“So you don’t think you have a drinking problem? Prove it.” How many times have we felt like saying this to someone? How many people should have said this to us? During the remainder of the summer, we’d like to issue a challenge: Stop drinking so much.
Too Much Drinking
Our society has glamorized alcohol to the point that many people consider it normal to consume large amounts of alcohol. But our society would be better off if we all drank less. We’d reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents or injuries, reduce the incidence of alcoholism, improve our health, and save a lot of money along the way.
People that abuse alcohol don’t often think about their drinking as a problem. The challenge to stop drinking so much will help determine who has a dependency problem and who doesn’t. If we ask everyone to stop drinking for 90 days and see what happens, we’ll find that those that do not have an alcohol abuse problem will be able to do this; the rest will struggle and fail. Someone that is dependent on alcohol will not be able to go even a day without it, and needs medical help to detox from it. These people should go through therapy and support sessions to learn how to abstain from alcohol altogether. For those that aren’t addicted, let’s just start with drinking less, because alcohol abuse is also a problem. If we cut down on the number of drinks we have each day, or every week, we can gain some control over our behaviors and tendencies.
Tips to Reduce Drinking
To drink less, first keep track of how much you actually drink. You might be surprised at the amount you consume. The healthy normal is 1 drink daily for women and 2 for men. If you are consuming much more than this, seriously consider cutting back.
Set a goal, and spell out your reasons for that goal. You know why you should drink less – maybe it’s to improve the relationship with a family member, or to improve your health, or to take charge of your life. If you do plan to drink, don’t let it be more than one or two drinks per day. And set aside some days to not drink at all. Knowing that you can accomplish this will be empowering.
To keep yourself on track, empty out your alcohol cabinet at home. Keep only a few drinks in the house in order to avoid temptation.
Slow down your drinking. Start with a glass of water, and then take your time with the alcohol.
Replace drinking with positive activities. Get involved with a community group, take up a hobby, or go to the gym. Surround yourself with friends that won’t pressure you to drink.
There is much more to life than alcohol. Too often we forget about what’s really important and focus only on having a good time or relieving stress. This summer, make it a goal to drink less alcohol. Encourage friends to do the same. If you find you are not able to control your drinking, get help.