Banish the booze blues: 4 tips to take control of your drinking

University of Leeds
3 min readJun 5, 2024


Have you ever skipped class or cancelled plans because of a hangover? Got so drunk you forgot your night out? Lost control and said or did something you regret? Drank too much too fast and didn’t make it out after pre drinks?

Lots of people who drink alcohol have experienced at least one of these. If you have too, try out these simple tips from Forward Leeds to help you stay in control on a night out.

An illustration with vibrantly coloured images of alcohol-related items like shot glasses, a martini glass, and bottles.

Eating isn’t cheating

Having a proper meal before drinking helps line your stomach and soaks up some of the alcohol so it doesn’t go straight to your head. Need some affordable meal inspo? Check out these four recipes by Molly before your next night out.

Stay hydrated

Alcohol dehydrates you which can make your hangover much worse. Drink water before, during, and after having alcohol and you’ll feel much better the next day.

Pace yourself

Drinking too much too quickly can bring a good night out to an early end. Slowing down gives your body more time to process the alcohol, keeps you in control, and saves you money. There’s lots of ways to pace yourself, like to:

  • alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (like a soft drink or water),
  • swap spirits for drinks with less alcohol,
  • use mixers to turn your beer or wine into a shandy or spritzer,
  • opt for a smaller size like a bottle instead of a pint or a single measure instead of a double, and
  • avoid rounds so you drink at your own speed instead of the pace set by the fastest drinker.

Ask for help and advice if you need it

Want to have a healthier relationship with alcohol? Whether you want to cut back or quit altogether, or you’re worried about a friend’s drinking, there’s plenty of places to get confidential, judgement-free advice and support.

  • Forward Leeds, our local alcohol and drug support service, have loads of online resources and info. They’re also on campus every week in LUU for drop-in appointments where you can ask questions and get advice. Find out more about Forward Leeds drop-in appointments.
  • The Student Counselling and Wellbeing team offer free, confidential support to all students at Leeds. The service has experienced Counsellors, Wellbeing Practitioners and Mental Health Advisors who are trained to help with lots of things, including drinking and drug use.
  • LUU Help and Support are a confidential service, independent from the University. They offer advice to students and can help you navigate things like substance abuse and addictions support. LUU Help and Support often work with University services like Student Counselling and Wellbeing too.
  • Residence Life Wardens can help if you live in University accommodation and feel like you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol. You won’t get into trouble for talking to them — they’ll connect you to support and respect your confidentiality.

Find out more about our harm reduction approach to drugs and alcohol at the University of Leeds.