8 Women on Why They Decided to Cut Back on Drinking

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Stocksy

A couple weeks before two friends were set to visit me in L.A. this summer, one texted me with a small request: They were both on a health kick, she said, and were hoping that much of their trip could be spent hiking; exploring healthy, produce-centric restaurants; and keeping drinking to the very bare minimum. "You're definitely visiting the right city—and person—for all of that," I replied. And, frankly, I was relieved. As much fun as I'm sure we would have had hitting up some of my favorite bars and dancing into the wee hours, I knew my body (and mind) would ultimately be the worse for wear if we did.

We ended up having a truly perfect weekend—and I don't think it's a coincidence that hangovers and sleep deprivation never came into play. Interestingly enough, this particular instance speaks to a larger movement I've noted among my friends. Many of them have either recently cut back on drinking or given up alcohol altogether.

Their reasons aren't identical. One peer has been trying to address certain digestive and hormonal imbalances, which alcohol is known to exacerbate. Another, after drinking and smoking weed somewhat regularly for years, wants to see what it's like to experience the world through a completely sober lens. I haven't given up alcohol entirely but have played with dry periods over the past several years, finding that I feel truly awful if I have more than two drinks at a time. No matter how specific our circumstances, there seems to be one general through-line: We're all just looking to feel our very best.

With this all in mind, I put the call out to our readers to see if and why they had cut back, and their answers were very telling. Below, eight 20-something women share exactly why they decided to give up alcohol.