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