Changing Your Drinking Before it Changes You

Changing Your Drinking - Freedom From Addiction

The majority of adults consume alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 88% of people 18 years of age and older reported drinking alcohol at some point in their life.

Individuals drink in many circumstances and for a variety of reasons. Some drink socially to be less inhibited, to enjoy it, or simply to feel more comfortable; others enjoy the taste or the way it makes them feel. Many people drink to decompress after a long day, to de-stress, or to feel more relaxed.

It becomes easy to have alcohol as part of your routine, and the amount you use regularly might increase without much awareness as you build tolerance. It is important to pay attention to your drinking habits to not have your drinking escalate and become a problem in your life.

If you notice that you are increasingly drinking more, there are actions you can take to cut down. First, make the decision that you want to cut down and give yourself a goal of how often you want to drink and how much. For example, you might say three days a week and no more than two standard drinks on those days.

Enlisting a friend or romantic partner to cut down drinking with you can prove helpful as well. Having the support of others and being on the same page makes moderating your drinking much easier. Plan activities that don’t focus on drinking and that also make you feel good.

It is not uncommon to spend more money than you realize on alcohol. Each time you want to purchase alcohol and don’t, or that you would have spent money on alcohol but now are not, put that money in an envelope. At the end of six months, go back and count the money and buy yourself something you have wanted. You can look forward to the gift you want to buy yourself or to a trip you want to go on at the end of the six months, or whatever time frame you have chosen. Use the gift or trip as an incentive to moderate your drinking.

It can be easy to drink more than you intend or realize. Pay attention to your drinking and make a conscious effort to moderate your drinking if you see your use increasing so that it does not become a problem for you moving forward.

If you or someone you know is experiencing addiction, developing an adequate treatment plan is essential to achieve recovery. A free service like Freedom From Addiction can be of help to explore the different treatment options available. For 24/7 assistance, call 1.855.RECOVER or 1.855.732.6837.

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Dr. Rachel Needle has specialized training in the area of substance use disorders. She is a professional consultant to substance abuse facilities and assists them in expanding and enhancing clinical programming. Dr. Needle also does expert training on the topic of substance abuse, mental illness, and sexual health for staff members at residential and outpatient facilities that specialize in alcohol and substance use disorders. 

| Facebook: Dr. Rachel Twitter: @DrRachelNeedle

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