Almost everybody drinks alcohol.
But not everybody has a drinking problem.
According to the NIH (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), 6.2% of adults 18 and older are considered to have an AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder). This number seems pretty low and it is. However, this number equates to 88,000 deaths a year. That number is not small. In fact, alcohol-related deaths can be avoided entirely if people who consume alcohol are responsible.
Responsible drinking isn’t only in reference to avoid drinking and driving. Drinking and driving deaths accounted for 9,967 deaths. That means the other 78,033 deaths were caused by over-consumption. The obvious solution to the deaths related to impaired driving can be easily solved.
Don’t drink and drive…duh.
So how do we prevent the other 78k deaths? Either make everyone stop drinking entirely (which doesn’t go over very well…recall the 1920’s?) or exercise responsibility.
So for today’s article, we will be providing 3 tips to stop drinking so much. Hopefully, these tips can become lifelong. That way you can actually live a long life.
Tip #1 – Accept the fact that you may need to stop drinking so much
According to nationally accepted health standards drinking too much is the following:
No more than 3 drinks in a day.
No more than 7 drinks in a week.
So to explain a little further. Let’s say you come home from work on Monday and pop a bottle of your favorite cab open. You pour yourself a glass and start watching Alias Grace or Orange Is The New Black. Before you know it that glass is done and you go for another. If you pass 3 glasses on Monday then you have drunk too much.
Next comes Tuesday and you do the same thing. Open the cab, pour a glass and before you know it the third glass is being poured. Wednesday comes around and you just hate Wednesday. It is the middle of the week and you could really use a drink. You go out with some friends and have a beer. STOP that was your 7th drink. No more for you this week. If you see yourself going over that then accept you drink too much.
The reason your body allows less alcohol than a man is because of the following:
- Women generally have less water in their body. This means less alcohol processing.
- Women generally weigh less than men. This means less tissue to absorb the alcohol.
- Women have less AHD. That is the chemical that breaks down alcohol in the liver.
No more than 4 drinks in a day.
No more than 14 drinks in a week.
Here is a little more detail. Let’s imagine you come home on Friday from a long work week. You invite some friends over and you start drinking. Before you know it you have had 3 beers, a couple of shots and a cocktail. Well, you just did what is called binge drinking. That is very bad for your health and you definitely went over the daily 4 drinks amount. So don’t do that again.
Again you had a long week and you need a drink. Come Wednesday you have some friends over. You have 3 beers and decide to stop drinking. Good job. The next day you enjoy some wine at your business lunch. Before you know it, it’s Friday. You had a hard week and need something to drink. You go out and have 3 beers, come home and pour some whiskey. Saturday comes and you enjoy time with your hunny. You decide to make some cocktails for lunch. And come dinner time you have 2 glasses of wine. On Sunday you go out on the boat. Crack open the cooler and enjoy some more beer. STOP you have had enough sir. No more drinking until Wednesday.
Why can men drink more than women?
- Men generally weigh more.
- Men generally have more water in their body.
- Men have more AHD in their liver.
Tip #2 – Make the decision to stop drinking so much
Either you make the decision now to stop drinking so much, or life will make it for you. Whether you like it or not, over-consumption of alcohol leads to many serious health problems. Here is a quick list of serious health risks.
- Liver disease.
- Pancreatic Cancer.
- Ulcers and gastrointestinal problems.
- Immune system dysfunction.
- Brain damage.
- Malnourishment and vitamin deficiencies.
- Heart disease.
- Accidents and injuries.
For many people who overconsume alcohol, they may think the above-listed risks don’t apply to them. Well with time they will if you continue to drink a lot. However, in the short-term, they may not affect you. Hence, making the decision to cut back today may be difficult. After all, drinking may be a way for you to relax, or have a good time. Just remember that those effects are possible without damaging your health entirely. We hope you can be wise and make the decision to stop drinking so much. It is better to start now before it becomes a habit. Once it becomes a habit, you will have an AUD. As mentioned earlier, an AUD almost always leads to death.
After you read this and you are still struggling to find the willpower to stop drinking then continue reading for our last tip;
Tip #3 – Keep a planner
When we write things down we tend to remember them better. If you are looking for a practical step to cut back on drinking then having a planner is a great start.
Begin by planning out each day. Try to make note of the days you drink more than others. Are those days on the weekend or during the week? Understanding which days you drink more will help you plan more effectively. If it helps you can also take your planner around with you for a week. Make a notation in your planner every time you drink. At the end of 7 days, you can look at your notations. It will be easy to see on which days you drink more.
Once you have your days marked in your planner. Add how many drinks you will have on each day. Will you have 3 on Friday (for a woman) or 4 (for a man)? Will you limit your alcohol intake to the weekend? If you are a social drinker and you tend to have many events during the week, lunches or get-togethers, then limit the intake on those days. In the end, you want to plan each day so that when the 7-day mark hits you have stayed within the moderate range.
Staying within the moderate range of drinking will help avoid the serious health risks. You will also benefit from a better sleeping schedule and weight loss. Another added benefit is the amount of money you will save by planning out your drinks and not over-consuming.
What if these tips don’t help?
If these tips don’t help you then try something new. Ultimately, the goal is to get you into a healthy lifestyle in order to live a happier life. After attempting to find other ways to stop drinking and if they don’t work then we recommend seeking professional help. Luckily, White Tree Medical offers many services to help with alcohol abuse. We help every person who comes through our door find a treatment plan that is right for them. Some of our services include Outpatient Medical Detox (from alcohol), long-term alcohol treatment, and alcohol counseling. We make the same commitment to every patient. We promise to provide excellence in care and we dedicate ourselves to your individual success.