Drink Less, Be Your Best
Choosing to drink less alcohol can help you be your best. Being your best could mean enjoying your golden years in good health, feeling refreshed and rested each morning, or having more money in the bank. Drink less and be your best.
Low-risk alcohol consumption for adult males is considered drinking two or fewer drinks a day or less than 14 a week and for women it is less than one a day or fewer than seven a week. Drinking more than that on a regular basis is concerned excessive. Binge drinking, when a person consumes 4-5 drinks within two hours, is also considered a high-risk behavior.
Excessive drinking can increase your risk of serious health problems, including certain cancers, pancreatitis, stroke, liver disease, and heart failure.
Not drinking at all may be the best option for some people, including people who are pregnant or might be pregnant, those taking certain drugs or medications, or people who are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or cannot control their alcohol intake.
For those who drink alcohol and want to cut back on your drinking, these four strategies can help:
Set limits. Decide how many days a week you plan to drink and how many drinks you plan to have. For instance, you might decide to only drink on a Friday night or Saturday night and have one drink. Schedule alcohol-free days every week.
Count your drinks. Use an app on your mobile device to help. Understanding how much alcohol counts as a “standard” drink may also help.
Manage your “triggers.” If certain people, places, or activities tempt you to drink more than you planned, you can avoid those triggers. For example, instead of a happy hour event with co-workers, suggest catching up at lunch instead. You may also want to remove certain alcohol products from your home.
Find support. Ask for support from a friend, family member, healthcare provider, or someone else who will support your choice to drink less.
Remember “The How”
Change can be hard, so it helps to have concrete reminders of why the change is important to you and how you’ve decided to do it.
Make a change plan and print or save it to review later.
Set up the alerts on your devices to remind you at times of the day you need it.
Set your phone background to remind you why you want to drink less.
Post sticky notes around your home with motivational messages.
Let your friends and family members know about your change plan and ask for their support.
Concerned about your drinking? Need help for yourself or a loved one? Contact the Portage Addiction Helpline at 330-678-3006.
Content source: Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention