It’s estimated that over 86% of Americans aged 18+ have tasted alcohol once in their lifetime. We know that alcohol consumption remained an integral component of many cultures throughout human history. But how much alcohol is safe for you? Experts have long been divided over this question though there’s no denying that excessive drinking isn’t healthy at all. It leads to dementia, weakened heart and liver, and even cancer! Alcoholism caused the death of 95,000 Americans from 2011-2015. Also, 1 in 10 workers aged 20-64 died after excessive drinking. So, it’s time to cut back on alcohol and regulate how much you are drinking daily. Our simple suggestions will help addicts overcome their obsession effectively.
Ways to curb your alcohol dependency
Some people shouldn’t drink at all since even a single glass of alcohol is considered excessive for them. The list includes drivers, pregnant women, people suffering from a medical condition, or someone who isn’t 21 years old yet. Now, what counts as excessive drinking among legal drinkers? The CDC defines two types of excessive drinking. Binge drinking refers to consuming 4-5 drinks on one occasion. Heavy drinking means eight drinks/week for women and 15 drinks/week for men. Let’s move on to moderate drinking now!
Remember that not everyone who drinks a lot becomes an alcoholic. But it would be best if you still drank moderately to avoid any short-term/long-term health risks. Moderate drinking refers to 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men. Sadly, excessive alcohol has become a public health concern, and we need more experts in this field to spread awareness about alcoholism and its side effects. Fortunately, interested individuals can enroll in an MPH online no GRE required and fast-track their career in public health. The online route allows individuals to work while completing their education, thus wasting less time achieving their professional goals. These public health specialists can educate people about ways to curbing their alcohol addiction by these methods:
- Avoid binging
We’ve talked about binge drinking before. It’s a step before heavy drinking. It happens when you’re attending an event, and people start drinking, so the peer pressure makes you consume some alcohol too. Learn to say “no” to people offering you drinks and keep sipping some water in between cups.
- Take a break
Assign one day when you wouldn’t consume alcohol. Take a break from drinking that particular day to reduce your alcohol intake. When it becomes easier to abstain from drinking for one day, make it two/three days. Split your larger goal into smaller objectives to succeed in this anti-addiction quest.
- Drink slowly
Addicts shouldn’t go cold turkey. Instead, they should reduce their alcohol consumption gradually. It also helps if you drink slowly to extinguish your thirst with the least amount of alcohol. Also, you mustn’t drink on an empty stomach! Try drinking some juice/water after you’ve finished drinking.
- Start journaling
Writing about your addiction helps you overcome it. So, it would be best if you recorded how much you’ve drunk in the past few weeks. Also, keep track of where you consumed alcohol and which brands you found the most luscious. This habit might help your doctors recommend better ways to curb alcoholism.
- Don’t drink emotionally
Some people start drinking to overcome an emotional dilemma. When you’re feeling down, don’t get tempted to consume alcohol. Since wine isn’t anything more than a depressant – it’ll only make your trauma even worse. Stress-drinking often transforms healthy folks into staunch alcoholics.
- Consider medication
You might haven’t heard about medicines to limit alcohol cravings. There’s a Sinclair Method through which naltrexone helps addicts overcome their obsession. FDA has approved disulfiram and acamprosate as well to treat alcoholism. Sold under different brand names, they’ve proven to be quite effective.
- Let everyone know
Drinking has become a social event, so you should let friends/family know that you’re endeavoring to control your alcohol dependency. Their support will encourage your alcohol prevention efforts, and you’ll get someone to talk to about this problem too. So, seek emotional help from your loved ones.
- Control yourself
When and where are you tempted to drink? Try to understand your temptations and then struggle to overcome them. Devise plans to avoid places/events that entice you. If being alone makes you want to drink, try being among friends most of the time. Control your temptations to kill them eventually.
- Don’t stock it
Instead of beer, try amassing milk and OJ inside your fridge since having easy access to alcohol merely strengthens your addiction. A simple principle states that if it isn’t around much, it’s pretty difficult to drink it. If your friends bring over some whiskey, don’t let them stash the leftover at your house. Even better, tell them not to bring alcoholic beverages to your place in the first place!
- Avoid bars
Similarly, stop going to bars since you must avoid places where alcohol is accessible. If you want to hang out with friends, try meeting somewhere other than a pub. Avoid places that sell alcohol. Instead, try to socialize at locations where people tend to drink non-alcoholic beverages.
- Change your company
If your mates encourage excessive drinking, it’s time to part ways with them and seek other friends. Surround yourself with non-drinkers or people who consume only moderate amounts of alcohol responsibly. So, your gathering will influence your drinking habits, and you’ll be able to overcome the addiction.
- Keep yourself busy
Sitting idle will make you inclined to consume alcohol. So, find a hobby for keeping yourself busy for a while. Take a walk, join your nearest gym, or go out for lunch with friends. Join AA meetings where you can share your thoughts with like-minded people. Hobbies keep you sober and alcohol-free.
Excessive alcohol has both immediate aftereffects and long-lasting health risks. Its short-term dangers include alcohol poisoning, risky sexual behavior, miscarriage among women, and erectile dysfunction among men. Similarly, alcoholism leads to domestic violence, motor vehicle accidents, and instances of self-harm or sexual assault. Statistics show that 3 million deaths happen annually from alcohol’s harmful use, accounting for over 5% of demises worldwide. Long-term problems include different mental and social issues, e.g., anxiety/depression. Alcoholics also suffer from a weak immune system from excessive drinking. These dangers compel people to prevent this addiction and curb their alcohol dependency.